We are all familiar with how our children will attempt to play mom against dad when the child wants something. At our house one of the first questions was “what did mom say?” or “what did dad tell you?”. Children learn early to try to get around the rules, and they refine their attempts as they get older.
What this means for a couple with children who have divorced is that the parents should continue to be consistent in their dealings with their children. So many tears have been shed, forests cut down to become paper, and dollars spent on attorney fees, counseling fees, court advisor fees, family assessment fees, parenting conference fees and the other costs involved in post dissolution family law matters because the estranged parents do not follow that simple rule.
Certainly there is a place in the system for all of these resources, particularly in abusive situations, or when a parent is unfit, though addictions or other emotional problems. Every child has the right to be safe. But let’s not allow the children to manipulate the situation in a way that causes court action and expense when it is the result of children pushing parent’s buttons to get something they want.
The Law Firm of Jessica M. Cotter, P.L.L.C.
18301 North 79th Avenue, Suite F-168
Glendale, Arizona 85308