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      2013.12 CET4閱讀:孩子面前怎樣吵架

      It is a quandary every couple with children eventually faces: Should we fight in front of the kids?
      對有孩子的夫妻終將面臨這樣的問題:我們該不該在孩子面前吵架?

      The answer is complicated. Child psychologists who study the issue tend to say yes -- if parents can manage to argue in a healthy way. That means disagreeing respectfully and avoiding name-calling, insults, dredging up past infractions or storming off in anger, for starters.
      答案不是那么簡單。研究這個問題的兒童心理學家往往會回答“該”──如果父母能夠做到合理爭吵的話。合理爭吵,首先是求同存異,并避免扣帽子、侮辱對方、提舊事或發飆。

      'Kids are going to have disagreements with their friends, their peers, co-workers, ' says Patrick Davies, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. 'If they don't witness disagreements and how they are handled in constructive ways, they are not well-equipped to go out into the world and address inevitable conflict.'
      羅切斯特大學(University of Rochester)心理學教授帕特里克·戴維斯(Patrick Davies)說:“孩子們將會跟他們的朋友、同伴、同事產生分歧,如果他們沒有見過分歧以及分歧的建設性處理方式,那么他們就不能做好足夠的準備去闖蕩世界,去處理不可避免的沖突。”

      Dr. Davies and fellow researchers found that 'constructive' marital conflict was associated with an increase in children's emotional security, in their study of 235 families with children ages 5 to 7 published in 2009 in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Other studies have linked constructive marital conflict with the healthy development of children's problem-solving and coping skills and even happiness.
      戴維斯博士和其他一些研究人員研究了235戶有五到七歲孩子的家庭,研究結果于2009年發表在《兒童心理學和精神病學雜志》(Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry)上。他們發現,“建設性”的婚內沖突與兒童情緒安全感的增加存在關聯。其他一些研究也曾發現,建設性婚內沖突與兒童問題解決與應對能力、甚至幸福感的健康發展之間存在關聯。


      A growing awareness of how and where to fight with a spouse when kids are involved is being spurred in part by a proliferation of research linking children's exposure to a lot of unhealthy marital conflict -- characterized by hostility, threats and insults -- with a greater risk of anxiety disorders, depression and behavior problems. Also, a generation of young parents who grew up as kids of divorce in the 1970s and 1980s are now scrutinizing how their parents fought. Some vow to do things differently with their own progeny.
      在牽扯到孩子的時候怎樣與配偶爭吵、在哪里爭吵的問題之所以越來越受重視,原因之一就在于許多研究發現,兒童經受過大量不健康婚內沖突(以敵對、威脅、侮辱為特點)與焦慮癥、抑郁癥、行為問題風險增加之間存在關聯。另外,20世紀70年代、80年代成長于離婚家庭的年輕一代父母現在也在探究他們上一輩的爭吵方式。一些人發誓將以不同的方式對待自己的后代。

      Even infants can be affected by angry disagreements -- even when they're asleep. A study published in May in the journal Psychological Science took 24 babies from 6- to 12-months-old and exposed them to various tones of voice (very angry, mildly angry, happy and neutral) while they were lying asleep in an fMRI scanner. Those infants in families with higher levels of conflict between spouses had elevated responses in parts of the brain associated with reactions to stress and emotion regulation when exposed to the very angry voices during the study. Babies 'are still sensitive to things even when they're asleep, ' says Alice Graham, a doctoral candidate in psychology at the University of Oregon and lead author of the study. 'The idea of it being a time to let loose when infants are asleep is probably not accurate.'
      甚至嬰兒都有可能受到憤怒爭吵的影響──哪怕是在睡著的時候。今年5月《心理科學》(Psychological Science)上發表了一項研究的論文,該研究選取了24名六至12個月大的嬰兒,把他們放在功能性磁共振成像掃描儀里面,在他們睡著的時候將他們暴露于各種語調(非常憤怒的、比較憤怒的、快樂的、中性的)之中。在夫妻沖突程度更高的家庭中,嬰兒大腦與應激反應和情緒管理有關的區域在研究期間暴露于非常憤怒的聲音時反應更大。論文牽頭作者、俄勒岡大學(University of Oregon)心理學博士生艾麗絲·格雷厄姆(Alice Graham)說:“即便是在睡著的時候,嬰兒對事物也是敏感的。認為在嬰兒睡著時可以隨心所欲的觀點恐怕是不準確的。”

