Gender Gender

‘When parents argue, children should not take sides’

Speak Out on Violence, DORIS KASOTE
WHEN parents have differences, which is normal in any marriage, children should not be seen to side with either of the parents.
I believe there are certain differences between a couple that they cannot necessarily tell the children about.
Yes, there is a parent who usually has more influence on the children than the other.  It is a well-known fact that mothers usually have more influence on the children than fathers do by virtue of them spending more time with mothers.
At the same time, this should not mean mothers should use their children to achieve their selfish motives.  It’s unfortunate that some children, even as they grow older, do not realise that their mother is trying to turn them against their father.
I always treasure what a close friend of mine once said to me as we were growing up.  She told me that never get involved in your parents’ differences, as a child, you may not know the root cause of their differences.
Even where one of the parents is seeking sympathy, give them an ear, but do not carry the opinion one parent has towards the other.
Just as much as I agree that some parents, both mother and father, leave children with no choice but to carry feelings of detest towards them, there are those parents who are just unfairly judged by their children because they listen to one side of the story by one of their parents.
This brings me to a couple I know.  Two of their three children carry so much hate against their father while one endeavours to be objective.  Despite this one child advising the other siblings not to take sides when their parents differ, the two have been adamant.
These two children have no regard for their father.  When the wife begins verbally abusing him by hurling insults at him, the two children join in.  The woman’s family also prides in joining in the fight without taking a moment to analyse the problem.  To them, the woman is always right and the husband deserves to be ‘fixed’.  Some relatives to the woman even threaten to end the man’s life.
A wife is a helper and a man, the head of the house but this does not mean, even when the chips are down for the head of the house, his wife cannot chip in to sort out one or two things in a home.
It amazes me to hear some women, despite being in employment, brag about not spending a penny in a home.  Not even buying a packet of salt.  Some of these women claim when they spend the money, the husband will end up spending his money on other activities such as drinking or girlfriends.
But there are times when a man sincerely is not able to meet the needs of his family, not because of other activities but due to one reason or the other.  In such a situation where a woman has a fat bank account but is adamant about running some errands in the home, who, in all honesty, is such a woman punishing but the entire family, her children inclusive who she claims to adore.
Such women are hard-hearted. They really do not have the interests of their family at heart.  Their motive is being insolent towards their husbands, which along the way also hurts the children.
Some men have suffered at the hands of such wives, being insulted and disrespected.  In some instances, even neighbours know what kind of relationship the two have.  It’s a wonder why such couples continue to live together, best they part company.
Whatever reason such couples may have to stick together cannot surpass happiness, whether it’s property, children or merely keeping up appearances.
Children, please stay clear of your parents’ differences, unless you are certain beyond all reasonable doubt that one of them is merely being irresponsible.  Even then, it’s uncalled for that a child can begin to abuse his father, verbally or physically.
As children, what you need to bear in mind is that you too will grow up and become husbands or wives. Would you want to find yourselves in this situation?
Until next week;
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