My wife and I disagree about arguing in front of our kids
We have four kids so there is a lot of arguing, often.
My stance is simple: I’d never be disrespectful, but if I disagree with my wife, I absolutely will state my own independent opinion in front of my kids, even if it means undermining my wife’s authority.
The examples are so numerous I won’t even talk about them. It can be about assessing the actual situation or the punishment. If my wife assesses something as X and decides to assign punishment Y (say, taking away some device), and I disagree, I will argue, often escalating the entire situation and proceeding to argue with my wife. It doesn’t matter what the immediate outcome is. I have an opinion about a particular situation, I state it , no matter who’s in front of me — my wife, the President of the United States, or whoever.
My wife says that kids are master manipulators and we should always take one side when we’re in front of them. She says we should go away and figure things out between ourselves. She’s right in some ways— kids are great at manipulating. Still, I can’t NOT state my opinion. It’s not about my pride. There is something more profound behind my choice to articulate my own independent opinion of the situation without any regard for anyone else in the room. I want my kids to grow up with the same mentality. If someone’s beating to death someone else, it doesn’t mean you join them (I’m not saying my wife is beating someone to death!). If there is an individual whose authority is difficult to question because of some politics or because he or she is powerful — well, I want them to challenge that authority if their instincts and convictions are instructing them to do so.
Obviously, I’m totally fine with my wife reciprocating — challenging me in front of my kids. But that’s not what she wants.
I’m not saying I’m right. Ultimately, my parenting philosophy leads to a lot of arguments and escalations.
It’s not easy.
This is me and my wife dressed for Halloween some years ago.