January 5, 2018

Mom, dad likely have different parenting styles

In society, people tend to fall in love with those who “fill” a missing place. This is why we see couples who are opposite in character and qualities. Passive Pam falls in love with Take-charge Tom. Many times the qualities that caused them to fall in love initially, may be the reasons they grow apart.

So how does this affect children of magnetized couples? Creating balance with the following guidelines can help.

Agree to make each other look good in the eyes of your children. Don’t burden a child with the role of “best friend” or “counselor” by speaking to them about your relationship issues.

Agree that consistency and follow-through are more important than perfect parenting. Often times, parents do not see eye-to-eye on disciplining the children. This may lead to one parent undermining the limits set by the other. When the alliance is split, the child may believe bargaining is an option.

Agree to be the different people you are. Your child will be resilient in various cultures, with different rules and norms of society.

Remember, lectures work no better on your partner than they do on your children. Avoid saying things like, “You have so much potential as a parent, but you just aren’t applying yourself.” Avoid suggesting your partner do everything your way, especially if you are the primary caregiver. This can undermine individuality and what the other parent can contribute in their own way.

If you cannot agree to make each other look good, try attending a parenting class or couple’s counseling. Parents should be careful not to sabotage each other. If a child says, “Dad lets me stay up late and watch TV,” the mom’s response may be to say, “Your dad should not have let you do that!” Instead, focus on making your partner/spouse look good by saying, “What a treat! That was nice of your dad, but tonight you will go to sleep on time.”

The goal is for parents to have a healthy relationship, which allows room for healthy parenting. Seek education or counseling if you can’t find a middle ground. Family advocacy offers many resources to help. Remember, parents do not have to have the same exact parenting style to raise great children. Positive modeling of healthy communication skills and firm/set boundaries can lead to great parenting. For more information, call 623-856-3417.

Courtesy of the 56th Medical Group
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