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Old 11-22-2012, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Seriously?

Of course, the children's welfare and feelings should be considered, but consulting them on how to run an adult relationship? That is wacko to me. They are only 4 and 5 years old. No children should be given authority to make decisions about the intricacies of adult interpersonal relationships or how a household is run.
I agree. Not only the responsibility, but the burden.

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Originally Posted by SkylerSquirrel View Post
I read "listen to the children" as make sure they know their voices and preferences are HEARD. That doesn't mean that those preferences will be followed to the letter. It just means that the children know you will try to accommodate their preferences as much as you can, and that if you do end up going against their wishes, it's for an important reason.

It's very important for children to know that they are being heard ... that the adults in their lives care about how they feel.
She didn't just say listen to them, she said they should have a say in what happens. Those are two different statements. There's a big difference between letting your child feel heard, and asking them to make grown-up decisions. "Mommy and Daddy can't live together anymore, but we still love you. Do you want to discuss how you feel about that?" lets them feel heard without putting them in a tight spot.

It could be even worse if they're old enough to understand a little. Probably not at 5, but suppose at 8 or 10, they might understand just enough about homosexuality to realize that it's unusual for a lesbian to be married to a straight man. A child that age might think they "should" separate in order to express their sexuality, but may not want to voice that thought because it means splitting up the family. I can think of all kinds of variations on that theme, all of which are detrimental to the child's mental health.

A child that young should not have a say in their parent's relationship. They don't understand life well enough to have a say. Kids don't think rationally. They respond emotionally. They only know about wants, not needs.

Besides, what is there to ask them, really? "Do you want Mommy and Daddy to live in different houses?" Well duh. I can pretty well predict the response to that question. But what if you ask them, they say they want Mommy and Daddy to live together, and then it doesn't work? They may feel like it's their fault, that they didn't try hard enough, etc. Kids don't understand that stuff. Putting that responsibility and burden on them is completely unfair.
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 11-22-2012 at 08:22 AM.
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  #12  
Old 11-23-2012, 02:51 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkylerSquirrel View Post
I read "listen to the children" as make sure they know their voices and preferences are HEARD. That doesn't mean that those preferences will be followed to the letter. It just means that the children know you will try to accommodate their preferences as much as you can, and that if you do end up going against their wishes, it's for an important reason.
I am sorry but good parenting is not about accommodating children's preferences. Sure, a parent needs to look out for and take care of their kids' physical, intellectual, and emotional needs, but that does not mean they should always try to accommodate a child's preference. There are so many bratty, spoiled children out there nowadays who feel ike they canalways get what they want because too many parents are giving far too much power to their kids and running their families by consensus. I remember reading a post on another forum I used to visit where the mother was desperately trying to find a different school for her daughter because the girl "didn't like" the school she was in -- and she was only in kindergarten! WTF!

The fact is that, more often than not, children would prefer things to go in a direction that would not be good for them, or would unduly stress the whole family. Parents have to be in charge. It is a good thing for children to learn that they won't always get what they want, and that life is full of disappointments. A ten-year-old might prefer his own room - according to you, the parents should "try to accommodate their preferences as much as they can." So does that mean they need to stress out and possibly go into deeper debt to buy a bigger house so he can have it (which I often see on the show House Hunters)? No, of course not. There's nothing wrong with sharing a room. I mean, a four-year old might prefer to have a pet horse in her bedroom and for mommy and daddy to live together forever in a castle in the clouds. Come on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklepop View Post
the children - that they should have a say in what happens. But, I do feel that if they are on board. . . it could absolutely work.
And what if they are not on board? What if the children cry and cry for days? Should the adults in the house really base decisions about their personal relationships on whether or not the children are on board with what they want to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
She didn't just say listen to them, she said they should have a say in what happens. . . . Kids don't understand that stuff. Putting that responsibility and burden on them is completely unfair.
Totally.
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