Differnt Parenting Styles
January 29th, 2014
by Katrina Brooke
Like most couples, my wife and I are not immune to the occasional bout of Kid-Related Marital Friction (K.R.M.F). While brief, low-intensity episodes of K.R.M.F are probably unavoidable…and may even give kids a healthy picture of human relationships…protracted and intense ones can cause lasting pain for everyone involved.
The source of most unhealthy…and unnecessary…friction comes from the myth that parents always have to be on the “same page” when it comes to their parenting styles. When we stumble onto this rocky path, our primary objective focuses on changing the person we believed was wonderful enough to marry. Ironic! Like a wedge splitting a log, this trap tears us and our kids apart.
It’s far healthier to remember this truth:
Arguing about having different parental approaches does far more damage than having different parental approaches.
At our parent and educator retreat this summer, one of our great speakers, Dr. Foster Cline, will provide strategies for helping parents with different styles become great marital and parental team members. Tips will include:
• Put your marriage first.
Kids behave better in the context of a healthy, supportive marriage.
• Celebrate your agreement over core values.
Write these down. You’ll likely discover more agreement than you thought.
• Agree to parent differently as long as you are both supporting these values. There are a lot of different ways to get the job done.
• Don’t allow your kids to manipulate you against your spouse.
• Never take sides with your kids or sabotage your spouse’s actions.
Monica and I are far from perfect people, far from perfect parents, and have a typically imperfect marriage. Nevertheless, when we remember these key truths, we face a lot less K.R.M.F!
For more tips on this topic read Marriage – Love and Logic (Book) by Foster and Hermie Cline.
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
Dr. Charles Fay