Clinica Sierra Vista WIC

Parent to Parent

On Saturday, Mother says, “All the house needs to be cleaned before anyone goes any where else today.” Father complains, “Hey, what are you being so pushy about? Why does all this stuff have to be done today?” “What a grouch,” he says as he rolls his eyes to the children. The children smirk and make choking gestures in which Father participates.  The children begin to complain that Mother is “expecting too much from a bunch of kids,” and Father smiles with an agreeable grin. Halfway through the workday, Father says he has to go pick up some stuff and take the children out to get fast food before returning with some cleaning supplies. Mother scolds him, “I can’t believe you took them to get food when the work was not yet finished.” Father, in front of the children, responds, “Awww, stop being such a slave driver. You expect too much from these kids.” Mother begins to say something, the children giggle at Mother’s reaction, and then Mother closes her mouth and walks away.

While Father was attempting to present himself to the children as being supportive of their dilemma, he was working the wrong crowd. He acted in such a manner that he presented Mother as expecting too much from the children and painting her as a dictator. While Father thought he was being funny, he missed out on the fact that he was causing significant disruption within the multigenerational family home. The role of “Father” was defined as “one who saves” the multitudes from the detention center, while the role of “Mother” was defined as the “slave driver” who expects too much from the children. Father went so far as to disregard Mother’s ultimatum that no family member would be allowed to leave before the work was completed.

The basic problem here is that Father sets the children up to view Mother as being punitive, while he presents himself as the rescuer. Should this continue, Father is TEACHING the children that Mother is too overbearing, too strict, too demanding, and too harsh, while he is the defender and liberator of the family. Translated: Mother is a bore and domineering. Do not pay any attention to her. Father is fun and the champion of the children.

This process will disrupt Mother’s attempt to present herself to the children as an authority figure in the home, will ensure that the children learn to disrespect authority, and will cause the eventual downfall of the marriage. The children are taught that women expect too much while men are the defenders of the feeble and purveyors of fun and frolic. Should children continue with this perspective, they will develop immature, lop-sided views of adults and marriage. This process will continue generation after generation until the marriage couple finds a way to resolve their individual issues and begin to work together as a couple. While no one would ever think of poisoning the family milk carton, poisoning the minds of the children can happen so easily.

Parents must find a way to support one another as a married couple and stand strong as a team united in raising the children. As one parent states the rule, the other parent presents agreement, supporting the first parent and strengthening the message by two to the children. The children learn to respect the marital unit as strong, committed, and knowledgeable. The children view the powerful marital unit as effective and certain. There is no way around them but to do the work, which they do without attitude. As the children learn to respect the authority of the marital unit, they learn to respect authority elsewhere: school, work, and in public. A strong commitment to Parenting is essential to an effective and dedicated family unit. Successful Parenting is the key to a successful family.

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Tags: Featured Story, Parenting

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