Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Child rearing - who's views prevail? Mum or Dad's?

Mum wants you to have long hair and dad short.
Mum wants you to be a vegetarian and dad thinks you need the protein from meat.
Mum wants you not to go skiing and dad wants to take you on a skiing holiday.
Mum wants you not to have treatment for your brain tumour.
Mum wants you not to see dad's girlfriend.
Dad wants you to join scouts.
Mum wants you to be brought up a strict catholic.
Mum wants you to go to private school.

The list can go on forever.  There is opportunity to argue about every aspect of a child's life and it can cause problems when couples are still together.  But what when they separate? Who wins?

Each parent has parental responsibility and has a right to their view being taken account of in important aspects of a child's life - schooling, religion.  Day to day decisions are left to the parent whom the child is with - so dad can set a different bedtime and diet if he wishes.

Some people refuse to share this parenting role and the children are put in an impossible position.

In a recent case reported in The Telegraph a mother would not allow her 5 year old son to see his father because she wanted him to be a vegetarian and was worried the father would feed him meat.  The Judge has threatened to remove the child from the mother's care if she does not support contact with the father.

Adjusting to two sets of rules is hard for children.
Living between parents who hate each other is hard for children.
Choosing between parents is hard for children.

It is obvious so one can assume that all parents know this, but for some their priorities are on punishing their ex and not their children's welfare.