Becoming a parent is a whole new adventure that is impossible to fully understand until you are experiencing it firsthand. It has been said many times that as a parent you are constantly learning and evolving, which certainly seems to be true. Everyone has their own specific upbringing that has influenced them more than they might even realize, and it makes total sense that the way someone was brought up will have some sort of impact on how they raise their own children. If you have a spouse or significant other that you are raising children with, things can become complicated if you don’t always see eye-to-eye on certain topics.
Of course, no two people are the same and agree on everything, but when taking on the role of a parent, this journey becomes a whole lot easier if you work on getting on the same page with each other on the things you find most important when it comes to your little ones. Challenging and complicated times are bound to present themselves to you as a parent, but if you are aware of this and take the necessary steps, matters will likely run much more smoothly. Below you will find some helpful concepts to practice for maintaining a healthy team parenting system.
It is no surprise that relationships in general require heaps of communication to make them work, and then when children are added to the equation, communication becomes exponentially more important. Before any kids join your family, it’s imperative to discuss valuable topics that will arise eventually with your children as they grow, such as how you want to handle discipline, how you wish to approach the subject of phones and technology, and any other applicable matters. Chances are that neither of you are mind readers and can know what the other is thinking at any given moment, which is precisely why communicating your thoughts and feelings is so crucial when there is a moment as a parent that it is essential. Of course, you and your partner will disagree on certain things and that is completely okay and expected, but what really counts is that you are aware of your different viewpoints and still respect one another and your decision to be a team in this process.
An aspect that is so vital if you want to parent as a well-functioning team is having understanding. This point relates to the previous one in a way, because while you will not always agree on every belief you have when it comes to being a parent, if you want to work as a team, it is necessary to come from a place of understanding. Having an empathetic mindset and working to see things from a perspective other than your own is crucial as not only a parent but in a partnership, as well. Actively trying to understand one another will help each person feel seen and heard, and this will carry over into your relationship with your children, as well. There will be countless times as a parent when your child will need someone that cares to understand them, even if you don’t feel like you always do. That’s okay, but showing up and putting the in the effort in this way will always be better than any alternatives.
There will likely be times in your parenting journey that you completely disagree on a subject regarding your role as parents, or when one of you has an isolated conflict with your child that doesn’t involve the other. This is when it is essential to show up as a pillar of support to your partner and be there for them however you can. Parenting does not come with a guidebook, and conflicts or disagreements with your children are bound to arise. It’s important to keep in mind that you are a team and should approach these instances together and in a way that both of you see fit. Console, be there for one another, have each other’s backs, and come from a place of unwavering support when your significant other needs it the most.
Sometimes, you will not see eye to eye with your partner and you will both feel quite differently about certain topics. When this is the case, it only makes sense to find some middle ground and work on a compromise together. If either parent is demanding of getting their way in a given scenario, all this does is create the perfect environment for resentment, bitterness, and misdirected anger to brew. If compromising really is not in the cards, this is when the aspect of true understanding comes in and can serve its purpose well. Compromising and meeting halfway are undeniable elements in partnerships, especially as parents. Working together in this way will help you come to solutions in a smoother and more efficient manner, and it will certainly create a positive setting for your children to learn and grow from when they face their own conflicts in life that require some form of compromise.
As long as you and your partner remain mindful and dedicated to working as a team, you are set up to succeed. This does not even necessarily mean that you cannot go your separate ways in your relationship, because sometimes this of course happens and is for the best. Parenting doesn’t suddenly cease if this is the case, and you can still devote yourselves to co-parenting as a team that works together and makes joint decisions. When we parent with high levels of respect, communication, understanding, and support, it directly shows our youth how valuable these qualities are and how they can be utilized in their own lives and if they are eventually parents themselves someday, too.
Dr. Messina & Associates has a caring and compassionate team of psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists that specialize in anxiety and depression in children, adolescents, and adults. In-person appointments are available in our DFW (Southlake) offices. Online appointments are available to patients in the Austin, DFW, Houston, and San Antonion areas.