Parenting is a hard job. Parenting as a couple can be even harder. Most days may be easy, but we all know that from time to time, a couples has a hard time seeing eye to eye and struggle to parent together without conflict. I know we have had these times in our parenting of our children. It doesn't really have to be as difficult as we make it, but it does take a little work.
5 Tips to End Parenting Arguments
Creating a children together is a beautiful thing. Anticipating your child to become a part of your family is exciting, as you discuss names and colors for the babies room. You both joyfully gather around your baby for the first time with wonder, while love just flowing freely from your heart.
It doesn't take long after you bring your bundle of joy home to realize that you both have some different ideas about how this parenting thing should look like in your home. If you haven't put a lot of time into discussing what parenting would look like and how you both would work together as a couple to reach the goals you set for your parenting, you may struggle to remember the love that was the reason for your larger family.
There are 5 main areas that parents seem to have conflict when raising children, so I will highlight those and offer some suggestions of how to you can find a way to build communication and structure you both can do happily together.
It is really important to discuss your disagreements in private, to work through where you disagree and work to find common ground to build off from and more importantly to be united in front of your children.
- Discipline – I'm sure this has been something that each couple has had to face together. I know we have had to many times. I remember the first time, our daughter was about 6 months old and we were training her to sleep in her own bed, in our new apartment. We both had different ideas to do this successfully and that stress only added to the training of our daughter. Thankfully, that only lasted for a few nights. Once we took a parenting class together, discussed our desires on how we were going to discipline, and discipline our children, were we able to make any progress. As our children went into different stages, we had to revisit this and work through our disagreements and find a common ground to build from. The more we agreed on this subject and were consistent in front of our children, presenting ourselves as a strong unit, we made more and more progress. It was easier for us to do this when we decided on consequences for actions for our children. I would highly recommend that each couple have this on paper, to refer to when they need to be reminded what they agreed upon and work to enforce together.
- Diet – This is a hard one for a lot of couples. Many moms work hard to keep their children's diet healthy and dad's seem to be more relaxed. Of course, the opposite can be said in some families as well, but because mom's are the main caregiver in most families, this seems to be more of the case. What we have found to help us when we disagreed, was to have science back up our concerns and then find healthier alternatives that would make everyone happy.
- Routines – Thankfully, this hasn't been that hard of one for our parenting, but there was a time that bedtime became a conflict for my husband and I when my older children were young. I was so tired at night and my husband loved to fool around with them just as they were getting into bed. It was our daily routine for all of us to pray together when we were tucking our kids into bed, and in fact, we still do it today, twenty years later. However, for a season in our life, this caused major conflict for us because I no longer had any patience at that time of day and I just desired silence. However, my husband just wanted to play with our children and hear their laughter before they went to sleep. Neither of us were wrong with what we wanted, but one of us had to compromise or continue to have conflict every night. I had decided that I would sit out of this routine and give it completely to my husband to enjoy with our children. About 3 or 4 months later, I realized how much joy I was missing out of and started joining in on my family's special time again and it has never stopped. However, some nights, my husband knows mommy needs less of the silliness and will keep it minimum for my benefit as well. You may have other routines that are really important to you or your spouse, so be sure to discuss them all.
- Responsibility – I have been surprised by some of the conflict that I have heard in other families about having the children help around the house, but that is probably because this has never been an issue in our home, really. We both believe our children should be helping around the house and the older the get, the more they should be responsible for around the house. However, this isn't the case in many homes. I would recommend that as a couple, you discuss this early, before your children are old enough for responsibilities and decide what chores your children can and will do in your home. If you aren't sure what chores your children can do at what age, you may find this free printable useful when you are discussing this as a couple.
- Privileges – In our culture of electronics and children do more and more activities, couples find it harder to agree on what kind of privileges their children should have and when, especially when they have close relationships with others whose children have a lot when they don't have a lot of responsibilities. Having a reward system in place based on the children's responsibilities and attitude around the home. Taking time to discuss this together as a couple, knowing what you expect for your children and how this will look for their privileges, giving them things to work and strive to accomplish, while removing conflict from your marriage.
If you found this post helpful, you may also benefit from 6 Steps to Successfully Break the Pacifier Habit…