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Never contradict each other before your kids

By Vision Reporter

Added 2nd November 2011 09:03 PM

In some families, when the mother refuses a child to do something, they run to the father who prompty grants it. Children eventually start playing the parents against each other.

Never contradict each other before your kids

In some families, when the mother refuses a child to do something, they run to the father who prompty grants it. Children eventually start playing the parents against each other.

 

In some families, when the mother refuses a child to do something, they run to the father who prompty grants it. Children eventually start playing the parents against each other.

This teaches children to disrespect authority and to always take the easy way out in life when they become adults, writes Maureen Nakatudde Mark, an S2 student, wants to go to the beach to celebrate one of his girlfriends’ birthday parties. His father thinks that it is not right for him and so he refuses him to go. Mark knows that he is his mother’s sweetheart, so he asks her, and she gives him permission to go. She argues that children should have some fun once in a while. Mark geos to the party, but leaves his parents having an argument with each other. 
 
This situation is not an isolated one in a family setting. It is very common to have battle lines drawn between the parents. Failure to agree on the methods of parenting your children will not only bring confusion to them, but will also rob them of a safe environment to grow into responsible adults.
 
Christopher Acan, a parent and a curriculum specialist at Compassion International, says when parents offer differing instructions to the children, they are at a loss. “They will tend to mix up things,” Acan says. “In fact, instead of doing what you want, they will do a different thing altogether.”
 
Besides that, Steven Langa, a counsellor with Family Life Network, says you risk your children playing you against one another. For instance, a child can ask one parent for permission, knowing the other might say no. Alternatively, they could ask you both for the same thing, causing you to waste resources simply because you failed to draw proper boundaries of raising the child. 
 
 “One way you can prevent that is to let the children know that you have one voice. If the mother says something, the children should be assured that is what the father has said,” Langa says. “For instance, I agreed with my wife that if a child asks the same thing from both of us, we punish them. They will know that it is bad and will not replicate the behaviour.”
 
Acan says having two voices instead of one messes up the children. You will end up raising undisciplined children, who will always choose the easier option, even when it is the wrong choice. He notes that it is very important not to second guess each other when it comes to disciplining the children. Always mean what you say and stick by it.
 
Never under-estimate your child’s ability to reason, adds Acan. “They will watch and also listen. In the end they will not do what you tell them, but they will do what you do.” 
 
The moment children sense a gap in what you are telling them, they will use it to their advantage to do what is wrong.
 
Why unity is vital
Do you want your child to be safe? Langa says when parents agree on the methods of discipline, it is not only good for the children, but also for the parents. It shows they have a healthy marriage. Besides, one voice gives clear direction to a child. “It is very essential for discipline and boundary. If they are within the boundary, they are safe and if they are not, it is total chaos,” Langa says.
 
If you are to disagree with one another, Langa urges you to do it without your children’s knowledge. This is to avoid being a bad example to the children since you are supposed to be their role model. “For better children, agree with you partner from the beginning in disciplining and later talk about it.” 
 
Pastor Sarah Mwesigwa says raising children with one voice requires that both of you give time to your children. If there is always one parent around doing the disciplining, he or she will turn out to be the devil while the other turns out to be a saint. 
 
“If at all you can’t both be there at the same time, it is essential to update your partner on what happened when he or she was away,” says Mwesigwa. This is because sometimes, parents who are never around may feel guilty and hope to make it up to the children by indulging their every whim, even when it is contrary to what their partner wants, which is not good for the child’s upbringing.

Never contradict each other before your kids

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