Since I got divorced my children have had the wonderful opportunity to play us up against each other. …mostly due to the fact that we were hell bent on making life difficult for each other.
Somewhere along the years , I resolved to stop being the parent that gave in and reminded myself to just be a parent.
Just because we divorced doesn’t mean we divorced our kids …we are still their parents.
I may want very little to do with my ex but at some point I married him , had kids and well that should be enough to still work with him. Those who know him , realise the frustration in that statement some days but none the less Co -parenting means we both have to be grown up enough to make the right decisions.
Granted some issues we totally disagree on and won’t change our opinions but our kids are old enough to have chosen where they stay full time and so also need to be old enough to follow that homes rules.
Dad’s home … dad’s rules
Moms home …. moms rules
Enter step parents and step siblings .
And then the drama started….
Each time a child hated dad’s rules …..I want to live with mom! And each time moms rules didn’t sound great … I want to live with dad !
Oh yes ! You can bet in the beginning I moved heaven and earth to go “save” my “poor” child from their evil other parent.
Was I doing them any good ? No!
I wasn’t teaching my child how to cope with life. I wasn’t teaching him to take his concequences or face his responsibilities and I wasn’t teaching my child to obey his parents or their rules.
In fact what I was teaching my kids was it’s ok to be rude and disrespectful to your parent and I’ll support you.
I was teaching them they were entitled to being rude brats and the world would rush to save them.
I was teaching them not to own up to their responsibilities and also that they had no concequences.
So how did I become the bad guy and ditch the guilt?
That was much harder than I imagined, but I followed the following steps :
I learnt to say …
I stopped rushing to “save” them .
I started listening to both sides of the story …theirs and their dad’s.
I thought of myself in that situation, what my reaction would be and how appropriate the punishment they were trying to fob off was.
I reminded myself of the lessons I’m trying to teach them.
I remind myself that one day when i’ve raised an independent, responsible productive member of society they will see and know the wisdom behind my “bad guy parenting” choices.