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Parents Venting to Children

Updated on September 23, 2008
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Sunshine is a wife, mother of four, a relationship expert, a journalist, a photographer, a public speaker, and author.

Can you vent to your kids about your spouse?

Children are wonderfully resourceful, and will take full advantage of an opportunity to pit mom and dad against each other. As a parent, it is your job to be a parent, not a friend. Sure, we all want our children to like us, but our job as parents has nothing to do with our own needs. Our job is to raise our children to be prepared for the real world, not to like us. If you want some one to like you, get a friend. Children cannot prepare for the real world if they spend their childhoods smothered by issues at home.

Parents who vent to their children about the other parent are failures. I refuse to sugar coat the matter when the future of the world is at stake. Failures. If the above statement caused you grief for one second, you are guilty. Not only are you making it impossible for that child to respect the other parent, you are training a master-manipulator who is going to use that to get her way for the rest of her life. How does a child learn the value of working for what they want when they can just manipulate for it? How do you enforce consequences when you don't even teach your child respect?

Parents are a team. You may or may not like every parenting choice from your co-parent, but tough. You have to show your child that you are an unfaltering wall, and that each of you will support the other's decision, and this is non-negotiable. Not only do children crave that stability, it teaches them how to be adults. It teaches them how to do the right thing.

Too many parents are failing their children because of their own selfishness, and it's heartbreaking. We should be outraged. Do something about it. Take a parenting class before it's too late, and you have failed at raising children.

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