4 ways to make parenting teamwork actually work. Why and how to parent as a team.
Our jobs as parents isn’t very easy. Our duties as parents include providing for our families while also teaching our children right from wrong. Of course, we also want our children to like us, even if it’s just a little.
If you’re in a partnership, parenting and discipline can become a sort of battle if you don’t work together. How often have you been in an argument with your partner over a difference of opinion on handling a disciplinary situation? One of you wishes to be “the good guy” while the other is naturally stricter. These quarrels become an uncomfortable situation for the whole family.
In fact, when I think about some of the families I’ve seen arguing over a parenting decision one has made, I get a little uncomfortable myself. I’ve watched the children run off, only to do their own things as the parents have forgotten to deal with the problem at hand.
Your children benefit from parenting teamwork as they learn about rules and relationships. Marriages suffer when partners haven’t figured out how to parent together. There are also benefits to figuring out how to parent as a team, even if you’re co-parenting through separation or divorce.
Fortunately, you can learn to work together to bring peace and order to your marriage (or relationships), while better disciplining your children.
How to Encourage Parenting Teamwork in Your Family
Think of your children as a bad guy you need to beat. Well, unlike fighting Darth Vader, you’re not going to be wielding lightsabers or running around with a furry creature you can’t understand (other than the family pet). But, just like fighting a bad guy, you’ve got to be working on the same team to win, right? That’s exactly why it’s important to being parenting as a team. You won’t be able to accomplish much if you’re not working together.
The more you work against each other, the more damaging effects it can have. You’re goal is to make parenting teamwork successful. Parenting as a team will help reduce the overwhelm and you can both benefit in the positive effects your parenting teamwork creates.
Insist that you both come to agreements in how the children are raised. It’s important that you both agree on house rules and consequences. Being a team and sharing responsibility in discipline will reduce tension. And, your child will be less likely to take sides or find preference in dealing with one parent over the other.
Neither parent should have all the responsibility in handling this part of parenting.
When you don’t see eye to eye on how a situation is being handled, it’s best to save the argument for later. Let the parent handle the issue at hand and discuss your feelings on the matter when the children are out of earshot.
If you’ve been asked to handle a situation in a specific way, never let your child know that you’re only doing it because the other parent is making you do it. No bad-mouthing the other parent, which will create more animosity and prevent everyone from getting along down the road. Own the consequence as though it was your decision.
Your children need to know that mom and dad work to parent as a team. This, in turn, keeps them from playing the system.
Don’t strip a parent of authority by arguing or questioning in front of the kids
If you need ideas for removing the burden of coming up with consequences, check out the consequence and reward jar system. You can easily dole out consequences as a team while both of you remain neutral parties. Suddenly, an inanimate object is the negative force taking away television or electronics.
Sometimes a parent lacks confidence in their parenting skills and doesn’t get involved as easily. If this is the case in your house, it’s time to offer a little reassuring. Let the other parent know that he or she plays a vital role in the disciplinary process. Encourage their input by letting him or her know you value their opinions.
Remind your partner that parenting as a team will make parenting easier on the whole family. And, parenting teamwork will benefit your relationship together, as well as your child’s understanding of relationships as he grows up.
Parenting teamwork instills confidence in all involved
Remember that the “good cop, bad cop” routine is for criminals, not your children. When you’re working against each other, you only create tension and alienation.
Your children are learning important lessons about relationships from you. And, it will be easier for your children to get into similar routines with their own families in the future.
Children tend to suffer from lower self-esteem when parents find it difficult to discipline. Your child often perceives that if mom or dad can’t do something, he or she can’t either.
It’s totally fine to have different parenting styles! When it comes to parenting, you can use the varying perspectives to create a healthier balance in your lives. The real problems occur when one parent is stuck in their ways and won’t try something different. Dividing the household in this way is unhealthy for your marriage and your children’s views of relationships. But learning to work as a parenting team will accomplish so much!
The good cop/bad cop routine is for criminals, not children