Jul 28, 2014

A Letter to My Arguing Neighbors

Dear Neighbors:

Maybe I am way out there, I know I'm not perfect, but my hubby and I have only a few times had a discussion that led to raised voices.  So it happens, I know but it is a regular occurrence in your home. I hear you yelling, swearing, calling each other names, crying.  You slam doors,  you yell at the top of your lungs inside, you tell at the top of your lungs outside.  Yes, it is disturbing us, you wake our kids at night, during their afternoon naps and my daughters are afraid of you because of all the yelling.

But this isn't about us, it's about you and your family.  Maybe you hadn't thought about it, but the fighting is having a huge effect on your children.  They see and hear you argue and they think it is normal.  So, here are some things to consider:

1. Respect - I read on a blog somewhere (wish I remember where) that the house rules were to treat the people in your home as well or better than you do your guests.  I think this is a great rule to live by.  It is hard, but showing your significant other and children respect is a great goal and standard.  Showing respect for those you love strengthens relationships and encourages honesty and thoughtfulness.

2.  You are setting the example - your children look to you to set the standard of how relationships are supposed to work.  If you are constantly screaming at your significant other, your children are going to not only think that is acceptable, but that it is normal.  They are more likely to accept a relationship with the same terms, or even worse impact your child's ability to handle their own anger.

3. Your fighting has a negative impact on your child's emotional well being - from a Parents.com article " 'frequent, unresolved fighting chips away at that confidence, triggering sadness, anxiety, and fear in children of all ages,' Dr. Cummings explains." These feelings can grow and affect other aspects of your child's life including relationships with others.  From The Telegraph:  "Those who had experienced family discord in their formative years had a smaller volume of grey matter in the brain, particularly the cerebellum (which has been linked to problems such as impaired learning, anxiety, schizophrenia, depression and bipolar)."

I can clearly see the negative impact your fighting is having on your children.  Please get help!  Find someone to talk to, work out your issues in a calm manner and show your children how adults resolve their differences in a respectful manner.

Respectfully, your neighbor!

Metro Detroit Mommy Writer:


  1. Dear Respectfully,
    Although all of your suggestions 1 thru 3 are valid, not everyone is fortunate enough to have only had a few discussions that led to raised voices! I am your neighbor, the victim of domestic violence. I am very aware of the common sense in your advice. As much as it bothers you, I live with it not by choice. Your advice is thoughtful however, I would like to give you some advice. Instead of "you should" and judgement maybe you could show some kindness and compassion by asking if there is anything you can do to help. Sticks and Stones may break bones but words can break hearts...

    1. Tracey, I have in fact offered my assistance. I have their children over to my home often, I have offered to take them anytime they need someone (free of charge at literally any time.) I have offered my ear for council, and I too have been in an abusive relationship, but I took the (what seemed to be at the time) impossible path of leaving the relationship. It all worked out for the better.
      Speaking from experience, you do chose to stay in that relationship. It is a choice. You can leave, it is possible, you might not like the other options, but they are there and there are a ton of community resources to help women and children. If you are local to Metro Detroit, please let me know I can send you some referrals.
      I strongly urge you to get some help if you are the victim of domestic violence. The impact it has on your children is lifelong, and things will escalate if you don't both don't seek counseling.
      It might not seem like it but you don't have to live in that situation, there are other options and you can get out, you just have to make that choice and make it a priority.