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Mom takes on most of parenting responsibilities

Question:

My husband and I have a teenager. I am a high-functioning parent; my husband is much less so. I am the one who takes care of all doctor, orthodontist, etc., appointments; supports her interests in music and sports by attending functions and providing transportation to practices; ensures she is safe by checking in with her friends’ parents; welcomes her friends into our home for dinner and sleep-overs; and connects with her teachers regarding her school performance. I do everything that I can to create a stable, healthy and happy home.  

Despite all that I do, she becomes angry with me for being consistent regarding our parenting standards. Yet she does not direct her anger at her father. She accepts or overlooks his seeming lack of interest. I would appreciate any suggestions you may have to minimize the pain and confusion this pattern is creating.

 

Answer:

At a time when she is not upset and when you don’t feel attacked with negative emotions, talk with your daughter about life and how there are many times when we are required to do things that we don’t understand or with which we don’t agree. Typically, if they are not illegal or immoral we must comply.  

Explain to her that when parenting with a partner, a united front is necessary. Parents may not always agree with each other on the rules and expectations in their household, but they must come to a good working compromise upon which they can both agree. In fact, when your daughter is considering young men as potential marriage partners and fathers, she should talk about this important subject.  

Have this conversation without putting her father down, but let her know that you don’t always agree with how he handles parenting situations. Sometimes the parent who must enforce the rules of the house will compensate for being “the heavy” by taking care of the children’s other needs along with being supportive.   

Know that there will come a day when she realizes that her anger was misdirected. She will thank you for all of the support and love you have unselfishly given to her.

 

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