      Still, beyond universal agreement against physical confrontation, opinions vary on the right approach. Some experts say parents should keep arguments away from children because it's just too hard to fight well. 'If [parents] are going to have disagreements, they should do that in private as much as possible, ' says Thomas McInerny, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. 'It is the rare instance when [couples] can keep it rational and keep it calm.'
      但在普遍贊同不要搞肢體沖突之外,對于應該怎樣爭吵,大家各有各的看法。有些專家說,父母不應在孩子面前吵架,因為把架吵好真的很難做到。美國兒科學會(American Academy of Pediatrics)會長托馬斯·麥金納尼(Thomas McInerny)說:“如果(父母)之間要發生爭論,那么他們就應該盡量私下進行。在爭論時是很難保持理性、保持平靜的。”

      How to keep things from getting too heated for little eyes and ears? Child psychologist Kirsten Cullen Sharma suggests that parents agree in advance on an anger cutoff point for arguments. On an anger scale of one to 10, she asks individuals to define the number when they feel they start to yell, curse or generally lose control. (For one person, it could be a five. For another, it could be a seven.) During a disagreement, when Mom or Dad hits the cutoff number, the couple tables the argument to a time when the kids are asleep or aren't around. Either party can say when the other person has reached that limit.
      怎樣防止火藥味在幼小的眼睛和耳朵面前變得過于濃重?兒童心理學家科爾斯滕·卡倫(Kirsten Cullen)提議,父母親應當事先講好在憤怒情緒達到什么程度時停止爭吵。她要求人們按10分制給自己的憤怒程度打分,確定在達到哪個分數的時候,他們覺得就要開始吼叫、咒罵,或者寬泛地說是要失去控制。(這個人可能是五,那個人可能是七。)爭論期間,當媽媽或爸爸的憤怒程度達到應該停止爭吵的那個數字時,兩人就把這次爭吵推到孩子睡著的時候或不在身邊的時候。不管是哪一個人達到了這個極限,對方都可以指出。

      'One of the great skills parents can offer their children is conflict resolution. That helps [kids] in their future relationships, ' says Dr. Cullen Sharma, co-director of the early childhood clinical service at the Child Study Center at NYU Langone Medical Center.
      紐約大學朗格尼醫學中心(NYU Langone Medical Center)兒童研究中心(Child Study Center)負責幼兒臨床服務的聯席主任卡倫·夏爾瑪(Cullen Sharma)說:“沖突的化解是父母能給孩子的好技能之一。這有利于孩子將來的人際關系。”

      Caroline Rheinfrank and Chopper Bernet have an unofficial five-minute time limit for disagreements in front of their three children, ages 15, 14 and 11. 'Now that they are older, they comprehend more, ' says Ms. Rheinfrank, a stay-at-home mother in Los Angeles. Or as Mr. Bernet, an actor, explains, 'Parents need timeouts, too.' The couple also tries to prevent potential blowups by cutting each other extra slack during times with high bicker potential, including while in the car and just before dinner.
      洛杉磯的卡羅琳·萊因弗蘭克(Caroline Rheinfrank)和喬珀·貝尼特(Chopper Bernet)有三個孩子,分別是15歲、14歲和11歲,萊因弗蘭克是一位全職太太,貝尼特是一名演員。兩人之間對于在孩子面前的爭吵有一個不成文的五分鐘限制。萊因弗蘭克說:“他們長大了,所以懂得更多了。”或者像貝尼特所說的,“當父母的也需要叫暫停”。在吵架可能性較高的時候(包括開車時或晚飯前),夫妻兩人還會多寬容對方一些,以防發火。

      Parents should use their kids' reaction during a fight as a guide, experts say. A crying child is an obvious sign to end an argument. But there are more subtle cues that a kid is distressed, Dr. Davies says. 'When they start freezing, they are stuck still for a few seconds, that is a really negative sign that they feel like they are in extreme danger, ' he says. Other kids tend to 'slump over, lethargic, and look like they are sort of depressed.'
      專家說,父母在爭吵期間應當以孩子的反應為指引。孩子哭泣,是明白無誤地說明應該要停止爭吵。但戴維斯博士說,有些更加細微的跡象也說明孩子情緒不好。他說:“當他們開始發愣,愣上幾秒鐘,那其實是一種負面征兆,說明他們覺得自己是處在一種極度的危險之中。”他說,另一些孩子往往是“沒精打采地一屁股坐下,像是有些抑郁一樣”。

