Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What's Gonna Work? Teamwork!

Teamwork & parenting are a wonderful combination. It is a winning combination! I know that teamwork is not always possible in every situation when parenting your lil' ones, but when it is a possibility, this winning combination can create such a stable & secure foundation for your kids and just make the parenting experience SO much easier and rewarding.

Presenting a united front to your kids is an essential component to parenting. Kids are extremely perceptive & they will definitely try more than once to play you & your spouse against each other. Its amazing how young this starts & in the beginning, I believe, it starts innocently. It goes like this - Your kid comes up to you & asks if they can have some juice. You say "No". They then decide to go ask Daddy in hopes of a different response. A good rule of thumb is to always ask your kids first if they have already asked the other parent. If they say that they did, ask them what the other parent told them & if they tell you that Mommy said, "No." then it is the perfect opportunity to present that united front by saying, "Mommy & Daddy are on the same team & whatever Mommy says, Daddy says." and so forth.

Sometimes, one parent won't agree with the response the child/children got from the other parent, but that is something that needs to be resolved behind closed doors & at a later time. Because if you choose to voice your disagreement in front of your child/children, you will actually be making things harder for yourself (and them) in the long run. Kids will sense the lack of unity, i.e., the "crack in the foundation" right away. Besides, you NEVER want to let your children be a source of conflict in your marriage.

Parenting is definitely a learning experience as well as a challenge! When a husband & wife come together & decide to embark on this new adventure of raising kids, there are definitely going to be differences of opinion as far as discipline, how/what the kids should eat, what words they are allowed to & not allowed to say, how many kids you want to have, & so forth. It is actually quite crazy how many challenges come up when you are raising kids! This is why communication between a husband & wife is KEY! Good communication is so important & absolutely necessary.

Before you get married, there are a lot of decisions to make & many things that must be worked out together as a couple, but once you actually become parents, the need to make a conscious effort to constantly talk about things becomes vital. With parenthood, being "on the same page" is now of utmost importance! You are both entrusted with the teaching & training of the impressionable, young lives of your child/children. Both parties are going to have to be willing to, not only, state their opinion on why they believe things should be done a certain way in certain situations, but also be willing to listen to the other person's perspective on these matters. This way a compromise, in which both parties can agree upon, can be reached. From time to time, you may realize that neither of you has the answer & choose to seek advice elsewhere.

I don't know 1 parent who does not want better for their kids. Sometimes this means improving upon some of the methods & techniques you were raised with. Rather than just assuming the disciplinary action, eating habits, decisions, etc. that you were raised with is the best way, re-evaluate and discuss each aspect with your spouse, always seeking to improve upon and reach higher than even your parents did.

As my children are getting older, my husband and I have encountered more and more interesting challenges in more ways than we could ever have imagined. I mean, they don't write a book on some of the more unique stages kids go through & how to successfully approach them. Sometimes you just have to get super creative! I mentioned before how 1 of my kids suddenly decided she no longer wanted to swallow her vegetables & so she would just put them into her mouth & store them on the sides of her cheeks. My husband & I talked it over together & decided how we were going to conquer this situation as a team. With both parents dealing with a situation/challenge in the same exact way, success will come a lot sooner because the child sees that they can't win or break the team apart.

Down to the smallest details, my husband & I try to stay as similar to one another as possible to help create and maintain the stable, secure environment that all kids need & crave. For one thing, we "hold tight" to the same rules at the eating area so whether it is mommy doing mealtime or daddy, the exact same expectations are in place (For example: "Sit like a lady.", "Ask to be excused.", " Chew with your mouth closed.", "Clean up your area when you are finished eating.", and so forth) - unity! It may seem like small stuff & kind of ridiculous to some but I guarantee you, our kids try to challenge us a whole lot less because they KNOW the boundaries cannot be moved. We even try to use a lot of the same terms when working with our kids like, "When do we obey?" and they respond "Right away!". Again, its seemingly lil' things like that that help to establish and solidify the united front we want our kids to see/know.

Are you ever going to slip & maybe voice disagreement with your spouse in front of your kids? Probably, but as long as you also show them how you can make up & resolve the problem, it will work out. Periodically, it may even take a little putting down of your pride to express to your child how you were wrong for something you did or didn't do. In doing these things, you are not only showing your child/children a united front as parents, but you are also demonstrating/modeling life skills, such as problem-solving skills and the art of apologizing, for them.

Teamwork is not always easy, but if you are even a lil' bit familiar with sports, you also know how necessary it is in order to win. :)

-M&M Momma

Pooped out from a LONG day

Never too tired to eat

Over the moon,
we finally got a big girl playground!!!

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  1. Awsome posting, great advice for parents, of all ages and of kids of all ages!