We have all heard that parents need to present a united front when dealing with their kids. This is easier said than done. Each person was raised differently and may have different ideas about raising children. Here are some ways to help parents come together.
Begin with some ground rules. If one parent has to make a discipline decision, the other parent, even if they privately disagree, should always back up the other parent. Discuss it later, but don’t disagree in front of the kids.
If you disagree on making a decision about your child, see if you really feel strongly about it. If one parent really feels strongly, then make it okay to speak your mind. If you are the parent that disagrees, then allow the other parent to tell you why they feel strongly. At some point you will both have to give and take.
It is ok to give your child empathy, but don’t make your partner look bad. If you disagree with the decision, empathize with your child, but tell them that Dad (or Mom) is only thinking about what is best for them.
Make time to talk together about how you were raised and what kind of parenting style you are used to.
Understanding each other will really help to find ways you can come together. You will probably find that there are many more issues that you actually do agree on.
Avoid manipulation. When parents fight or disagree some children will try to take advantage of the tension to get their way. Again, try to disagree in private. Speak calmly to the kids and to your partner to avoid letting things get out of hand. Walk away if you have to. Just let everyone know you will have a discussion in 10 or 15 minutes after everyone has time to calm down and think things through.
If you continue having serious issues don’t be afraid to seek out professional counseling to help your family.
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