Monday, May 7, 2012

What Parents Can Learn from Swans

Swans mate for life and both male and female take care of their young.  As a school counselor I work with students whose parents fight in front of them.  Elementary age children feel frightened when their parents fight.  According to some therapists it is actually good for the children to see their parents fight occasionally if the are fighting fair.  Yes I agree it is okay for couples not to agree and argue their position.  But most of what gets reported to me is not the "constructive fighting" but disrespectful words and scary behavior.  If parents cannot maintain control, I highly advise not fighting in front of their children.  Most students with parents who fight frequently in front of them are afraid their parents will divorce.  Worse yet are the children whose parents have already divorced and continue to subject their children to fighting.   Most children are resilient and can handle a rare blow up.  It is good for parents to admit when they did not conduct themselves with dignity and let the children know in the future they will control themselves better.  If they repeatedly break this promise, the children get disgusted and feel hopeless.  In consulting with parents, I encourage them to seek outside help if they can't model respectful problem-solving.

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