It is wrong to say to the child “you are the man of the house”!
Your approach to your child has a very important role in your child’s healthy development. On the other hand, sometimes you may have wrong approaches to your child without realizing it. A common mistake in our culture is to say to boys, especially fathers, “You are the man of the house after me”. These words are often spoken by traveling fathers, regardless of the child’s age. Even mothers sometimes support these words. Thus, fathers put all the responsibility of “being the man of the house” on their children.
In this case, a father’s authority, decision-making authority, and responsibility for looking after the home is transferred to his son in the absence of the father. Even if the child is older, he cannot bear such heavy responsibilities. In addition, by putting this burden on the child, messages such as “you are stronger than your mother, you are the man of the house, you can take all the decisions now, mother can take care of it” are also given. However, at home, the parents make the decisions together and they have the authority together. If the father is not at home, the mother takes these responsibilities alone.
A child cannot become the man of the house before he grows up, that is, he cannot take the responsibility of the house alone. In the absence of the father, the mother will make the decisions for the child. A child cannot rule a mother. I’m not talking about taking decisions by taking the opinion of the mother or father of the child here. Here I am talking about the mother taking the place of the child and the child taking the place of the adult. If the father is on a temporary trip, the mother manages the house alone. When the father returns home, they share the responsibility of the house again. A small child cannot be given the responsibility of looking after his mother. How can you take care of a little boy’s mother? Can’t her mother take care of herself? For this reason, do not put burdens on your child that they cannot bear by saying words such as “Your voice is now the man of the house, the house is entrusted to you, your mother is entrusted to you”.
I wish you not to put burdens on your son that he cannot bear by saying that you are the “man of the house”,
Specialist Pedagogue Sevil Yavuz
Child, Adolescent and Family Psychologist,
Lecturer, Play Therapist,
Parenting Skills & Counseling Center