Spouse Contradicts Partner in Front of Kids

Father:  “Jennifer, you are kicking my feet under the table. Please take another chair.”

Jennifer:  “I don’t want to.”

Mother:  “Why should she have to move?”

Father:  “Fine. Then I’m moving – I don’t have to sit here and be kicked.”

Parents have a powerful biological urge to protect their children. From anyone. Including their spouse. However, cialis parents need to differentiate between those times that they must protect their child and those times that they must keep their mouths shut! If a spouse is abusing a child (physically or psychologically harming the child to the point that Family Services would intervene if they knew about it) then of course, unhealthy a partner must intervene to put an end to the mistreatment.

However, if the spouse is simply using a parenting strategy that the other spouse doesn’t approve of, doesn’t like or doesn’t think is the best way to go, then it is crucial NOT TO INTERVENE.  When parents intervene over these kinds of non-issues, true psychological harm can occur to the child. This is the very opposite of the goal of the intervening parent. The intervener is desperately trying to arrange the very best parenting experience for his or her child. Yet, the intervention itself has many harmful effects. Let’s look at the dialogue above (and let’s make the assumption that this kind of dialogue occurs regularly in this family) to see what the child is learning from the short conversation between her mother and father:

  • Jennifer learns that women treat their husbands disrespectfully.
  • Jennifer learns that she can be rude to her father and both parents will tolerate it.
  • Jennifer learns that men are passive and weak.
  • Jennifer learns how to have a bad marriage.
  • Jennifer does not learn how husbands and wives communicate well.
  • Jennifer feels responsible for causing her parents to fight.

If Jennifer’s mom had just said something like, “Don’t speak to your dad like that. If he asked you to move, then please move right now” Jennifer would have learned the following:

  • Parents support & respect each other
  • A child needs to be respectful to her parents
  • Parents work together as a team.
  • Grown men and women are effective

In other words, mom would have helped her daughter so much more by supporting her husband even though she didn’t approve of his request. His parenting behavior wasn’t abusive – it just wasn’t to her standard. This is the area in which this mom needs to change her strategy in order to truly protect her daughter.

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