Updated: Aug 5
You and your spouse (SO, ex, in-laws, whomever ) have different ideas about parenting - not just a little different - you're on different planets!
Your blood boils as Grandma walks around stuffing cookies in your kid's face (and so close to dinner)!
You cringe as your husband throws your baby into the air.
You can't believe that your tween was not allowed to go to a friend's house after school...
Grades don't matter; life experiences are more important for a teen???
and the differences go on and on.
Having a big blow-up (especially in front of the kids) not only won't solve the immediate problem but can leave lasting scars. So, how do you handle disagreements and work together as a team for the sake of your kids?
HONOR THE PAST
Each parent/caregiver brings his or her unique playtime and quiet-time interests to their children. You come from different places and that needs to be acknowledged and respected. Children (at a very young age) are intelligent enough to comprehend that certain behaviors are acceptable to some adults and not others. These should be discussed in an age-appropriate fashion.
PRESENT AS A TEAM
It’s best to keep heated moments away from the kids, but it's just as important to discuss your objections in a calm and reasonable fashion. Point out your fears and concerns. (REMEMBER: THIS IS NOT PERSONAL)
When something just can’t wait and you just have to say something in front of the kids, do it intelligently. Watching you calmly working through a disagreement can be beneficial to your kids. Just remember to keep it calm, keep it respectful, and do not get personal (name-calling is definitely a no-no here).
Be open to the fact that some things will not go your way. You cannot control someone's behavior when you are not there. You may have to accept the fact that Grandma will not stop feeding you kid cookies and let it go, or close your eyes when your husband tosses your kid in the air. Although you may be uncomfortable with these child-rearing habits, your kids will benefit from these varied experiences.
Now I'd like to hear from you? Who in your kids' life has a parenting style that differs from yours? How do you handle it?
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