We knew when we named our daughter Paige there would be the occasional pun and confusion, but in this case, it is very appropriate. Our Paige is about to turn two years old and recently our sweet toddler has started to become more of her own person, complete with problem behavior that you might expect from a two-year-old. My husband and I have had to have some really good and hard conversations about this, trying to get us on the same page when it comes to parenting and discipline.
In parenting it is so important to be in sync with your parenting partner, whether that is your significant other, your parent, a childcare provider or whoever is helping you in parenting your child. Agreeing on parenting strategies and discipline methods creates a united front to the child and helps to set clear, firm expectations for the child no matter who they are with. Children do best when they know what is expected of them and have consistency in parenting and discipline. This makes it vital that parents talk about issues of parenting before they arise.
It is important to have an open conversation about your parenting beliefs and ideals. Discuss your childhood and where your beliefs and ideals about parenting came from. It is important to understand that there may be differences between how you were raised and what was acceptable behavior and discipline compared to the experiences of your parenting partner. Having these conversations, negotiating, and agreeing on what is right for your family will help you create a good foundation for how you will parent your child. The Gottman Institute suggests using these statements to help start the conversation with your parenting partner:
- I feel that you are a good parent because ____.
- I feel that my role as a parent is to ___.
- My parents were ___ and I feel that was ___.
- Discipline means ___.
- It’s most important to me for my child to be ___.
- My goal in raising my child is ___.
Communication is key. After having these conversations to get on the same page, keep the communication open. Agree on what strategies you will try and what you feel is acceptable behavior. Communicate what is working, what you may want to try differently, and what you are struggling with. Keep the conversation ongoing. If something is not working, talk about what other parenting or discipline technique(s) you might try. In the end, it is important to have conversations with your parenting partner about how you will parent. Everyone will have different experiences and ideas based on how they were raised. Talking about these issues and getting on the same page will help you create a strong parenting foundation for your family.