      Some kids misbehave to try to distract parents from the conflict. Other children attempt to insert themselves and try to mediate or take sides. All of these are signs that an argument needs to be put on hold, Dr. Davies says.
      有些孩子通過胡作非為來轉移父母注意力以結束沖突。有些孩子則是試圖介入爭吵,希望調解或站隊。戴維斯博士說,這些都說明爭吵應當暫停。

      It is not OK to drag kids into a parental fight or encourage them to take sides, Dr. Cullen Sharma says. And don't be fooled if a teen appears nonchalant about his parents' below-the-belt fighting: 'They roll their eyes, but that does not make it less painful, ' says Alan E. Kazdin, director of the Yale Parenting Center and a professor of psychology and child psychiatry at Yale University.
      卡倫·夏爾瑪博士說,把孩子拖入父母的爭吵當中或鼓勵他們站隊,都是不可以的。另外,在十幾歲的孩子看上去對父母親的過火爭吵顯得漠不關心的時候,不要被表象蒙蔽了。耶魯大學(Yale University)心理學與兒童精神病學教授、耶魯育兒研究中心(Yale Parenting Center)主任艾倫·卡茲丁(Alan E. Kazdin)說:“他們翻白眼,但這樣做并不能減輕痛苦。”

      Making sure kids see some kind of resolution to the argument is crucial, Dr. Kazdin says. 'Is there a nice makeup period and mundane chatter? Routine kind of banter will greatly alleviate the child's anxiety, ' he says. This doesn't mean that the conflict has to be solved. You may just decide to settle it later or agree to disagree. And even more critical, Dr. Kazdin says, is what goes on in the marital relationship during non-conflict times. 'The proportion of fighting to affectionate talk is the issue, ' he says.
      卡茲丁博士說,確保讓孩子看到爭論得到了某種形式的解決,是至關重要的。他說:“有沒有一個很好的和好時間段,有沒有拉家常?有個固定的說笑和解程序將會大大減輕孩子的焦慮感。”這并不是說沖突一定要解決,你們完全可以決定以后解決或求同存異。卡茲丁博士說,更加重要的是非沖突時期的婚姻關系。他說:“關鍵在于爭吵相對于溫馨談話的比例。”

      Georgi and Rick Silverman have decided not to hide arguments -- often about the division of household labor or Mr. Silverman's weekend sports viewing -- from their kids, ages 9 and 3. But they also make sure the children see them make up. 'We'll hold hands and he'll hug me and we'll say we love each other, ' says Ms. Silverman, a stay-at-home mother in Houston. 'Even if I'm a little upset, I want the kids to know, 'I still love your Mom and I'm not going anywhere, ' ' says Mr. Silverman, the chief financial officer of a facilities-maintenance business, whose parents divorced when he was 13.
      休斯敦的杰奧爾吉·西爾弗曼(Georgi Silverman)和里克·西爾弗曼(Rick Silverman)已經決定不對九歲、三歲的兩個孩子隱瞞爭吵(常常是關于誰做家務或里克周末看體育比賽的事情)。但他們也會確保孩子們看到他們和好。杰奧爾吉是一位全職母親,里克是一家設備維修公司的首席財務長,13歲的時候父母就離婚了。杰奧爾吉說:“我們會手拉手,他會擁抱我,我們會說我們愛著對方。”里克說:“我即使有些不高興,也要讓孩子知道‘我仍然愛著你們的媽媽,哪里也不會去’。”

      Bottling up anger and giving a spouse the cold shoulder when the kids are around can end up making things worse. The silent treatment is actually more distressing for kids than a healthy argument, Dr. Davies says. 'Kids pick up on that. But they don't know what is going on, ' he says, adding that children may think the fight -- and its potential consequences -- are much worse than they actually are.
      在孩子面前壓住怒火給配偶冷臉,可能會使情況變得更糟。戴維斯博士說,打冷戰實際上比合理爭吵更讓孩子不安。他說,“孩子們會注意到,只是不知道是怎么回事。”他還說,這樣的話,孩子們對爭吵及其潛在后果的判斷可能比實際情況嚴重得多。

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