Parenting and how to discipline can make or break a relationship. I overheard a woman the other day who couldn’t wait to get pregnant because she thought it would bring herself and her husband closer together. I almost laughed out loud, but was able to contain myself.
No matter what kind of home you were raised in you are not going to always agree on parenting strategy and this can create a lot of issues. Even more so if you were raised differently. My husband and I were raised on completely opposite ends of the spectrum. The good news is we do agree that we are pretty strict with who our son will hang out with and where he goes.
The bad news is that we often clash over discipline techniques. As a mom, my instinct is to protect my child. So if my husband is disciplining and my son cries, I immediately want to intervene. As you can imagine this is not good for our relationship. Luckily I am aware of this and have recently been trying really hard to curb this behavior.
If you are like us and struggle to come together when it comes to discipline, here are some tips to keep in mind.
1 – Open Communication – You have to be able to talk about the issue. Doing it in a calm and adult way is imperative. If you can’t talk about it with each other, then you won’t get anywhere. The big thing here is, DON’T do it in front of the kids.
2 – Compromise – You have to meet each other in the middle when it comes to these things. Make sure you are helping to support your spouse in front of the children. If they see a united front, it is less likely that they will try to play both sides. Instead of “correcting” each other in front of the kids, talk about it after the incident and decide how to move forward if it happens again.
3 – Be Consistent – After you agree on a strategy you MUST be consistent. This is more important than doing it right.
4 – It’s Okay to Be Different – You can do this without undermining your spouse. For example, if you (mom) are at home with your kids and they ask to do something and you say no…even if they say, “well dad let’s us,” that is okay. It does not mean that you have to.
5 – Always Review and Revise – In case you haven’t gotten the memo yet, parenting gets pretty freaking hard and will only get harder. You have to always be communicating and revising your disciplining strategies. Plus, some discipline techniques will stop working as the kids get used to it.
I am a firm believer that good parenting starts with the parents.. By this I mean, you have to still be husband and wife. Not just mom and dad. So, if you find that you are struggling with parenting together, maybe it is a deeper rooted problem. Check into marriage counseling if you need to.
What do you disagree with your spouse on when it comes to parenting and discipline?