It can be one of the most debated topics among couples… how to parent your children. When we make the decision to become man and wife we become consumed with a number of questions. We are comfortable having the discussion do we want children? Rarely do we communicate the specifics of how do we want to raise our children? Many times we do not even know what type of parenting style we want to adopt until we are actually raising children. It is when we are brought face to face with the reality of parenting that we begin to fully understand the ramifications of every decision we make.
When two people come together to make one unified decision there can be disagreements. The one thing we can always agree on is that we want the best for our children. Here are 4 tips that can help keep your marriage strong when you are suffering from parenting differences.
Talk about differences away from kids
It never helps a situation to undermine one another in front of children. If you or your partner becomes frustrated, or disagrees with how to handle an important decision, take a time out. The best thing to do is discuss the situation with your partner away from the kids. Start by being kind to each other. Talk about the specific problem at hand and how you feel about it. Present your problem solving option and then take the time to listen to your partner’s solution. Remember to stay open to their perspective.
The pain we carry from events in our own childhoods can shape how we handle present events. Be open to listening to all points of view. When you take the time to discuss problems as a team and work through your pain points you and your partner gain a better understanding of how to solve problems together.
Practice the “we’re on the same team” mentality
Kids have a way of pitting one parent against the other in order to get their way. It’s the classic divide and conquer maneuver. That’s why it’s always important, no matter how you’re feeling on the inside, to keep a unified front on the outside. Not only will this tactic keep you from arguing in front of your kids, it is also a great chance to teach kids what teamwork looks like.
Get another perspective
If you feel like you are constantly running into a brick wall when it comes to parenting decisions with your partner it may be time to get a new perspective. Sometimes we are so wrapped up in our problems day-to-day we fail to see the big picture. There are times that we need to take a step back and begin to see things from a new angle. Read an article about a topic that has you and your partner stumped, talk to other parents about how they handle parenting disagreements, watch a webinar, or find an hour to talk to a therapist. A little perspective on a situation can go a long way!
Give second chances
You are not perfect. Neither is your partner. You will both make mistakes; you with both disagree from time to time. Guess what? That’s ok. Making accusations, threats, or blaming does not resolve the problems at hand, it hurts your relationship with your spouse and it hurts your relationship with your kids. Listen to each other, work on compromise, and above all…. remember to forgive.
Parental disagreements can actually strengthen your partnership and expand your understanding of each other and your child. Marriage is a partnership… parenting is a partnership.