An example: My 14 yo is beautiful – inside and out. Overly sensitive sometimes, she’s a joy to be with and I love spending time with her.
Then she got a boyfriend who was messing her around. I watched, not wanting to interfere but worried for her.
One evening, she was on Messenger Chat, clearly trying to solve an argument (never a good idea online, it’s true) and she was getting upset. She was actually typing with little tears running down her cheeks. Step-dad asked her to switch it off and go finish her chore. She asked him for more time. He said no. I was witnessing all this feeling really sad for her. I whispered to him to allow her more time, but he refused. Eventually, he shouted at her and took her laptop away. Now in floods of tears, she ran out of the room and slammed the door. What did he do? Called her back and made her apologise for slamming the door. When she had been in her room for half an hour, I said I might go up and make sure she was alright. He said no. He told me I was being too soft with her and making a rod for my own back. I went up anyway, and gave her a big hug so she could go to sleep knowing her Mum cared about her feelings.
I came downstairs to a hostile husband, ready for a row. I went to bed, but he followed, shouting at me that I was a bad parent, that my daughters would go off the rails without him there to discipline them. Same old same old.
I’m still glad I did it.