Is your parenting on the same page as your spouse’s parenting? You’re passionate about raising your children in the best possible way and parenting on the same page. You’ve attended parenting classes, read parenting tips, and have been conscientious about being a good mom or dad. There’s one key ingredient that you might have forgotten, and that’s the relationship with the one who helped make you a parent in the first place: your spouse. Working on your marriage may be the most important thing you’ll ever do to ensure the emotional health of your children. Your kids need you both to be on the same page and below are 5 steps that can get you started on your unified parent journey.
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5 Secrets to Raising Successful Children. Essential Parenting Tips.
1. Structure and stability: Children need structure and stability. They have special antennas to pick up tension. When they sense you aren’t getting along, they won’t tell you directly, but they’ll be sure to act out. Your children need to feel taken care of and protected. If your relationship is chaotic, you’ll create a home environment of chaos. A stable marriage provides a comfortable framework, where your kids can focus on being kids and not be distracted by the anxiety that something is wrong at home. Children actually think they are to blame for your upset. They won’t realize that your bad mood is because you aren’t getting along with your spouse.
2. Parenting on the same page: Parents need to show a united front. If you don’t get along with your spouse, it will be quite a challenge to work together as parents. When you have diverging views on raising your kids, the children get stuck in the middle and wind up taking sides. In most relationships, one parent assumes the role of disciplinarian while the other is more laissez-faire.
Parenting tip: If both parents work together, they can parent in a balanced way. If they can’t, they risk making one parent the bad guy and undermining the parent-child relationship. While even the most connected couples may have a difference of opinions on child-rearing, they’re able to work through their differences and parent effectively. Learn how to work together so you can be on the same page for your kids.
3. Modeling healthy relationships: History repeats itself, and this is certainly true when it comes to relationships. I have seen many young couples experiencing the same relationship breakdown they saw in their homes. Parenting tip: More important than any book or speech is how we model to our children. The relationship your children witness in your home will be the factor that impacts most in how they’ll conduct themselves in their own relationships. Most parents wish they could leave their child an inheritance. Even if you have no money to leave, you can give them the gift of seeing a loving, stable marriage. If you are suffering in your marriage, you surely won’t want your kids to experience what you’re going through. Work on your relationship so you can spare them the grief and provide a model they can look forward to.
4. Accepting your child: The best way to practice being a good parent is to learn how to be a good spouse. Parenting tip: When you employ relationship skills with your spouse, you’ll have a much easier time applying them to your children. One of the greatest challenges in any relationship is fully accepting the other. As you learn to exercise your compassion muscle by listening to your spouse without judgment and making space for him/her, you’ll find it easier to do so with your kids. When you accept your children by validating their feelings without reacting, you help build their self-esteem. Even when you disagree, you can assure them that their feelings make sense. Working on your marriage gives you invaluable experience. By the time your children grow old enough to articulate themselves, you’ll be prepared to be there for them in a caring and empathic way.
5. You won’t lash out at the kids: Children can be quite a handful at times. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and have no help, your real anger may be with your spouse, but the immediate victims will be the kids. Being more irritable in general, you’re likely to yell at them when they get too hard to handle. They’ll bear the brunt of issues that you could have worked out with your spouse. When you’re feeling good about your spouse and have an open line of communication, your stress threshold will be lower, and you are less likely to lash out at innocent bystanders.
You owe it to your children to make your marriage great. You need to learn to be parenting on the same page. A vibrant marriage will help provide structure and stability for your kids, enable you to parent them on the same page, model healthy relationships, learn relationship skills that will help you accept your children, and make sure your frustration doesn’t come to hurt your kids.
It’s definitely not easy though, especially when our kids don’t listen!
The key is that with our kids, we need to access our problem solving cerebrum brain, rather than resorting to the use of our reptilian brain, which can only process black/white, fight/flight, one way or the other thinking.
When our kids annoy us, embarrass us, publicly humiliate us, we have a choice (even though it may not feel like we do!). We can resort to Coercion parenting or Connected Parenting.
But we don’t have to (except for absolute emergencies), and the good news, is that if you’ve been resorting to coercion with your kids until now, you can choose to stop and learn connected parenting.
Another example. A preteen son flies into a rage at home. He pulls his hair, kicks his father, screams, wont go to school, curses, wont get out of bed. What should his father do? Call the police as some parents would? Threaten to tell his friends or take away privileges? Or lay in bed with the child, holding him until he calms down, even if it means not showing up at work, losing an entire day of productivity, but gaining a lifetime of connection with your child.
A less extreme example. Your child refuses to leave the playground when you ask. Do you threaten her and say, If you don’t get into the car now, I’m going to take away your toys? Not let you go to the birthday party? Put you into bed with no dinner? And I dare to say that we’ve all been tempted to force the hand of those children who are not listening because sometimes it is just so hard to gain their compliance!
But ultimately, we need to keep sight of the goal. And that is, to stay connected to our kids throughout their ENTIRE lives, so that we can gain their trust and truly be their partner in ensuring their proper growth and development into mature, responsible, functioning citizens.
So what to do with the child that won’t listen? Connect, connect, connect. Find ways to connect. If you’ve been coercing your kids until now with threats and bribery, its going to take some time to regain their trust. So for starters, if connecting with your kids means taking you away from other activities that you need to attend to, that is what is going to have to happen until you work to regain their trust. Spoiling? No, its called Rebuilding.
Connected Parenting is a commitment. Once you commit to it, you now have a course of action for every time your kids don’t listen, and that is freeing. You won’t need to threaten, bribe, shame, or punish your kids because you’ll have made enough positive deposits into their bank account. And you can begin applying methods of connected parenting like talking, apologizing for your mistakes, treating your kids with respect, and problem solving together.
If after reading this article you realize that you are not parenting on the same page, contact us so that you and your spouse can coparent together, learning how to get on the same page and create a stable home for your children, so that the kids can grow up healthy and happy! You can’t keep disagreeing about how you parent, it’ll tear you apart.
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