Monday, 24 September 2007



One day, while the whole family were spending time together in the living room, 9 years old Tommy was heard asking his Dad, “Daddy, why I can hear Mr. & Mrs. Tan shouting and screaming at each other the whole day and yet they still stay together for so long? What causes them to argue all the time?” Feeling stunned with such a question, the Dad replied calmly, “Well, sometimes when Mr. Tan wanted to do something, Mrs. Tan refused to let him do and they argued because of disagreements.” Suddenly, Mummy interrupted and said, “Hey, Mr. Tan has been coming home late from the office and Mrs. Tan was not too happy with that!”

Feeling agitated with his wife’s remark he replied, “You think Mr. Tan do not need to work hard and earn more money to feed the family? Let me do the talking and you stay out of this! This is a man to man talk here!” Slamming the door of the living room, the wife could be heard angrily shouting, “Fine! You can do all the talking you want since my opinions were never of any use to you all the time!” Looking with eyes wide open, Tommy could be heard mumbling, “Daddy, now I understand from what I can see here what really causes arguments!”

Even both the parents led a normal and healthy relationships, Tommy can still see how sometimes adults can act so childishly and argue over meaningless issues. In your opinion do you think that Tommy ought to have that healthy perspective on disagreement? Do you think as a parent, you need to instill in your child that even though both of you disagree and argue over certain issues, both of you still love each other very much? To me, I would think it is important to teach your child how to resolve disagreements and arguments. The key is to resolve the dilemma in front of your children by hugging, kissing and come to a general agreement. By doing this, a child will learn to understand that there is always a resolution to any disagreements or arguments.

In a relationship, disagreements and arguments cannot be avoided. It can be considered as a healthy practice as not only will you understand your partner better, it fosters closer relationships between both parties. A healthy relationship has to have honest communication and open responses to any conflicts. Too much of bickering and heated arguments would not be good for a relationship. To a child, he may think that he was the cause of the argument. Psychologically, this will affect his characteristics and behaviour when he grows up.

For the sake of their children, most parents will try to avoid arguing in front of them by pushing the arguments to a more appropriate time when the children are not by their sides. By doing so, the adults will have more time to calm down and be able to realize their lack of maturity and inability to handle such conflict at that time. Thus, calmer voice tones and discussion will be brought in and such argument will no longer exist in their conversation.

Maybe some of these points below will let you sit down and analyze yourselves better the consequences of having once too many arguments in your relationship:

We all know what it is to walk away from an argument with the mouth dry, tummy in a knot, head hot and spinning, and heart sick. Most of the time, we wished that it had never happened, deeply REGRETTING the unkind words that were said and how hurt the other person would be!

Believe it or not, more homes are DESTROYED by arguments than by fires or deaths!

We all know that arguing for the sake of arguing is a pointless waste of time! We have absolutely NOTHING to gain. Our time, energy and someone's friendship will eventually be LOST! It is said that the only people who really LISTEN to an argument are the neighbours!

Some people love to argue, and will do anything to prove their point! They would rather lose a friend than an argument! For others, arguing has become a HABIT, an automatic reaction of saying something contradictory to whatever is being said!

NO ONE ever really wins an argument! You can shout and scream and argue until you are blue in the face, but people are not going to believe that you are right unless they WANT to believe it!

No amount of logic or argument will make anyone CHANGE his mind if he does not want to! 9 times out of 10, an argument ends with each side more FIRMLY CONVINCED than ever that he is absolutely right!

Many arguments are caused by SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS. Pushing your point, thinking that you are so right, putting yourself up and the other person down by contradicting them endlessly!

Arguing is not the real problem. It is just a SYMPTOM in our lives! LACK OF COMMUNICATION, UNDERSTANDING AND LOVE are the REAL culprits! We need to learn how to have LOVE AND COMPASSION towards others, how to WORK CLOSELY with them, how to TREAT them as a human, how to GIVE the other person the advantage and the benefit of the doubt, how to BUILD them up unselfishly, instead of selfishly tearing them down through contention and argument!

How do you feel about yourself? Are you always engaged in an argument unnecessarily? Do you have problem with self-righteousness? Are you a person who has the patience and understanding to avoid an argument? Do you think that mild argument is healthy in a relationship? Do you think a child will by psychologically affected by his parents’ daily arguments? Please share your views openly here.


Bell said...

*think until headache* I probably have nothing constructive to say... but anyway, here goes...

Speaking from personal experiences, I agree with you that constant arguing in the presence of your kids, can be absolutely detrimental to their mental health development of social skills. If you absolutely cannot avoid arguing in front of your children at least make a conscious effort to argue civilly so they don't get the wrong idea. Of course that's easier said than done because who really thinks clearly when you're hot headed?

Be aware that unnecessary or unresolved arguments fester and rot not only in your minds, but are also burned into the memories of your children and thus promotes antisocial behaviour later in life. Some people (especially so in women) get carried away and constantly dig up old grudges and reminders of unforgiven incidents just to incite guilt in the other party. That implies to the kids that it's OK not to forgive! Where will that lead them?!

We must always remember that as parents, or even just adults, we are role models for the younger generation, whether we like it or not. Children learn best by imitation. So show them your best side. Fight to resolve, not to win. Forgive and Forget. Promote love and respect.

ps. personally I don't argue much, I'm very emo when I argue and I tend to run away and cry... I'm such a hypocrite *sigh*

Bee Ean said...

I try to avoid argument but sometimes it's avoidable. Recently my family came visit, and due to the cultural differences we were stucked in between for both his and my family. Since we don't like to argue we just kept it quiet. But at one point I confronted him and after some talking and arguing, we managed to calm down and still had a nice trip with my family. So, I think sometimes it's better to let out the angers than keep them quiet. I think that by talking about what each other is mad about, we can avoid the same situation or know how to react the next time same issues arise.

DrK723 said...

Yes - arguments are scary to kids. But couples will have conflicts. The trick is to be able to manage them in a way so that they don't get out of hand and lead to the scary point. There are skills that can be learned. As a Relationship Expert, I offer a Free teleseminar, "The 7 Tools to Manage Conflict Communication." To hear it, go to:

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