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Parenting From a United Front

By Rebecca Santos

She was so excited! I could practically hear her little heart beating out of her chest. I curled her hair and put on some tinted lip gloss. I knew these memories would be ones for me to cherish for years to come. Julie deserved to go. I was right, and my husband was wrong, or so I thought. She was just starting middle school, and she wanted to go to the dance with a boy. I thought I was doing what was best for Julie by letting her go and experience her first date. I wanted to give her a fun mom memory of getting all dolled up and putting on a frilly dress. But I had made the wrong choice; the rule was set, and she was too young to date.

What I had really done was create friction in my marriage. I taught Julie to disobey and deceive based on my actions. We both knew her dad had said no. I should have been the adult and enforced the rules, but I wanted to be the fun one. It was like I didn’t care about what he thought, and I was not united with him. I went behind his back and told my daughter that what he said was not important. I didn’t realize that, to him, that was the same as me saying HE was unimportant.

When I was kid, I remember pulling the wool over my parents’ eyes. I would ask my mother, and if she said no, I knew my dad would let me. When I became a parent, I used those same dangerous views on parenting in my own house. I would let the rules slide a little too often because I wanted to be the fun parent, and I always made the kids’ dad play bad cop. I was not presenting a united front—heck, I’m not even sure I was on the same side of the battlefield for a lot of those battles. I understand now that my husband must have felt like he had four kids instead of three, and no wife or support back in the early years.

Deep down I wanted to be THAT mom. I wanted to be the mom who is always on the same page with her husband. You know, those parents where their child runs into the room to ask a question and the parents have an entire conversation with just their eyes? They are in tune. Presenting a united front shows strength, and it shows unyielding power. You cannot easily break apart a united front.

We are setting our children and ourselves up for failure by allowing our kids to do something that your spouse has disagreed on. My husband and I now have an understanding. We decide on rules together, and if we disagree on something, we always discuss it with each other in private. We decided for us to be a united front, we needed to always be on the same page when we are talking to the kids about rules or discipline.

Our children now know that if Dad says no, you better not go ask Mom to get a different option. The first answer is the only answer! We are united in everything big and small—from dating to dessert before dinner, my husband and I are always on each other’s team and it’s made our marriage so much better. Presenting a united front to my children is something my husband and I work at constantly. We want to show them that our rules are concrete and that we respect what each person has to say. We make it our commitment to upholding our rules together and never undercutting each other in front of the children. Deciding to 100% agree with each other when disciplining our kids has improved our marriage so much.

There are certainly plenty of issues faced by parents, when it comes to raising kids. And when it comes to these issues, one of the most challenging is, ironically, not the kids, but rather the parents themselves. When it comes to managing these issues, here are several strategies that parents can use.

If there is one thing that my spouse hated, it was the feeling that there was no support from me as his partner. In this regard, support your partner in whatever work they are doing to care for the kids, and work on having a mutual understanding.

One of the biggest sources of conflict is disagreement on how to raise kids. Ensure that you discuss the right manner of parenting, before you begin working on it. This is important if your focus is on creating a successful united front.

If there is one thing that will sabotage the parenting process, it’s this. The reason for this is because doing so will give your children mixed messages and make them less inclined to follow what is told to them. Examples of this include things like denouncing the spouse and telling your kids to do something that is the exact opposite of what your spouse has told. The way to get around this is to discuss beforehand on what needs to be done about some parenting aspect, before actually doing it.

Parents quite often lack the right knowledge on how to raise a child. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you feel that you need it.

Last but not least in setting up a united front is making time for each other. This is not related to parenting but being parents can lead to a strain on relationships with each other. This in turn can lead to couples drifting apart. Work on making time for your spouse and learn to listen to each other

It is completely okay and even expected to not always agree with your spouse on things. This parenting thing is hard, but having you and your spouse as a team makes the job a lot easier.

 

Rebecca Santos is the mother of 3 lovely children in the state of Atlanta, GA. She is a childcare expert and a writer for a successful nanny agency called Nannies and Kids United located in the state of Georgia. She is also the co-creator of Nannies and Kids United Blog. She specializes in providing guidance in parenting to parents. Bridget’s hobbies include spending time with her children and her husband. She enjoys traveling, writing and hiking. For tips on everything on parenting check out https://nanniesandkidsunited.com/blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram

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