Healthy Ways To Handle Parenting Disagreements
When kids come along, there are more issues to fight about and more day-to-day stress to complicate them. That can put a strain on even the healthiest of marriages. It’s not about who is right and who is wrong. If disagreements are frequent and they escalate regularly, it can harm our marriage and ultimately your children. It's the intensity of the disagreement and how you deal with it that matters. Here are some healthy ways to handle parenting disagreements.
Don’t Criticize Your Spouse’s Parenting Methods
In many families, a majority of the parenting responsibilities fall to the mothers. Mothers must make a conscious effort to include their mates more in the day-to-day responsibilities of parenting and try to resist the impulse to criticize the way they do things. There is more than one way to go about getting a child to eat at the table or pick up their toys etc. You can make gentle suggestions on how to handle things to your spouse if they look like they need help but resist the urge to criticize their efforts. It takes both parents involvement to raise healthy children.
Take Time Out to Cool Off
Parents aren't always going to see things the same way. Sometimes you just have to agree to disagree. If you are having a heated argument about a parenting issue, you may have to stop and agree that you aren’t coming to any resolution on the issue and agree to take a time out to cool off and continue the conversation at a later time. Letting the argument escalate while the kids are watching and listening is not healthy for you or the children. Don’t just leave the issue unresolved however. Plan a time when you both can sit down out of earshot of the kids to discuss the issue.
Try as you might to remain calm, some parenting issues such as discipline can trigger some hot buttons and one or both of you will end up saying things that are hurtful or escalating the argument into a yelling match. When you do have an argument that gets out of control in front of the kids, make sure you apologize to each other. You both need to reconcile your argument so the anger does not fester and the children need to see that arguments can end happily if you apologize for your behavior.
Parenting is one of the greatest joys in a marriage and can create deep, intimate bonds, but it can also be stressful. Employing healthy methods to handle parenting disagreements will bring harmony to your marriage and family.Learn more about our Couples Therapy Exercises