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Arguments with My Child: Causes

Most parents and children argue from time to time. No one likes it, and it can damage relationships if it happens too often, so it's important to understand why arguments occur.

Here are several reasons why:

  • Children don't fully develop the ability to understand and empathize with others until early adolescence. Young children are very centered on themselves and don't learn to take other points of view until they are four to five years old.

  • Children haven't learned how to negotiate respectfully. Does your family negotiate disagreements, or do you end up arguing? Does your family treat each other with respect while negotiating disagreements? This is one area where it is important for families to lead the way by showing young children how to resolve differences. We all need to "walk the talk."

  • Children haven't learned that no one gets their way all the time, and at times everyone has to give in a little to keep the peace.

  • As children struggle to be their own person, sometimes they argue just to feel independent. While this can try your patience, in the long run learning how to become their own person is a fundamental part of growing up.

  • And finally, sometimes arguments happen because there's a build-up of feelings. If you or your child has had a particularly trying day, any little thing may set off an argument.

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