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Things the father of your kids should never say to you

By Faeza
14 April 2016

No matter how good your intentions may be, there are just some things you should never say to the mother of your children.

And no, it’s not because they are ‘overly sensitive’. Rather, words have the powerful ability to destroy (or build) one’s self-esteem and confidence. Eventually resentment might seep in, creating tension in your relationship.

With this in mind, here are 10 things you should avoid saying to the mom of your kids.

1. “That’s not how I want to raise my kids.”

It’s natural for parenting styles to differ from one parent to another. And the temptation often is to be quite critical of one’s spouse’s child-rearing techniques, explains James Sturdee, a registered psychological counsellor practising in Durban.

“There is a lot of anxiety (especially with the first child) about not making any mistakes during crucial developmental milestones, and as such I could see how this could overflow into critical assessments of the spouse’s mothering.”

Your heart may be in the right place but the the danger here is that the mother feels unappreciated and incompetent, explains James.

“[This is] made worse by the possibility that the father is actually not an expert on these matters either.

2. “Let me tell you how my mom used to do that.”

Closely linked to criticising your spouse’s parenting is the is comparison of one’s wife with one’s mother.

“Given the stereotypical (but often valid) fractious relationship between a wife and her mother-in-law, this type of comparison is very likely to trigger underlying resentments,” says James.

“No-one appreciates being told they are doing a bad job at something they are trying very hard at, especially if they are being told that a person they often feel they are competing with did this job better than them.

“Furthermore there is an underlying implication that the husband must have turned out perfectly if his mother is being put forward as the benchmark for child-rearing.”

3. “That’s your mother talking.”

Of course, the other side of this is comparing the mom of your kids to her mother in a negative light.

“This is problematic because again it is a projection of resentments and relationship tensions onto the canvas of one’s own parenting.”

You online has more details.