How often does your child say to you “mum said I could do this”? You then respond, “in that case, it’s fine with me”. Then later on when you check exactly what his mother said, you find out it was not at all what your child said it was. It was actually “if your father agrees, then it is OK with me”. So when your child asks for, or wants to do something, you should always say “tell me exactly what your mother said”.
If your child can drive a wedge between you and your partner, he will. He will try to do this, often completely subconsciously, as he knows he will get away with a lot more than either of you want him to. So you have to be consistent and united all the time. This means you should never contradict your partner in front of your child, even if you don’t agree at all with what she is saying.
If you show any disunity between yourselves in front of your child, he will exploit it ruthlessly. Once your child is out of earshot however, then you can express your disagreement with each other. Never has the expression ‘Divide and Conquer’ been so relevant in family life, than with a child and his parents.
If your child feels he can get away with something, by creating a rift between you and his mother, he will. Then as he grows up, it may also result in a lack of respect for you and your partner’s authority, and this will be very difficult to manage in the years ahead.