Unified Parenting

Posted by Liza Elliott-Ramirez April - 21 - 2015
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You know when you’re at a wedding, and you are asked to write advice on how to make a marriage last? Probably 97% of the answers are communication and compromise, and the other 3% is profanity from Uncle Bob that we would rather to not hear from. So, if communication and compromise is part of a marriage it is also a part of parenting. Everyone was raised differently and everyone has their idea of what a parent should do and be, but sometimes, your spouse and/or loved one might not agree with your parenting style. It’s often times that parents want to maintain a unified front but what happens when one partner disagrees with the other? How does the family work around this? The one thing that I could think of is simply remembering that you are now a team.

Unified ParentingUnderstand your spouse:

Take a second to see their side. Why do they feel the way they do? Has something happened in their past that leads them to believe that their way is better or more efficient? This conversation and certain styles of parenting should be discussed prior to the child’s arrival so when the child is in the picture both parents have a decent grasp on how they want to parent, together.

 Know your spouses family history:

With this understand comes knowledge of your spouse’s family history. Why does your spouse think the way they do? Is there a reason why certain circumstances are such a hot topic? Why do they feel so strongly about a specific style of parenting or rules? It’s best to be considerate and understanding of why your spouse thinks a certain way. Just because they believe something should be different doesn’t necessarily mean they are right, but it may not mean that they are wrong either. If you have a clear understanding of how they were raised and knowledge of their family history that may make you understand their need to parent a certain way.

Provide backup:

Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you completely agree or not. If you can see the reason for the other parents making a certain rule or acting a certain way, back them up. You are a team after all. If one parent is disciplining a child and the other walks in mid conversation, the late arrival should back up the parent that has been there the whole time. This will allow the child to see what you stick together. If you completely disagree with what is happening, let the discussion come to completion and then speak to your partner when there is not a little one overhearing. It’s important to listen to what they are saying and why they choose to say what they did. If it is something you do not agree with make suggestions and if another instance occurs combine the ideas into one that makes the two of you happy.

Don’t argue with an audience:

It’s perfectly fine to have different thoughts and often these expressive times may turn into a loud altercation. It’s important to not argue loudly in any case, but most important is to not argue in front of your children.  Your child is always looking at you, watching, and mimicking how to act, if they see you arguing and being confrontational they may just be that way as well. Arguing in front of the child also allows weakness and domination to be shown. This argument shows that one parent is more dominant than the other, even if that is the case, the child should not believe that. We want our children to believe that the adult are equal therefore when a parent determines something is the rule in the house, they are not undermined by the child.

Take a time out:

Times outs are no longer just for children. Timeouts can often be used as a cool down method when an argument has become more heated than expected. Time outs can also allow you to take in all the information that you and your partner have exchanged. This will give you the necessary time or opportunity for you to understand where your partner is coming from. Coming back into a discussion instead of an argument is a great thing, try to be level headed and calm throughout the remainder and make it a conversations rather than an argument.

Professional help is always an option:

Seeking professional help is not considered a failure at any rate. Professionals are there to guide you and assist. Having professional help could mean having someone discuss your questions and concerns, they could help your partner, assist you two as a couple, or they could lend a helping hand in guiding your child in the right direction. Many people seem a little timid when mentioning professional help, but knowing that it is always an option should put your mind to ease. If other people didn’t have the same issues, there would be no need for professionals. Keep that in mind, you’re never alone.


Arrive at the same place:

Ultimately as a couple you want to parent the same way. Give and take with a little comprises and communication can go a long way. After many discussions and maybe a few heated arguments here and there, it’s best that you arrive on the same parenting style. There are times when one parent is more authoritative or more passive, but its best to have a common goal and understanding as to what you both believe is the best way to raise this little creation that is part of both of you.




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