Opinion Column

Kids don’t listen when parents divided

By Bianca Bujan

GETTY IMAGES

GETTY IMAGES

Devastated Brangelina fans have been mourning ever since Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt.

 

Part of her decision reportedly had to do with the way Brad was parenting the children, stating that it was for the “health of their family.”

While the news may have come as a shock to some, the reasoning makes sense — especially from a parent’s perspective.

Most are aware of the main causes of marriage dissolution — money or sex. But some don’t realize that parenting is just as common.

At some point, parents will bicker about how to discipline their children. It’s inevitable. It’s normal for two people who are in a relationship to have different opinions, and once a child comes into the mix, a compatible couple quickly discovers their incompatible parenting preferences.

But while some disagreement is expected, it’s important to avoid butting heads when it comes to making parental decisions — especially in front of the kids. Children are perceptive, and if they can sense that their parents aren’t in sync, they could use it to their advantage.

Imagine if two police officers stopped in the middle of pursuing an assailant to argue over who was doing it the right way. I’m sure the goon would take them less seriously and take control of the situation, or flee the scene. The same goes for kids. They will pick up on the redirected frustrations, and either twist it to get their own way, or avoid the conflict.

When a moment arises where you think a situation should be handled a certain way, and your partner wants to handle it differently, make it a rule that one of you must provide backup. Support your partner’s decision in front of the child, and discuss your disagreement when the kids are out of earshot. Show kids you are working together as a parental unit. They’ll take you more seriously if they believe you are on the same side.

It’s impossible for two parents to be on the same page all of the time, but it’s important to remain on the same team, otherwise your disagreements could wreak havoc on your relationship and your family as a whole. Come together as parents instead of putting your kids in the middle of your differences, and your family will become a more unified unit.

Bianca Bujan is a mom of three, freelance writer, and content marketing Queen Bee. She tweets at @bitsofbee and blogs at bitsofbee.com