Taken From: Here
Chances are you've had an argument or twenty with your parents recently — about clothes,
homework, friends, curfew — pretty much anything. But what's going on when your parents
fight with each other?
You may be a little relieved that, for once, you're not the one arguing with a parent. But
most people worry when they hear their parents argue.
It's normal for parents to disagree and argue from time to time. They might disagree about
important things like their careers, finances, or major family decisions. They might even
disagree about little things that don't seem important at all — like what's for dinner
or what time someone gets home.
Sometimes parents stay levelheaded when they disagree, and they allow each other a chance
to listen and to talk. But many times when parents disagree, they argue.
What Does It Mean When Parents Fight?
When your parents are fighting, thoughts might start rushing around in your head: Why are
they shouting at each other? Does this mean they don't love each other anymore? Are they
going to get a divorce?
It can be easy to jump to conclusions when you hear parents argue. But most of the time,
arguments are just a way to let off steam when parents have a bad day, don't feel well, or
are under a lot of stress — kind of like when you argue with them.
Like you, when your parents get upset with each other they might yell, cry, or say things
they don't really mean. Most people lose their cool now and then. So if your parents are
fighting, don't always assume it means the worst.
It's OK for Parents to Argue Sometimes
It's natural for people to have different opinions, feelings, or approaches to things.
Talking about these differences is a first step in working toward a mutually agreeable
solution. It's important for people in a family to be able to tell each other how they
feel and what they think, even when they disagree.
Sometimes parents can feel so strongly about their differences that it may lead to
arguments. Most of the time, these arguments are over quickly, parents apologize and make
up, and the family settles back into its usual routine.
When Parents' Fighting Goes Too Far
Sometimes when parents fight, there's too much yelling and screaming, name calling, and
too many harsh things said. Although some parents may do this, it's not OK to treat people
in the family with disrespect, use degrading or insulting language, or yell and scream at
Sometimes parents' fighting really goes too far, and includes pushing and shoving,
throwing things, or hitting. Even if one parent is not physically injured, an argument has
gone too far when one parent uses threats to try to control the other through fear.
Examples include if a parent:
threatens to injure himself or herself
threatens to commit suicide
threatens to leave the other parent
threatens to report the other parent to welfare
destroys the others property
These things are never OK. When fights get physical or involve threats, the people
fighting need to learn to get their anger under control.
What About You?
It's hard for most people to hear their parents yelling at each other. Seeing them upset
and out of control can throw you off — aren't parents supposed to be the calm, composed,
and mature ones in the family? How much it bothers you might depend on how often it
happens, how loud or intense things get, or whether parents argue in front of other
You might worry more about one parent or the other during an argument. It's natural to
worry that a parent may feel especially hurt by what the other parent says. Or maybe you
worry that one parent could become angry enough to lose control. Should you be worried
that someone might get physically hurt? With all this extra mental and emotional stress,
you may get a stomachache or want to go to your room and cry. It's understandable to feel
this way when there's conflict around you.
If your parents are arguing about you, this can be especially upsetting. Lots of people in
this situation might mistakenly think the argument is their fault. But your parents'
arguments are never your fault.
If your parents' fighting really bothers you, you might find it hard to sleep or go to
school. If this is the case, try talking to one or both of your parents about their
behavior. They may not even realize how upset you are until you tell them how their
arguments affect you.
If you or someone you know lives in a family where the fighting goes too far, let someone
else know what's going on. Talking to other relatives, a teacher, a school counselor, or
any adult you trust about the fighting can be helpful. Sometimes parents who fight can get
so out of control that they hurt each other or other family members. If this happens,
letting someone else know will allow the family to be helped and protected from such
Family members can learn to listen to each other and talk about feelings and differences
without yelling and screaming. They can get help with problem fighting from counselors and
therapists. Though it may take some work, time, and practice, people in families can
always learn to get along better.
Happy, Healthy Families
If your family argues from time to time, try not to sweat it: No family is perfect. Even
in the happiest home, problems pop up and people argue. Usually the family members
involved get what's bothering them out in the open and talk about it. Hopefully, they can
reach some compromise or agreement. Everyone feels better and life can get back to
Being part of a family means everyone pitches in and tries to make life better for each
other. Arguments happen and that's OK. But with love, understanding, and some work,
families can solve almost any problem.