You got married to the love of your life and now you and your spouse can’t wait to be parents. You eagerly look forward to having your own kids and expanding the family.
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After having kids, you realize that while parenthood has brought excitement and wonder into your lives, it also came along with parenting issues that you hadn’t anticipated. When parents disagree with respect to bringing up the kids, it can drive a wedge between the couple.
The strain of constant arguments is getting to both of you. Your marriage and family are too important and neither you nor your spouse is ready to throw that away because of discipline differences.
The common refrain is, “my partner and I disagree on parenting”, so what can you do about it?
Don’t despair, there’s hope for you.
Here are some parenting tips on how to find common ground with your spouse when you disagree on positive parenting solutions or how to parent as a team 101:
1. Get on the same page beforehand
You and your spouse are likely to have different parenting techniques. Maybe one of you is authoritarian while the other is more permissive. Your parenting styles are likely to cause differences in how you want to discipline your kids.
One of the positive parenting solutions is to discuss what you each have strong feelings about and see where you can compromise on certain parenting decisions.
2. Set rules and consequences together
Your kids need the structure brought about by discipline in order to thrive.
To achieve a healthy and disciplined home environment, you and your spouse should collaborate on setting the house rules and consequences for breaking them.
Ask your kids for their input and take their ideas and suggestions into account while retaining overall control.
As one of the effective positive parenting solutions, it is easier to enforce rules that everyone agrees with.
Watch this helpful video of Paediatric Psychiatrist Dehra Harris talking about different methods to set rules to get your child to listen and behave when they are repeatedly acting out:
3. Back each other up
Once you’ve determined the rules and consequences, be consistent about enforcing them and remember to parent as a team.
When one spouse is disciplining the kids, the other should back them up. This is one of the best positive parenting solutions that allows you to present a united front to your kids and gives them little chance to wriggle out of your parenting decisions.
The exception to this is if you feel that your partner is harming your kids either physically or emotionally.
4. Don’t argue in front of the kids
Arguing in front of the kids about disciplining tactics shifts focus from them. Kids can be very manipulative and once they notice their parents are not in agreement they can try to play them against each other to get off the hook.
Also, be open-minded about your approach and don’t be ashamed to ask for outside help when needed. Some situations like dealing with a defiant teen might be more than you and your spouse can handle and professionals might be better placed to help sort things out.
Left unchecked, parenting differences can cause marital problems which can, in turn, disrupt the entire family.
Instead of constant disagreements when it comes to disciplining your kids, communicate, compromise and find common ground for positive parenting solutions. If both of you work together, you can build a happy family and a joyful, successful marriage.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
As a father of four, Tyler Jacobson lends his parenting experiences for the learning benefit of parents everywhere. For years he has researched and writes for Liahona Academy and other organizations that help troubled boys, focusing on topics surrounding social media use, teenage education, serious addiction issues, mental and behavioral disorders, and abnormal teenage stress. Follow Tyler on: Twitter | LinkedIn