Gosh it’s a big job being a parent and a big thing that most parents do is blame themselves for not being a ‘good parent’.
Parents have a unique way for viewing the behaviour of a child, and both parents may have different feelings about the same behaviour of a child. You are not a bad parent if you view one child differently to another. You may have a 1 year old and a 6 year old, you may be accepting of the one year old to have a dummy but not the 6 year old – same behaviour and different level of acceptance.
We treat people differently – that’s what we do.It may be ok for you friend to make comment on your body but not your husband, once again same behaviour but different level of acceptance.
A “Good Parent” must always feel accepting of his/her child. Having a negative feeling is “bad.”
The truth is just the opposite. No parent is unconditionally and always accepting of her or his child. It is psychologically impossible. Are you always accepting of your spouse or friends? There will be times when you dislike what your child is doing, when you may have strong feelings of disappointment or anger. No parent should feel guilty for having these feelings some of the time.
It is also true that some parents are much more accepting or unaccepting than other parents. If we have had parents that were unaccepting then we may follow that model and also be unaccepting of our own children and vise versa.
Parents must be consistent with their children; their feelings must always be the same.
This is also impossible because how we may feel one day may be different the following day. It’s a very human thing to feel irritated about loud music one day and completely accepting the next because you are not the same person both days. One day you may have a headace and the next day you don’t so you are going to feel differently about the same behavior.
Likewise, you learned that you will have different feelings toward different children and different feelings about what a child is doing depending on the location–the environment – where the child is behaving. You may be more accepting of your children speaking loudly at home while having dinner but when out you are not as accepting of the loudness.
No parent should feel guilty about being human, about having feelings that depend on different circumstances.
When there are two parents living with a child, they must maintain a “united front.”
Again, we know that this is psychologically impossible. Each parent does have different feelings, depending on the factors of SELF, CHILD, ENVIRONMENT. And when one parent tries to “fake it” by acting falsely accepting or falsely unaccepting, not only does the child usually see through it, but the parent usually feels guilty for acting phoney, and often resents the other parent for insisting on the phoney role, and the child will know that you are not being true to yourself.
When we stand up to a child in a united front in an aggressive way such as two against one then this can be felt as a form of bullying by the child. This situation of having a united front becomes extremely difficult when there is a separation and the child is going from one parent to another, in that situation a parent needs to make their own decisions for their own home, because you cant always check in with the other parent.