Advice for when children witness an argument

Learn about: Advice for when children witness an argument from Mary Hartzell, MEd,...
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Advice for when children witness an argument

If your children have witnessed an argument, a disagreement that got really loud and they came in and they were crying because it was scaring them, is that you first have to move away from the children and stop arguing. And then when you make up, you want to tell them too that you're not mad at each other anymore. And how did they feel about that? Because sometimes it can be scary if mommy and daddy are mad at each other and using loud voices and they would cry. They might tell you, "Yes, I didn't like that at all. Don't do that. Don't talk like that to mommy. Don't talk like that to daddy." Because you're their stability and they need to know that they can depend on you and that they can trust you. So you do want to reconcile and not make it a light thing. Even tell them, "You know, daddy and I are really gonna work on we can have problems but we can figure them out in ways that aren't yelling."

Learn about: Advice for when children witness an argument from Mary Hartzell, MEd,...


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Mary Hartzell, MEd

Author & Parent Educator

Mary Hartzell has over 30 years experience working with children, parents and teachers. She is the director of The First Presbyterian Nursery School, a nationally recognized early childhood program in Santa Monica, California. She is co-author of Parenting from the Inside Out and also has created a series of CDs on Parent/Child Relationships. Her parent education classes and her private consulting practice have benefited hundreds of families.

Mary began her career teaching in the public school system and completed her master’s degree in early childhood education and psychology at the University of California in Los Angeles. She taught in the early childhood unit at the UCLA Lab School and supervised student teachers. 

Mary is the mother of three grown children and has four grandchildren. During the years she was raising her own children she taught in the gifted program of the Los Angeles Unified Schools, primarily in South Central L.A. For the past 20 years Mary has been a workshop presenter at national, state and local conferences of the National Association of the Education of Young Children. She has been a lecturer at UCLA extension and is adjunct faculty at Santa Monica Community College in their early childhood department. She also provides workshops, teacher education and consulting with schools throughout the United States.

Mary has served as president of the North Bay Chapter of the Association for the Education of Young Children, Vice President of the Association of the Child Development Specialists. She was the recipient of the first Pediatric Aids Foundation’s “Hero’s Award” for her work with children and parents.

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