So what does it mean to be on the same page in your relationship in regard to parenting? Good question. And it’s an important question. So many problems that happen in families are because parents are on different pages about how to resolve issues in the home. But that’s only natural, I hear you say. Yes it’s true, we are different people and have different ideas about how to parent. Fair enough. However let’s look at some scenarios.
Suppose your husband has been brought up in his home with an absolute rule that food is not allowed to be eaten out of the kitchen, but your home was more relaxed. Your husband will invariably tell the kids that they must eat in the kitchen but if you allow food throughout the house; your kids will always try to sneak food behind your husband’s back, because they know you allow it
It will drive your husband crazy to see this and cause resentment between the two of you, which the kids will ultimately pick up on. (Your kids will also learn to pit Mommy against Daddy which can lead to a whole host of other problems down the line.)
So what’s the solution? Don’t marry a husband who was brought up with no food in the house? Of course not! If it’s not about food, it will definitely be about something else. There will always be issues where your upbringing will be different from your husbands in key areas, and it will make for some good tension at home.
Present a United Front
So what really is the solution? The ultimate solution is to present a united front! You heard correctly. An essential strategy for successful parenting is to present a united front on major issues in the home. Does that mean you have to agree on everything? Of course not, but it does mean that on major issues you and your husband will have to sit down and discuss the things that are very important to you and you will have to come to some sort of compromises together.
This discussing and planning before small issues become major points of contention, will be the building blocks for successful parenting and will foster a healthy relationship between you and your husband. How does this work?
Plan out a time when you can discuss your needs with your spouse. Do you feel strongly about a particular rule or issue that is happening in your home? Make a time each week to discuss those things that are important to you. Write them down and make a set time. It may be Sunday night after the kids are in bed or over an early cup of coffee once a week.
It’s not always easy to find and make this time, but it will go a long way into making your parenting goals become realities and lessening the contention when issues are unresolved and tension builds.
When the kids are young it may be about where food is eaten in the house but as the kids grow it can lead to the peaceful resolution of more serious issues such as curfews and dating. Habits formed early in the game will pay off big time down the road.
Look for Room to Compromise
So how might the food issue play out if you both disagree on the outcome? Some issues may require compromise on both parties part while others may mean that one spouse is swayed to the other’s point of view. Let’s say that your husband remains steadfast about his opinion on food only in the kitchen. You might tell him that the hardest time for you is during dinner when your son is eating dinner in the kitchen and the baby is crying to be nursed etc.
Here, there might be room for compromise. Because you find it difficult to supervise when you are being pulled in so many different directions, the general rule might be that food must be eaten in the kitchen but your son might be allowed to eat his dinner at a small table in the living room while watching a video.
This can give you the flexibility that you need during dinner time, but at the same time show your son that there is a specific time, with certain boundaries in place, that allows him to eat outside the kitchen. Because you took the time to discuss this with your spouse, you both understand each other’s point of view and you are able to come to a compromise.
These conversations will lead to a much deeper understanding of why you both feel the way you do and lead to much happier and healthier resolutions. Make the time and you will surely see the benefits.
Good luck on the journey!