Parenting on different pages.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Are you and your partner on the same page when it comes to parenting?

Myself and The Husband agree in principle on the big things such as no smacking and no CC/CIO.  He tolerates my insistence on co-sleeping yet we do somewhat differ on our execution of parenting in practice.  Yet we're both The Parents, despite how much we believe in our own methods we don't always execute them in harmony.  It doesn't help that we're both stubborn gits.  Don't get me wrong, I'm far from perfect, yet I'm evolving.  I'm trying to change..  I have recognised my less desirable parenting traits and more-so their effect on children and am trying to adapt them, some times more successfully than others. Unfortunately no matter how much I try and explain the why's behind why I'd like certain behaviour to cease, The Husband is allergic to criticism to matter how mild or constructive which of course doesn't help and I take criticism  way too personally. Yet as a parent, he has the right to parent in a way he sees fit even if it goes against my own parenting beliefs and vice versa. No matter how 'right' we feel our methods are, it isn't right to dictate them to our partner.  Just because we feel how they do something is wrong, doesn't mean it is wrong.

It doesn't make it easy to to witness though.

I have worked really hard to become a less shouty mum.  I knew I shouted too much and too often.  I've always had an explosively short fuse and I recognised this within two out of three of our spawn.  How can we expect our children to be calm when we can't be calm ourselves?  You can't shout someone into calming down.  That's like trying to cool a bath down by adding more hot water.  It just doesn't work.  It's like when your child has refused to go to sleep and you're at the end of your tether, you can't bollock a child into sleeping, there's a reason bedtime is associated with darkness, peace, quiet and lullabies.

I've been trying especially hard to retrain the way I address bad behaviour being careful to label the behaviour and not the child.  The Husband will say 'You're horrible and mean' despite me asking him to say 'What you did was horrible and mean'.  I'm trying to resist the urge to steer children into apologising preferring them to experience remorse and to offer an apology when they're ready to feel it and mean it whereas The Husband will tell them to apologise.  Regardless of why a child is crying or whether I feel it is justified, I allow them to express it whereas The Husband prefers to address angry tears or frustrated tears that follow a tantrum or a telling off with a 'stop crying, shut up' approach, the old 'you have no reason to be crying' Even if I don't agree with why a child is pissed off or angry, I'm trying hard to understand it or to at least acknowledge it to help them cope with the emotion and to then let go of it to let them know it's okay to feel whatever they're feeling even if I disagree and especially when they don;t get their own way. The Husband has a more no-nonsense approach to tantrums and can meet anger with anger whilst I'm trying to understand the tantrum and in turn help them understand what they're feeling, attempting to stay calm to help them calm down even if I'm irate inside at them.  We both have our parenting wins.  We both have our epic parenting fails.

I see his parenting at times as too gruff whereas he see's mine as too mumbo jumbo. Yet are either of us right?  Are either of us wrong? Can we both be right differently?  I can say with utmost honesty that he is a brilliant father and likewise he thinks I'm a good mother despite our differences on how to parent.

Do you and your partner echo each others parenting styles?  Do you clash?  Do you have a good cop and a bad cop? Do parents have to parent their children the same?

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