parenting tips
  • | October 5, 2016
You and your wife want to run a tight ship when it comes to the kids. You’ve had numerous conversations about how you plan on dealing with every situation: dating, smoking, drinking, work, etc. You’ve prepared for this and you’re ready for whatever happens.

Guess again. No matter how much you plan, situations will come up where you and your wife disagree. It can be an aggravating situation to find yourself in. Here are a few things to keep in mind when trying to keep your cool.

  1. Back each other up. Whenever possible, try to maintain a united front. Kids are smart and if they learn that one parent is easier to win over than another they will quickly learn who to go to for permission or backup when a certain situation arises. Back each other up, even if you don’t necessarily agree with your wife in this case. Unless it’s an emergency situation that you think is putting your child in danger (such as abuse or neglect), you can always talk about things later and explain your point of view.

  2. Communicate early and often. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Yes, circumstances will always change and maybe nothing can truly prepare you for every situation. However, as your children age their personalities will change and you may need to adjust your thinking or your stance on certain subjects.

  3. Don’t Parent Angry! Your child and your spouse will drive you crazy from time to time but when it comes time to discuss serious parenting issues or lay down rules or punishments it is best to remain as calm as possible. Shouting matches never accomplish much and fighting in front of your children can have other negative effects.

  4. Focus on the goal. Methods are always going to vary when it comes to parenting. If there was one guaranteed, 100% effective way to approach every parenting decision we would all follow it to the letter and this parenting thing would be easy. Instead, try to find common goals you are trying to accomplish rather than focusing on the methods you both think will get you there. Is there room for compromise? If the end result is something you can both agree on, then establish that and then discuss options.

  5. Look to her family. When trying to understand your wife’s point of view, look to her family and see how she was raised. What did she experience? What worked? What didn’t work? Look at your own history and do the same. Understand where both of you are coming from and focus on where you both want to go with your own children.

  6. Don’t undermine your wife in private. You may not agree with your wife when she said your son couldn’t go on that camping trip but it’s important not to badmouth her to your child. You’ll only make things harder in the long run if you approach your child with a “hey, I agree with you but your mom’s crazy” attitude. It will get back to her, probably soon, and in the form of your son arguing “but dad said….” Talk to your child, explain why the decision or punishment is happening but do not take their side.

  7. Do not be afraid to seek counseling. Couples or family therapy can be beneficial if you find yourselves constantly at odds and unable to communicate either as parents or as a family. The social stigmas on therapy are fading more and more these days and if the end result is a happier family that functions better, then it’s worth it.

Parenting is a tough job and it is even tougher when parents find themselves unable to parent together as a team. Keep these 7 tips in mind when approaching parenting decisions or communicating with your wife and you can make your life a lot easier.

Good luck.