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Has your child ever gone behind your back to ask your spouse for something when you already said no?  Most children will try this move at least once.  It is how the other parent responds to such a challenge that is important.  If Mom says no, but Dad says okay, there is more than a power struggle between Mom and the child.  Now, she is also in the middle of a power struggle with Dad.  It also happens the other way around, but either way, the parents are battling each other while also battling to retain authority over their children. 

Parents must present a united front.  Mom and Dad are on the same side.  If one parent says no the other one agrees.  If the two of you don’t agree, don’t say so in front of your child.  Tell your son or daughter that the two of you need to discuss the issue privately before you can give an answer. 

Sometimes one parent isn’t aware that the other one already said no.  Because of this it is a good idea to ask your child if he or she has already asked the other parent, and what the other person said.  This is not an excuse to push decisions off on the other parent all the time, with a quick, “Go ask your dad.” 

Parents have to work together or children will learn to take advantage of these weaknesses.  It might not seem like a big deal when your kids are small, but by the time they are teenagers, they will have perfected this routine.  They will definitely use it to get their own way, and they’ll be out having a good time while you and your spouse are left home arguing.  Learn to present a united front now, and you can avoid future problems.