Do you as a couple disagree on how to parent your children?

“Just chill its ok for him to eat in front of the TV – don’t be such a stickler all the time!”

“You must allow children some down time – you can’t expect them to study all the time.”

“So what if he didn’t say hello to your boss – he is just a kid.”

“He is not a bully, he was being provoked that’s why he hit the other child, don’t be harsh on your own child.”

 

Have you ever disagreed with your spouse on such scenarios and many others while parenting your children?

Marriage is a union between individuals who have been raised in different ways, with their own set of values and beliefs. Most parents, parent their children the way they have been parented. So given that we come from different backgrounds couples can expect some differences at some point on their parenting journey.

Having differences and disagreements is normal, and to some degree healthy for the children to witness and see how parents disagree and then sort out their differences and maintain a healthy relationship. The problem arises when there are too many differences especially couples not able to come to a mutual consent on how children need to be raised. The one who suffers the most is the child when he does not know which parent to listen to or turn to and in the long run it will impact the development of the child.
In the video Monday Mornings with Sunaina Episode 83, I share some strategies on how to resolve your differences as a couple so that you can parent your child in a stable and loving family environment.

  • Its ok to have disagreements as long as it is done behind closed doors. Since we are individuals first and parents next we will have our own point of view depending on our view of the world and parenting. So it is normal and natural to not agree on how to parent your child. However these disagreements should be expressed behind closed doors away from the children so that they are not subject to any confusing messages.
  • Why your child should not be witness to the disagreement? Because it will only confuse your child – it’s just like having two bosses at work. It would completely confuse your child as to whom they should listen to.
  • Children will automatically follow the lenient parent as opposed to the disciplinarian. In the long run if the parental disagreements continue children will learn to manipulate and play one parent against the other for their own benefit. In the same manner if you had a lenient boss and a strict boss you would be inclined to follow the boss that suits you.
  • How do you resolve these parental differences. After having children, parents tend to focus all their time and energy on their baby, toddler and then young child allowing their relationship to take a back seat. Couples tend to lose touch with what is common to both of them and their mutual differences become wider. It is very important for a husband and wife to nurture their relationship as a couple by going out for dinner dates and lunches because their strong understanding will have a positive impact on the development of their children.
  • Parents need to present a “united front” in front of their children so that they cannot play one parent against the other. A couple needs to be on the same page with regards to their philosophy on how to parent their child and when they spend alone time together they can use the time to iron out any differences and reconnect so that their children know and can feel that they are being parented by their “parents” and not two different individuals. A mutual loving and respectful relationship amongst parents is the foundation of a healthy family and the all round development of the children.


Action:
If you would like help as a parent or for your child email sunainaathena@gmail.com to book a FREE 30 minute session via phone or skype in the month of May. Now only 5 sessions remain!