The Good Parent


What are  the obligations of your parent who is  kind and caring and obviously loves you? 

One obligation is to keep you safe. When you have one horrid parent and a kinder one, the kind one should be able to help you if you are being emotionally attacked by your difficult parent.  This includes supporting and protecting you when you are under threat.  It means not being passive in the face of a tirade directed at you and giving excuses for their partner’s bullying rants. Unfortunately this is often not the case. 



It is important to remember that parenting is a joint venture between two adults.  While parents need and often want to present a united front, if one of them is being horrible then the other parent has an additional responsibility to be supportive of you.  If they find it too challenging to do so in the heat of a row, then they certainly should  as soon as possible afterwards.    

When a child is regularly under attack from their horrid parent, they will often be grateful that at least they have one parent who is kind to them.  But is this enough? It may be hard to criticise this kind parent, but if they don’t stick up for you, understand your plight and protect you, you are entitled to ask why not?

Sometimes young people in this situation feel intensely sorry for the gentle parent, particularly when the tables turn and the nasty parent shouts and behaves badly towards them.  The difference is that the parent is an adult and you are a child.   They may do nothing because they are scared, but that is their decision not yours.

If your love for your gentle parent is heavily mixed with feeling responsible for protecting them, they are probably failing in their parental duty towards you. It’s an uncomfortable thought, but it is important to be realistic and accept that although you love your kind parent they have let you down.

What do you think? Do add your thoughts on our forum.