Sunday, March 7, 2010

Thoughts on Preventing Problems Between Parents

I have not mentioned in what seems a long time how you people have the means to prevent spending unnecessary time in a courtroom. Put plainly, being a jerk results more often than not in a visit to the lawyer and probably to a courtroom.

If you want to prevent problems, read the following from The Mother of All Parenting Blogs (and you might want to check out the rest of the blog, too).

Don't assume that the problem will take care of itself once the baby is no longer a baby, the toddler is no longer a toddler, etc. You've still got a lot of years of parenting ahead of you -- and you definitely want to be on the same page of the parenting playbook by the time your kids hit the preteen or teen stage.

Try to engage your partner in a heart-to-heart discussion about the hopes and dreams that led you to want to become parents in the first place: the types of parents you want to be and the types of kids you want to raise. If you've never had this type of conversation, there's no time like the present to have it. Try to have this conversation when you're both relaxed and in a positive and upbeat mood. If you can't have this type of conversation without the conversation dissolving into an argument, consider couples therapy (so that you can work on your communication skills and resolve the outstanding issues you have as parents and as a couple).

Consider taking a parenting course together. That way, the information you're trying to discuss with your partner will be reaching your partner via a neutral third-party rather than always being filtered through you.

Share parenting materials that you've found particularly helpful. And encourage your partner to share parenting materials that express his or her ideas about parenting, too. (You don't have to agree with all the viewpoints expressed. What you're trying to do is get an understanding of what your partner is thinking and feeling about a particular issue. That's the first step to talking the issue through and finding some common ground.)

Take stock of all the things you do agree about rather than just focusing on all the things you don't. Then find ways to build on that common foundation in your lives as parents.
More importantly, ask yourself how following this advice hurts you or your children.

No comments: