Conflicts are inevitable in any setting, especially in a family. There will always be friction between members and depending on how you react, the resolution for conflict will either be easy or difficult.
While it is true that no two people are alike, they can always come to terms when dealing with important family matters. The same could be said about raising children. One’s parenting style may differ (sometimes greatly) from that of the spouse (or ex-spouse). Several factors come to play to account for the differences in parenting style like background (how they were raised), preferences (what they like), personality (how they are), and circumstances (how things are at a particular time). Regardless of the differences and preferences, parents must work together as a team to effectively raise their children. While single parenthood has increased in number over the years, ideally, both parents should have a hand in raising their children.
For parents having a hard time dealing with each other because of parenting conflicts, we recommend seeking out professional help to guide you and help you process things for the sake of your family. Some reputable professionals offer couples therapy in Sandy, Utah or Memphis, Tennessee, or wherever you are in the country.
Resolving Parenting Conflicts
Listen to each other.
We usually hear this when we sit down for counseling. Take the time to listen to the other person. Do not listen so you can respond. Listen to better understand where the other person is coming from. It helps if you knew what triggered your spouse’s behavior or response.
Take mental notes (or even better, write them down) of these triggers so you have an idea of how to handle the situation the next time you’re faced with it.
Agree to disagree.
We’re all aware that we can never fully agree with another person about everything. That’s not how we’re wired. We all have differences from each other over politics, spirituality, convictions, values, and a lot of other things, even parenting.
You and your partner can always approach a situation with the mentality that you can agree to disagree, but at the end of the day, you will have to make a decision that will be the most beneficial for your children. Set aside your pride because it is your children’s lives at stake.
Talk about how you feel.
Whenever there is friction, there will be offenses. Feelings will get hurt. While it is good to not dwell on it, sometimes not dealing with it can lead to greater conflicts in the future.
Schedule a time where you can talk openly and honestly about your feelings. It should be in a neutral and non-threatening setting to encourage each other to speak up about how you felt.
Just so we’re clear on this, this is not a “blaming session.” The goal here is to bridge the gap between you and your spouse for better communication lines and a more intimate relationship. Honest talk is supposed to help both of you understand each other more and reconcile you to becoming better individuals, better spouses, and better parents.
Map out solutions together.
Once you’ve dealt with the more personal stuff mentioned above, start thinking of ways and means address your parenting concerns. Draw solutions in a very objective manner, meaning, you come up with answers that will be beneficial to your children, not just what’s convenient for you.
Learn to compromise.
Again, this is not the time to assert who’s right and who’s wrong. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for parenting. Your children are individually unique, and so are you as parents.
It is all about finding a common ground that works for both parents which will be highly beneficial for their children in the long run. The ultimate goal of parenting is to ensure your children grow up successful and content with their integrity and values intact.
Parenting is hard work and will require 100% effort from both parents if you want to see your children grow up with the right values and character. While parents are not responsible for their children’s actions, they are responsible for how they train their children to think and behave. The ball is in your court.