In the last edition we talked about kids quareling and squabbling. Now, let’s take a look and what parents can do when they are squabbling because they can’t agree on how to raise the kids. One complaint I often hear is that one parent is more over-protective than the other.
Dad says Yes, Mom says No. How parents can work to agree on child raising practices.
It is very rare for parents to have absolute agreement on child raising practices. That being said, it’s certainly easier on both the adults and the children when everyone can agree on the basic, bottom-line rules in the family.
Take a parenting course together. This will give you an opportunity to meet with other parents and a trained parenting educator. A parenting course will help you develop a parenting plan based on solid child-raising principles.
You will also have a chance to learn about normal child development in a supportive environment. This will help you determine how independent your children should be at this time. It’s easier to allow your children to take responsibility as they grow and mature when you have learned more about their developmental level and potential abilities.
Many over-protective parents are fearful for the safety of their children. The trick is to let your kids go but first assure yourself as much as possible of their safety. Have them walk to school in groups and go to the park with friends. If you don’t already have a block watch program in your community get involved in making that happen. Make sure your children know and are known by the neighbours and neighborhood storeowners.
Decide how to handle your areas of disagreement (with counseling, if necessary). I recommend that if two parents disagree on how to handle a given situation, the one who started dealing with it finishes and the other stays uninvolved. For example, if the kids aren’t eating their dinner and your spouse offers to make them something special, stay quiet. Even if you believe they should have the choice to eat the food that’s served or leave, let your spouse handle it. Then talk about it later. Disagreements about parenting should be handled away from the children.
Kids are also comfortable with the fact that each of their parents has a slightly different take on some issues. The problem comes when they can use that to cause conflict between you.
Another problem to watch for is over-compensating. For example, if you feel your partner is too protective you might become way too permissive. But if you can work together to set standards and expectations for your kids you will support each other and your children will know exactly what is expected from them.
When you can keep the lines of communication open and work together while raising your kids the whole family will benefit.
Sarah is shy, Jared is bossy and Pat is Easy-Going. What do we need to know about different temperaments?
One thing we learn about kids is that every child is unique and different. My mini guide e-book, Vive la Différence: Raising Children with Different Temperaments addresses some of the temperaments we see in our kids.
I looked at my two children who are as different as night and day. Then I consider my siblings and we are a textbook example of different.
But, now I have three grandchildren, all the same age and the differences from their births has been striking.
The result is the e-parenting mini guide, Vive la Différence: Raising Children with Different Temperaments. The guide is available on my website.
How Can I Bring Kathy to My Community?
I offer keynotes and workshops, (http://www.parentingtoday.ca/workshopskeynotes/) have written books and have ongoing newspaper columns, books, blogs and newsletters.
And, no matter what the actual topic, they all share a basic value that I call:
P — is a parenting plan
U — is unconditional love
R — is respect for your child as he is right now
E — is encouragement
These make up the framework of any resources that will come from Parenting Today. These four pillars are the essential ingredients for raising healthy children who will develop into capable young men and women.