Recently, while attending my daughters’ first baseball game of the season, I became aware of a conversation between two parents. I had no idea who these parents were or who their children were. Only his sons were on the same team as my daughter. Let me tell you, I don’t like gossip, I’m not a Drama Queen, I’m not interested in drama or anyone else’s drama. God knows I’ve had a more than fair share, and years ago I swore to myself that I wouldn’t go there!
So as I watch and encourage my daughter and her team, two parents come to the bleachers where I am sitting and it is obvious through their interaction that they know each other quite well. It was them and me a few feet apart in the stands, so there were no other conversations to help drown out their voices. They started talking about their children and one of them was describing how lazy and spoiled he thought his children were becoming. They talked about how far the children had to walk to get to school and whether they walk or are driven. Then the father starts tearing up his wife, saying that “she makes me take them to school and pick them up every day, even though the schools are a short walk away. She complains that I am at home doing nothing. most of the day., which should be useful and take the children to school at least. I try to explain to them that they are old enough and that school is not far away and that it is good for them to walk and be independent and teach them responsibility Almost every day one of them forgets something and she tells me to make myself useful and bring whatever they forgot to school for them. He goes on to say, “He even came up to me in the shower last night complaining that I would sit all day and do nothing. She feels that she is the only mother and what she says is valid, no matter what I think. “I think these kids are being spoiled and they need to learn to be responsible, but if I say something, I’m the bad guy.”
That was it, I couldn’t take it anymore! In fact, I looked in their direction and laughed outright, hoping they would see this as a sign that their conversation was being overheard and it was not a conversation that should have been overheard. It didn’t matter, the one that Dad just didn’t stop! I wondered, “Should I step in and tell him to be a man and a better father, to stand up to his wife and not let her run over him, or should I walk away and take a deep breath? I chose the latter.
But seriously, this is the problem with two parents having completely different parenting styles. IT DOES NOT WORK! The children play one parent against the other and then there is a good police parent and a bad police parent. When my husband was alive, they put me in the category of bad cop … I hated it, it doesn’t work! Parents must assume the role of ‘adults’ … Their children NEED limits, responsibilities, they need to gain independence and, above all, coherence on the part of both parents. We are their role models, they see everything we do and copy what we do. So if this particular father has daughters, guess what, they will command their boyfriends or husbands and they will definitely wear the pants in the family. This is so wrong, parents are partners. Do the right thing for the children you are raising. It’s about commitment, collaboration, and respect. Do you want to be in a couple or in the dictatorship of a marriage?