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When is arguing bad for our baby?
in Me, You and Baby Too

This video shows a baby at different stages of pregnancy. It shows how your growing baby gets to know during pregnancy, and becomes aware of what's happening outside the womb. It is helpful to learn how to have disagreements with your partner without getting angry or stressed, as this can affect your baby.

You can't stop arguing completely, but there are some ways of arguing that are better for your baby, both during pregnancy and after they are born. This video shows a baby at different stages of pregnancy.

 

The quality of your relationship with your partner can affect your baby in a number of ways – now and in later life:

 Problems in your relationship can affect your health in several ways:

  

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Why do we misunderstand each other?
One of the reasons you find yourself getting into arguments is because of misunderstandings between you and your partner. When we’re tired and stressed, it’s easy to think the worst. Sometimes, an innocent comment can be taken the wrong way.   Everyone argues, but not everyone argues well. Getting better at arguing together can help you solve your problems before they get worse. The good news is that you can learn skills to help you get through arguments in a way that supports your relationship. There are three simple steps to arguing better: STOP TALK IT OUT WORK IT OUT   Step 1: STOP The first step is to STOP. This means staying calm and listening. You can’t always control the way you feel, especially when an argument starts. But you can have some control over how you respond. When you feel a conversation heating up, you can try some of these tips to help yourself say calm: Take some deep breaths. Relax your shoulders. Count to 10. Take some time out. Go out for a walk with your partner. Do you find yourselves arguing about the same things over and over again? Sometimes an argument isn’t about what it first seems. An argument about money, or who does what, or who looks after the children, is rarely just about that. Understanding the root of the argument can help you talk about the things that are important to you. Have a look at this diagram which show the things people argue about the most.   Step 2: TALK IT OUT The second step is to talk through what’s going on. To do that, we have to two things: See it differently. Try to see things from your partner’s point of view. Speak for myself. Use ‘I’ statements to talk about how you are feeling. You can help avoid arguments by using a soft ‘start up’ A harsh ‘start up’ is when you go straight in with a criticism or a mean comment. It can feel like an attack and may be met with a defensive response. A soft ‘start up’ is a gentler way of bringing something up, that focuses on the issue at hand without blaming the other person. It might start with “I feel…”   Step 3: WORK IT OUT Once you are able to stay calm and talk about it, you will be able to look for solutions you can both agree on. This might be a good time to check in with your goals. Did you manage to set any? How are your getting on? Whether or not you set a goal, you might like to set a goal now. You might set a goal to do with staying calm when you feel yourself getting upset in a disagreement with your partner. You can use some of the suggestions above.  
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A situation going better
In this video did you see what happens what happens when Liam and Naomi STOP and TALK IT OUT. What did Naomi do differently? Did you see how she stayed calm and listened? How did this make it easier for Liam to respond? Why was Liam able to see things from Naomi’s point of view? How did this help the conversation? Next time you find yourself getting drawn into an argument with your partner, remember – the first step is to STOP. STOP: Stay calm and listen.TALK IT OUT: Speak for yourself and try to see things from [_your partner_]’s point of view.WORK IT OUT: Negotiate and problem-solve. John Gottman, a famous relationship researcher, found that couples have better relationships when their positive moments outweigh their negative moments. For every negative moment between you and your partner, you need five positive moments to balance it out. At the beginning of this section, we asked you to think about this Sliding Scale and identify where you and your partner might be. Arguing all the time – shouting, criticising, blaming, walking out. Arguing most of the time. Arguing sometimes and not really getting things sorted. Arguing but listening to each other and agreeing to differ. Getting on well and sorting out your difference. Now you can begin to think about where you would like to be, and how you might get there. Here are some questions to get you started: What would make it better for you? What would make it better for your baby? What would you be doing differently? What was happening when things went well?   Now it’s time to set some goals. A goal can be a thing you want to happen, or a way you want to be. Goals are a good way to make sure you use the new skills you are learning.   How to set goals What would you like to do differently? You can set goals by going to your account and clicking on ‘Goals’. Then you can either choose your own goal or pick one from our list: Stay calm – count to 10 before I respond. Listen to my partner without jumping in. Try to see it from my partner’s point of view. Notice when I criticise. Take a break if I start getting angry. Say two positive things to my partner every week. The most important thing is to PRACTISE. Whatever goals you choose, try them out over the next few weeks. The more you practise, the better you will get. The most important thing is to PRACTISE. Whatever goals you choose, try them out over the next few weeks. The more you practise, the better you will get.   
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