When partners don’t agree, the child will soon learn who to go to, to get what they want. It teaches the child to be manipulative! Ultimately the child can end up running the family, not the parents.
Jim and I had a discussion with a young man whose parents had divorced when he was twelve. He said he quickly knew he could pit them against each other. He confessed he used it for all it was worth to get what he wanted from them. The interesting thing was his final statement; “My kids will not be able to do that to me!”
It is vital as parents that you work out what you are going to do and then put the plan into action as a united front. If you say to your child you will clean up the toys before going to bed, then while your partner is out, you decide you can’t be bothered and leave them, you have violated the agreement. What you are doing is sending a loud yet subtle message to your child that undermines the other parent’s authority. It teaches the child the art of being deceptive and manipulative causing tension and undercurrents in the parent’s relationship.
If you want harmony in your home, it is necessary for the two of you to speak together and come to an agreement on a course of action. If there is a disturbing behaviour that is frustrating you, ask yourself the question, “Are we working on this together in agreement?” If it’s an issue, for your family’s sake, take the time to discuss the problem because two cannot walk together without agreement.