APSGO Parenting Blog

Dear Helen,

Please explain again the weakness in the principle of parents being “on the same page” when it comes to dealing with their children. My husband is all in favour of this more open approach, but I think it weakens our position as parents when we do not show a united front to our children. Doesn’t it also confuse them when they know their parents have a different opinion or view of the house rules? Thank you.

T.P.

Dear T.P.

Parents who do not realise that their children, even quite young children are aware of the reality of what is going on with parents are living in a fool’s paradise. Think about this: don’t children know which? parent to approach when they need money? Or who is more likely to extend curfew? Yet knowing these things doesn’t seem to warp their judgement or cause any kind of emotional meltdown.

T.P. I understand your concern. We don’t want to give our children the idea that there is some dissension or confusion between parents. We think that it might weaken our position if we don’t always agree. In fact, it is more honest and healthier to let our children see that we have different ideas about some things. It lets them see that it is possible to think differently from other people and still respect those people.

I suggest you handle the issues you differ on by discussing the ones where you differ. If you feel strongly about curfew agree that you will handle requests for extensions. If your husband thinks homework is important, let him make the decisions about that. Remember too that nothing is carved in stone. Its OK to change your mind.

Helen

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