7 things parents should never do in front of their children

Parents fighting in front of childreb is definitely not okay

Can you say everything you want to, do everything you want to, in front of your kids? Of course not. That’s why a censor board exists, right? It’s the reason no one under 18 is allowed into A rated movies, that you operate child lock on your TV remote. What makes you decide that certain content is too explicit for kids? You usually go by theme. Violence. Sex (in India, just kissing). Drugs. Even something like Titanic, which could have them bawling from the minute the ship hits the iceberg. But for all you censor, there are some things that you wouldn’t think twice about doing in front of them that Quora users believe to be awfully harmful in the long run. See what they are:

1. Fighting in front of your kids:

Common enough scenario, right? Husband snaps when he comes home from work about how you don’t keep the house clean enough. You snap about how hard it is to manage cooking, cleaning and taking care of two wild kids. He’s hungry, you’re annoyed. Not a good combination, and sure lead to a fight of some sort, a little name-calling. And what are the kids doing at this time? Absorbing every single thing that you say. If it’s just a small spat that you sort out in a little while, you have nothing to worry about. But the minute one of you seriously starts undermining or threatening the other one, your kids are going to feel that it’s entirely alright to behave that way.

2. Dragging out petty issues:

Do disagree, by all means; it’s good for kids to see their parents fighting once in a while, so that they understand that it’s normal. Just don’t drag out the issue.If you feel your husband is being too picky about the way you keep house and isn’t letting it go, tell him you don’t want to discuss this any further right now, that you’ll fight it out later when you’re alone. Don’t allow kids to feel it’s okay to make a big deal out of small things. That could lead to unnecessary tantrums now and an unnecessary feeling of justification when they’re teenagers and adults.

3. Gossip:

What’s wrong with discussing a little next-door-aunty information with your husband when he comes home from work? It’s quite a stress-reliever for everyone. You’re right. By all means, some gossip is harmless - in fact, it teaches your kids that your business will never remain entirely your own; other people always get to hear of it and spread rumours that might not be true. At the same time, you’re also suggesting that it’s okay to engage in rumour mongering, which, by the way, is very common in schoolchildren. Think carefully about whether you want them to imbibe that.

4. Showing them only the good side of the world:

We don’t think our kids will be able to digest news about corruption. That’s why we teach them that Chacha Nehru loved children, but we never talk about all the black money that the Indian National Congress owns. We don’t think they’ll be able to handle death, so unless someone they know very well has died, we don’t tell them about anyone’s passing till much later. Kids end up with the wild idea that immortality is actually a possibility - that the world is a perfect place full of happiness. Nice way of setting them up for harsh realities of adult life, no?

5. Putting down someone they respect:

Be it a teacher, the other parent, a grandparent or aunt, your kid is going to have a favourite adult. You might have serious problems with that person, but that’s not enough excuse to speak badly of them in front of your child. When you do, you’re influencing her with your opinions and teaching her that it’s okay to let prejudices rule her feelings of like, dislike or respect for another person.

6. Disagreeing with your spouse about disciplinary measures:

I’ve spoken differently about this in the past, saying that it’s okay for you to intervene when you feel your spouse is being too harsh with punishments. But you’ll have to be careful about how exactly you go about it. Unless you feel your child will be physically or emotionally harmed by the action your partner is taking, don’t intervene at that point. Discuss it with him later, by all means, and change the punishment if you must. Just do it out of your kid’s hearing, so that she doesn’t take advantage of your kindness and try to use you to get her way in future. Fighting in front of the kids is one thing, but giving them the idea that you’ll be on their side no matter how unreasonable they are is entirely another.

7. Having sex:

What?! You NEVER have sex in front of your kids, ever. Not on purpose, of course. But you do sleep in the same room - maybe even in the same bed - as your baby, at least for the first few years of her life. You can’t abstain for five years at a time, so there might be nights when things get a little hot. You think your kid is asleep, so you’ll do the needful as quietly as you can. The problem is you never know if she’s opened her eyes at any point during all of it and turned to look at you. Even if she doesn’t understand what exactly is going on, she could become withdrawn and develop behavioural problems that you don’t know how to deal with.

So what’s the solution? Once your kids are asleep, before you go to bed, try sex outside the covers, outside the room. Or, if there are other people in the house, like your in-laws, leave your kids in their care for a time in the evening, after your husband comes home, and spend some alone time together. There’s always a way out.