Disagreement about Handling the Kids
We have all had those Disagreement About Handling the Kids! Whether it is when to have children, who is going to discipline them, or even what their bedtime should be. One of the top reasons couples experience some bumps in the road to marital bliss is because of disagreements about handling the kids. Although it’s a wonderful blessing to raise children, and even step children – this blessing is also accompanied by a great deal of stress and hard work.
Not only do children require a lot of your time, but they tend to cramp your social lives. Unfortunately, your kids can sometimes cause a disconnection between you and your partner when it comes to decisions about raising and disciplining them. Believe it or not, noticing and managing changes in how you get along with your partner, early on after you have kids, will tell the tale of how your marriage will proceed.
So, what do think you are teaching your kids about relationships?
In our professional opinion, arguments between two people, even if they are not the child’s biological parents, are one of the first things kids are negatively impacted by. When kids witness the constant strains building between two important people in their lives, it damages their own relationships in the long run, even when the fights become a thing of the past. We have even heard plenty of adults saying something along the lines of, “I will do just about anything to un-see my parents fighting.” If that doesn’t clue you in about the damage you can do by having arguments in the presence of the little ones’ ears, keep reading to understand the subject matter in grave detail.
Mend fences with your partner now and get on the same team when raising your children:
- Share your feelings. Tell your partner you’ve noticed you’re having some disagreements about the kids lately. Also state that you want to work them out because you’re striving to be on the same page when it comes to raising the kids.
- Ask questions. Talk with your partner and inquire about what methods he prefers to use when disciplining the kids. Then, listen carefully.
- Discuss the issues. Agree with your partner when you genuinely share his viewpoints. Next, you can discuss the points that you disagree about and why.
- Be truthful and ask for what you want. Honestly state what you find upsetting about some of your partner’s parenting techniques. Then, ask for what you want. See if you can come to a compromise about how to handle different issues with the children.
For example, say something like, “I’m not sure it’s helpful to threaten Tommy with spankings because he’s beginning to react as if he’s afraid of you. Would you consider stopping the threats for a month or so to see if his fear decreases?”
- Agree to avoid disagreeing in front of the kids. Explain you want to “present a united front” to the children so they see you as a loving team. Plus, you don’t want the kids to try to “divide and conquer” their parents.
- Suggest attending a local parenting seminar together. State you’d like to do it in the spirit of learning whatever you can about how to be a better parent to your children.
The bonus is that it’s an afternoon or evening out together without the kids. Having kids together will be one of the greatest joys you’ll ever experience.
How to Stop Fighting in Front of Kids
We understand that collecting yourself when you are all ramped up and angry about something is easier said than done. However, when there are kids involved, you must practice and stick by specific measures to avoid stirring the conversation towards a wrong turn.
Here’s a series of steps you can take to stop arguing in front of your child:
1- Agree on a Visual Cue
The first thing you can do for stopping a heated debate before it starts is to agree upon a visual cue or gesture well in advance. For example, you can hold up your hand as a signal to indicate a fight is brewing and the kids are watching. Upon acknowledging the sign, you and your partner can settle down and continue discussing your issues when your child isn’t around.
2- Walk Away.
When you equate loving your kids with controlling your impulses, it becomes easier to walk away from a situation that’s bound to end up in an out-of-control conflict.
3- Write Down the Points That Need to Be Discussed
After walking away, you should make a list of things that riled up your emotions in the first place so that you can still discuss them with your partner in a kids-free zone. Brushing the matters under the carpet will only stay hidden as long as no one lifts the rug again.
4- Replace Anger with Your Real Feelings
However, before striking a conversation with your partner about the impending matter, it’s better to tone down your emotions and replace the anger with the feelings that caused you to react badly initially.
5- Encourage Constructive Communication
Once the anger is out of the picture, you can encourage your partner to have an open and honest discussion with you. Moreover, when both parties make conscious efforts to keep their fights private, it automatically builds in them to make it easier for each other to share without worrying about upsetting anyone.
6- Find a Mutual Solution
Without bringing any unhealthy emotions into the mix, you and your spouse can quickly find mutual ground and find a solution that doesn’t end up in a big blowout.
7- End It with Affection
Lastly, how you finish your conversation also leaves an impact on your mind, preventing you from stringing up future fights. When your conversation ends on a good note, both you and your partner prefer retaking the same path to resolve the conflicts.
Apply these strategies to maintain a strong marital base while you raise your children in harmony.
Need Help? Contact a Relationship Expert at Marriage Means Moore
We strongly recommend talking it out with a professional relationship coach if you think your conflicts have started to put a strain on your kids as well. Let our life coaches at Marriage Means Moore give you their expert opinion and advice regarding how you can communicate constructively with your partner without pushing your child into the middle of it.
Schedule a confidential session with a coach today, and we promise to get your life back on track in less than 90 days! In the meantime, you can visit our website blog where we have several articles to help you overcome relationship-related issues.