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Feb 09

Marital Harmony and Parenting Go Hand in Hand

Marriage by itself takes work. To be quite honest lots and lost of work. Imagine putting a child  in this beautiful mixture. A child is a blessing, but it is the same blessing that can break or pull a couple apart. The child is not the cause of the marital issues but the couple’s responses to parenting will either send them on an exciting blissful path or a path of utter deterioration.

The above structure was just addressing first time marriage couples. In remarriage parenting is so crucial. However, many couples tip toe around the subject. They want harmony so quickly that they are not willing to even set let alone discuss parenting as a unit. Most remarried couples that bring children to the new union make the big mistake of you parent your children and  I will parent my children.

Three big issues occurs with the above parenting system

1. When your spouse does not have a voice on parenting the children rule the house.

2. By removing parenting responsibility from your spouse you leave your spouse  paralyzed. Disciplining the children he or she will be the bad parent. In some cases, children have even told the new spouse you are not my parent.

3. By doing all the parenting you are saying to your spouse I don’t trust you. Instead of merging the family it is being pull apart.

In order, to parent together and effectively , use these 3 tips

Be on the same parenting page – Know how  you will address each of your children. Different situations do require different parenting tactics.  For example, you might have two children, but your approach to correcting them is different. Communication about parenting style is a must if you want to be on the same page. If you are not on the same page, your children will be the puppeteers. You probably know who will be the puppets. Be on the same page about family rules, expectations, etc. When you are on the same parenting page, you don’t tear each other down. You don’t undermine your spouse’s parenting because you are trying to accomplish the same goal.

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Photo Courtesy of Simon Shaw under Flickr Creative Commons

Establish clear boundaries – Children will follow boundaries that are clear, consistent and come from a place of love. As a child, there are family rules I knew that I was not willing to pay the consequences by breaking. Those were the rules that were clear and I know the consequences would be implemented. I did not like many of those rules. To be honest, some of those rules might have been a bit strict. However, I am grateful for the values those rules brought out of my character.

Be consistent  – Both set of children will use inconsistencies to their advantage. By being consistent you will established fairness. Your spouse will not feel that only the rules apply to his children. Staying consistent place emphasis on parenting not favoritism. The more you stay consistent the more the family unit will forge under new routines.

Parenting is temporary but your level of unity in parenting  can help or hurt your marriage. Make the decision to make your marriage work by parent together. Yes, your spouse’s children are not your children  and perhaps vice versa but as a parental figure you are an integral part of their lives.

Questions: Parenting on the same page is a work of art. What parenting tips or techniques you have created by working with your spouse?

 

Thank you for reading