Parenting young children is hard. It is even harder if you and your partner are not aligned in your child-rearing strategies. Same Page Parenting can go a long way to removing the obstacles that create stress, conflict, and anxiety.
Significant differences in parenting create inconsistencies that send mixed signals to kids when they misbehave. Many couples take my Childproof Parenting Course or come to me for family coaching seeking ways to be more coordinated in their parenting. Inadvertently, one parent will try to counter the style of the other and this inconsistency creates stress for everyone. For example, one parent’s style is kind, loving and lenient, while the other is strict, firm and takes a “tough love” approach. Other times both parents may vacillate between both styles reacting to their children, but that typically results in parents feeling guilty, ineffective and helpless. My role is to help parents step out of these patterns to find the right blend that sets respectful boundaries for the parent-child relationship.
There are three critical steps to becoming a Same Page Parenting team: 1) Define your long-term goals for your child and family 2) Prioritize near-term areas of improvement and 3) Take action. Get clear on your parenting philosophy, as well as tools and responses needed for working with your child(ren).
1. Define Your Long Term Goals for Your Child and Family
The best place to start is to chart a vision of what it is that you are trying to achieve as a parent and what you wish for your child(ren). The process is surprisingly easy and can take as little as 5-10 minutes to answer some thought provoking questions and then sharing them with your partner. What you will likely find is that your values and goals are quite well aligned. This exercise alone will serve as an anchor that you can return to often to reestablish just how on the same page you really are and want to be.