Do you wonder how you can work together with your spouse in raising your children? In this article, you’ll find essential tips and strategies for working together as parents and families, including communication, setting expectations, and power dynamics. We share with you helpful tips and advice that parents and families can use to navigate the challenges of daily life and come together in a spirit of understanding and cooperation.
A reader wrote in to say:“Your suggestions are great – but mostly I am the only parent who’s trying to implement them and the personalities, perspectives and expectations of my boys and their father are always clashing with mine, leading to a lot of negativity from my side. I don’t know how to solve this…without me giving up everything. I feel miserable when I see them not changing.”
A lot of mothers with growing children will relate with this struggle. Parenting together and being on the same page in terms of discipline is not so much of an issue when we have babies as much as it is as they grow older.
Families need work to grow together.
You see, when our children are small, we are so tuned-in to attending to all of their needs ourselves. But as they grow up, they become not just independent, but also demand that we give them space and freedom to exercise their control.
We parents, on the other hand, who have for so long learnt to be in control of our children, find it hard to give up that leadership role we were playing.
Then there is the fact that our children have their own personalities and they are in the learning and experimenting stages of their life. What may seem like “rash thinking”, “stubbornness” or “laziness” to you may actually be how they are learning.
I am not going to deny it, it is a very hard season of life to be in. We don’t want to push our kids away from us, and yet, we don’t want to give them so much freedom that we have no control on them at all. It is really scary.
But first, there is one thing I want you to remember: your children love you.
It is sometimes hard to pull together as a family when you all have your own minds, but love can pull you all together. You just have to let them know that you care.
You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.Regina Brett
One thing that is even harder to remember than the “loving you” bit, is that disagreement doesn’t necessarily mean conflict. It can actually be good sometimes. It can actually mean growth.
Everybody has a right to an opinion.
Just as you have an idea on how you want to raise your children, so does your spouse. They have experience of the world too. You may be the primary caregiver and CEO of your home, but Dad knows a thing or two about ‘a thing or two’ too. 🙂
Our children are growing up and looking at life from their perspective. They have every right to (even when their view of the world may seem inexperienced to you), and it is okay. Let them voice their thoughts. If not you, then who?
Always remember that when it comes to relationships, the most dangerous place to be is where we silence someone from coming to us with their opinion.
So, remember that it is when our children feel they are unheard that they will stop coming to us. That can be very dangerous so let them speak. Let them voice their thoughts. Allow them their opinion. In fact, give them the proper words so that they can tell you what they feel more eloquently.
Remember that it is important that we let them speak in a safe environment where they feel heard.
Also, remember that if they have a right to their opinion, you have a right to convince them. 🙂
How to work together as parents and families.
Conflicts happen. It is hard to show that you care while still feeling like you are actually stepping on some toes but… it has to be done.
There are three steps to getting your family on the same page :
Step 1. Get on the same page as a couple.
Sit down with your husband and talk about how you both want to raise your children. This is the first step.
I know that like most parents, you both may already have some ideas, but generally what happens is we have all those ideas in our head and just to ourselves. We think that the other partner is agreed on all those things we want to talk about, but the discussion actually never happened.
Or maybe it has been some time since you both talked about these things. May be it was a long time ago when your children were smaller and they are now at a different age and have different needs. Anyhow, just sit down and talk about these things.
Go out for a drive or dinner, away from the kids, and talk about how you want to raise your children. Or maybe you want to sit down after the kids are in bed… however it is, it is important that it is just the two of you.
Talk about the things that are important to each of you; what is the family culture you are trying to build; what are some main ideals you don’t want to break, etc. Talk it all out and get on the same page regarding everything. This is the essential first step.
2. Talk to the children as parents – together.
Next, you and your husband – you both need to talk to each of your child individually with one on one time. Again, go on a date, or set a time to have some quality time with each of your children.
Ask them what is happening in their life, what they are excited about, what is bothering them – learn everything about them that you can and then tell them about the things that are on your mind. Ask them their advice on how you can tackle the problems they are having.
Be an active listener. This is important because the purpose of taking them out or having a one on one conversation is to help you to understand your child’s perspective. It is not for you to lecture them.
3. Have a family meeting.
After you have talked to each child, and you and your husband have a list of stuff you want to talk about together as a family, sit down after a dinner or on a weekend and talk about what you guys have been discussing.
Get everyone on the same page regarding what was said. Discuss everyone’s problems and solutions, and then come to a solution together as a family.
You have to treat this as a CEO solving a business conflict. What would you do if you and your business partner disagreed? You can’t break up with him and kill the company, right? Nor can we sulk in silence putting up with their nonsense! We just have to put on our CEO Mom Face and be the adult. 😉
Well, that’s all. That’s the 3 steps to working together as a family.
How we can help you…
We have two resources where we can help you in raising not just confident children, but also with building a happy family.
- Calm Confident Children’s Library is our positive parenting tool box where we share the tools that can help you in establishing good discipline and cooperation in your home.
- Happy Kids Positive Parenting Course – The step by step plan on how to encourage your children to cooperative, responsible, respectful, self sufficient and well mannered.