One of the most difficult jobs in the world is being a parent. It is demanding, challenging, frustrating, but at the end of the day, rewarding. Parents are not born, they are made. When two partners become parents for the first time, things you never knew about your partner start surfacing. The same person you loved as a spouse or a partner may no longer be the person you love as your child’s parent.
Parenting conflicts usually arise because the parents themselves would be brought up in different ways, and each parent would want their kids to be brought up the way they were. If a parent had a strict father or a very lenient mother then that would be the kind of parent they would prefer to be because they know how it is done. Conflicts start coming in when two parents have styles of parenting which are in complete contrast to each other.
For example, if you want to be a strict mother who sets down strict rules for your kids’ behaviour and time schedules, but your partner is someone who believes that kids should have their freedom and is more of the ‘chill’ dad, then you might find yourself with a problem, where the kid won’t know whom to follow. The kid may even start having favorites and start manipulating the parents against each other to get what s/he wants.
The repercussions of having conflicts among your parenting are that your kid might either get confused about what to do or will become a nasty manipulative kid who knows what s/he wants and how to get it. We know that fights are unavoidable when you’re parents, but here are some tips on how to navigate being a parent when your other half has a slightly different approach to parenting –
1. Communicate With Your Partner
Effective communication is the key to solving problems, especially anything that concerns decision-making as parents. Communicate openly and regularly. Be honest if you have a problem with anything they do or say.
2. Be Empathetic
It’s often easy to get annoyed, angry and raise your voice when someone points the wrong finger at you, but remain calm and try to understand the other person’s perspective. Don’t get defensive when the other person speaks. Work out a solution for the bad and ugly of both styles and reinforce the good aspects of each of you.
3. Figure Out A Plan
A parenting plan may sound ridiculous, but may actually work! By plan, we refer to sharing with each other the aspects of your parenting style that are a no-compromise and those which can be compromised upon. Make sure you stick to a plan, and you’ll have fewer fights in the future.
4. Understand Your Child
Each child is unique, and hence dealing with each child has to be different for different children. If your child responds to calm talking and explaining, then being an aggressive parent may just push them away from you.
5. Be A Unit
You may have your differences, but make sure that you put up a united face in front of your kid. The last thing s/he would want to know is that her/his dad doesn’t support what mom is saying. Don’t disagree with your partner in front of your kid. if at all you have to say something, make sure you do it away from the kid or when s/he isn’t around.