People often talk about dysfunctional patterns in divorced or separated couples that hurt children. However, couples do not necessarily have to be separated to create an unhealthy environment. Parents can adopt toxic habits when living under the same roof.
The way couples communicate, treat and work together can improve or reduce a child’s quality of life. Parents who show mutual respect, cooperation and encouragement teach their children healthy relationship skills.
Couples who exhibit toxic behaviors send their children the wrong message about love and life. The dysfunctional behavior of a couple can influence the way their children look at themselves and the world around them.
Here are five toxic parenting habits among couples that negatively affect children and what you can do to fix them.
1. Compete to be the best parent
Instead of cooperating with each other, some couples behave as if in direct competition. Unfortunately, when couples compete for the «father of the year», everyone loses. Families are stronger when they work together as a team.
Trying to show that you can get up as many times as possible at night or that you can clean the house as quickly as possible in an effort to overcome your partner’s brilliance will hurt your relationship as well as your children.
Children are better served with two capable and confident parents, rather than an exhausted parent with a complex of superheroes and a parent trying to pick up the pieces. Your goal should be to work in a team so that you can both work in the best way.
2. Excessive compensation to the other parent
Different parenting styles can cause one parent to overcompensate the other. If one parent tends to be strict, the other may respond by being more relaxed in an effort to balance the couple’s meaningless attitude.
The game «good father, bad father» encourages children to handle the situation.
Overcompensation of the other parent leads to a lack of consistency, which is unhealthy for children.
Yes you and your husband do not agree with the discipline , examine yourself parenting styles . Work together to establish regularly and consequences clear at home that you will both apply constantly.
3. Compete to like yourself more
Sometimes parents strive to become their children’s favorite parent. The need to pray often causes them to give in to bad behavior or spoil a child in an effort to win his favor.
Trying to gain your child’s approval will eventually backfire. In this situation, your child will be happy only when he does not follow the rules.
The children need it a clear structure , firm limit Yes constant discipline , which means that there will be days when you will not win any popularity contest.
It is normal for children to like one parent more than the other on certain days. Parents should not compete to get more affection from their children.
4. Collude with the child
There are many ways in which parents work with a child. A mother who spends a lot of money on clothes back to school and tells her son, «Don’t tell Daddy about it!» create an unhealthy (and dishonest) dynamic.
Similarly, a father who conspires not to tell his partner that the lamp has broken because his son is playing basketball in the living room does not help the situation.
Keeping secrets from your partner, lying, complaining about your child’s other parent, or accepting behavior that the other parent would never allow are unhealthy parent-child dynamics.
When a parent works with a child, the family hierarchy begins to change, which can introduce more problems at home.
Instead, work with your partner to parent together and never team up with your child against the other parent.
5. External disagreement on discipline
It is not healthy for children to see that their parents do not agree with what is best for them, for example, hearing parents argue with phrases like «I shouldn’t go to free time for this» or «I think you should be allowed to go out with friends today! «
Showing disrespect for the other parent will encourage the children to do the same. Instead, show your child that you respect your partner’s opinion, even if you don’t agree with it.
If you do not agree with a disciplinary strategy, present a united front when you are in the presence of your child and discuss your concerns in private.
At this point, it is better to follow a discipline strategy that you do not agree with than to behave in a way that shows your child that you do not trust the opinion or judgment of your partner.
How to reduce toxic habits
If you and your partner are caught in toxic habits, you may need professional help to remedy them. It may be helpful to talk to a family couple therapist who can help you learn to give up behaviors and habits that affect your relationship and your children.
If your partner refuses to participate in therapy, you can do it yourself. You can benefit from learning individual strategies to be the best parent you can be, while limiting the negative effect of toxic parenting habits on your family.in the absence.