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It’s okay if your kids hear their parents arguing, as long as they’re handling disagreements in a constructive way, a new study suggests.
University of Arizona researcher Olena Kopystynska looks at how the way parents handle conflict with each other affects their parenting styles and how emotionally secure their children feel after being exposed to conflict between their parents.
“Not all conflict is bad—it’s about how you manage it.”
The study, published online in the Journal of Family Psychology, focuses on constructive versus destructive styles of conflict management. In constructive conflict management, there is calmness and respect, despite a difference in opinion; the conflict stays focused on one topic; and progress moves toward a resolution. When people handle conflict destructively, there is anger and resentment, and the argument often strays off topic to things that may have happened in the past.