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earthsister, Parent
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 141
Experience:  Home Child Care Provider, and mother of 4; two pre-teen boys and twin baby girls.
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My child overheard a fight between me and his father. I said

Customer Question

My child overheard a fight between me and his father. I said at some point that I hated my husband and son overheard this. This is not a common occurrence in our home. A few days later I found a knife in sons room and he said that he got it while we were fighting because he had never heard me say I hated his dad and he was afraid that his dad would hurt me or him or that hr had already hurt me and it was for protection. I dont understand why he had this reaction. His dad yells sometimes but he has NEVER hurt either of us physically. Should I be worried about this seemingly extreme reaction? He said that he wasn't going to use it just try to get his dad to stop by holding ot up if he came after him or me. He is 10 years old. Hr makes straight as. Is in the gifted program at school and is really a very good kid.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  earthsister replied 5 years ago.

earthsister :

Hello, I would like to help you today.

earthsister, Parent
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 141
Experience: Home Child Care Provider, and mother of 4; two pre-teen boys and twin baby girls.
earthsister and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  earthsister replied 5 years ago.
I think that a good first step into figuring this out is to sit down with your husband and son, and talk about what happened; the two of you (parents) can explain that you do love each other very much, however sometimes emotions can take the best of us, and that arguments can become intense. Apologize to him for that occurrence, and assure him that the two of you will work to solve your problems in a more peaceable manner from now on. I also suggest that you ask him, why would he think that his father would hurt either of you, or better yet, let his father ask him; very calmly and with love and concern. Encourage your husband to assure you son that he loves the two of you very much, and only wants to protect you both.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I really thought that this question would be answered by a child psychologist. The site led me to believe that it would be. Also, I haven't rated you. At least I didn't do it on purpose. I wanted to know from a child psychologist if this was something I should be highly concerned about and if he needed to go to a councilor and if this is "normal"
Expert:  Bonnie replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for consulting JA,
I am a child psychologist and mentor to the other experts in this category. You did accept ("rate") earthsister even if it was by accident. I am offering an opinion on her reply here.

I agree with her that this reaction is normal especially since he is bright and this is a rare occurrence. I also agree with having a family discussion and give reassurance to your son. Let him see you and husband acting as a team and loving couple.

Warm regards,
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So you don't think we need to take him to counseling right away? This is a normal reaction for a child? His dad is obviously very upset by this and I am too. Is this a reaction that children often have to parents fighting? I shouldn't be worried about the fact that his response to confrontation was to grab a knife or that hr would hurt his dad or himself? we have argued in front of him before and as far as I know this has never been his reaction.
Expert:  Bonnie replied 5 years ago.
Getting a knife was a gesture of how disturbing it is to hear you argue and especially saying that you hate dad. He may have even wanted to be a bit dramatic to express his discomfort loudly. This is a non-verbal way of asking you to avoid arguing in front of him. He just needs some reassurance that you did not mean your words and that you promise not to argue in front of him again. Turn this into a learning experience and discuss other ways to resolve conflict. Remember when parents argue, children think it is their fault (no matter how irrational that is). So he also needs reassurance that this is not his fault. He may need reassurance that you are not going to divorce (it might be on his mind). Finally, he needs to be told that you, as parents, will always protect him.

So based on this one incident, I don't think counseling is necessary and may draw too much attention to what happened. But do seek counseling if worrisome signs develop such as drop in performance at school, depressed mood, withdrawing socially.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Okay. Thank you so much. I really appreciate your help. It was very disturbing to me and you have helped calm my fears.
Expert:  Bonnie replied 5 years ago.
You are very welcome....warm regards