Using Children as Weapons – Adventurer Style 2

Using Children as Weapons in Family Disputes

The Adventurer Parent Copyright Material  Written by Christina McMahon

When you first meet they are often charming; sociable; exciting; enthusiastic and fun to be with it; this person makes life interesting and vibrant.

What do they do in a crisis if unskilled? They can be passive or aggressive, very manipulative and sometimes subtle. If highly educated can be cynical, sarcastic and very clever with words to make sure they are still the centre of attention. Females can use emotional drama to get their way and men can use emotional charm or distraction to get their way. (These are generalisations). Often have very close relationships with their children built on having fun and breaking routines, boundaries and behaviour expectations; seen as child like when with the child.

How do they use children as weapons?

Because they are the natural entertainers and charmers the relationship with their children is focussed on having fun. They are not always responsible to support suitable behaviour management boundaries or limits. They can manipulate their children; they are the fun and exciting parent who allows the child do things that the responsible parent will not allow. They are very persuasive through their ability to create relationship based on charm. They can use children as weapons by encouraging a child to see the other parent as the boring, over protective or too harsh parent; causing the parent who is trying to establish routines to be seen as the problem parent who does not know how to relax and enjoy themselves. If they have available money they could offer children treats; exciting trips; days out; latest expensive toys etc. They are buying the ‘love’ of the child. The other parent is wrong; not as good; boring; too strict; and stops the child from ‘playing’. One parent is irresponsible and the other could be over responsible! The child may end up supporting the breaking of parenting agreements to have fun with the irresponsible and fun parent.

So how does the ‘balanced’ parent help to break the pattern?

Make sure you get professional help to move through your emotional issues.

Meet the needs of the other parent where you can and it is reasonable, their needs are recognition and change. This parent really wants attention so they need to be ‘called’ on what they are doing; especially the manipulation. Not easy if you can’t do it in a way that deescalates the behaviour. This parent can change quickly when attention is received from another source; they could ‘forget’ their own child and become distracted. When they see their child again they will be totally charming even if they have simply disappeared from the child for a period of time. They don’t mean to hurt their child, their need for attention is great, they can blow hot and cold as a parent. When with the child; the child wants them to be with them, maybe more then with you. They will love their child however sometimes their personality needs unintentionally creates destructive situations for the child. When not with the child the responsible parent then has to pick up the pieces of the discarding of attention. This parent claims you’re the problem as they have fun with children. You need to use practical means to encourage this parent to be responsible. Not easy! Make sure you have fun times with your child in a framework that is responsible so they can see you can have fun and also be responsible. Help the child understand the other parent loves them but could always come and go because of who they. 

(Training manual available: The Ego Self )

This entry was posted in Children, Divorce & Separation, News, Parenting, Relationships. Bookmark the permalink.

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