Spouses are the trusted guardians of their offspring’s behavior and well being, but too often it appears the parents are in need of a referee in these parenting matters. Clashes, disagreements, and bitter words serve to decimate the family rather than provide the structure needed for family survival. There must be an answer to working out parenting issues between spousal disagreements.
Mature parents, secure in their own relationship, fare better in these matters. They’re not threatened by the ideas of the spouse. If one is authoritarian and the other is permissive, there is much common ground that can be found in constructing a viable plan for the children in the family unit. Find things you agree upon first and with each building block, you move closer to you goal.
What is your goal for your child? When children are young, it’s difficult to see past a certain point in their lives, but parents who envision the growth and the final product of a grown child are able to see the input of guidance and discipline that is necessary to take the child from point A to point B. Even if it doesn’t work perfectly, a vision for your child’s life and life skills go a long way in parenting.
In order to work out disagreements in parenting, each parent must see the need to work together for the health of the family unit. The disagreements should not be centered on what the individual parents demand but on the integrity and health of the child within the family unit.
Spouses can agree on one thing; hostile verbal disagreements do not serve the parents or the children well. Spouses who sit down and think about the future of their children find that the entire family benefits from working toward agreement. As a child grows older, parents may allow them to have a voice in the planning of their future and the rules and regulations that determine their behavior.
Of great importance in spousal disagreements is the emotional maturity level and commitment to the development of the children. If the commitment is in place, the spouse will do whatever is necessary to promote the well being of the child and his future.
Both parents must be willing to work through spousal disagreements or there can be no solution. Parents that abdicate responsibility and allow one spouse to dictate the family behavioral rules are guilty of child neglect. This absence of parenting shuts out every voice in the family in favor of the dictator.
The parenting styles parents bring to the table are often closely related to the emotional style and attachment upbringing that they experienced and observed in their childhood. Authoritarian families are strict militaristic domains while in permissive families almost anything goes. Most families, hopefully, are in the middle ground and not at the extreme end of either spectrum.
Suggestions for spouses:
Have a vision for your child’s development
Determine what life skills are needed for growth of your child
Engage each other on rules and regulations
Uphold each others voice in the family structure
Allow you child to have a voice whether you agree with his position or not
Support each other in agreed upon disciplinary actions
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for bringing spouses to agreement in parenting issues, but there are excellent guides and professional help if needed. Spouses who are able to reach out to each other for support are likely to support their children in their quest to become productive adults. Parental support is a lifeline to growth and children deserve that lifeline.