Troubled relationships with parenting partners are all too common. Whether parenting with a partner who sleeps next to you at night, co-parenting with an ex, or even sharing the responsibility of raising a child with grandparents, it is normal to experience ups and downs in the relationship. If you are struggling with parenting together, it is important to work towards repairing your parenting relationship in order to become better partners. Parenting is fraught with daily stresses, and our conversations can very easily sound like this:
Didn’t I tell you they need to get dressed by 8am? It’s 8:30!
How can you let them watch TV when I literally just said they can’t?!
Why do I feel like I’m doing everything and you’re doing nothing?
Sound familiar? You might find it increasingly challenging to manage working, keeping house, and managing your child’s extracurricular activities. And because of that, your relationship with your parenting partner may be on the rocks. Here are 5 ways to help you repair that relationship and become a better parenting partner:
- Practice effective communication. Effective communication is key. Instead of using negative language or showing frustration, try kind and clear communication to raise healthy and secure kids. For example, instead of yelling, “You never help me when I need you to!”, try calmly saying, “I feel overwhelmed because I have a meeting in five minutes. Can you help me by [insert your specific request]?” Repairing your parenting relationship starts with effective communication.
- Be strategic.Strategic planning is another important aspect of parenting together. Treat your parenting tasks like business goals, especially when issues arise. Create a schedule, prepare an agenda, have objectives, exchange relevant information with your partner, and keep them in the loop. Work together to come up with solutions that benefit both partners. Repairing your parenting relationship means being strategic in your approach.
- Cultivate an atmosphere of respect. Communicating with respect is one of the fundamental values of conscious parenting. As parenting partners, model respectful behavior in how you talk to and about each other. Avoid trash-talking your partner or undermining their authority, especially in front of your child. Repairing your parenting relationship starts with respect for each other.
- Agree to be consistent. Consistency is also crucial. Consistency is key for children. Shifting from one set of rules and expectations to another can be confusing for them. Apply consistency to bedtimes, chores, and study and play periods. Get on the same page about what’s permitted and what isn’t. Once you’ve made your decisions, stick to them and be consistent. Repairing your parenting relationship requires consistency in your approach.
- Chill out. Lastly, taking time to relax is important. Overextending yourself in too many directions can make you tired, overwhelmed, and cranky. For the sake of your partner, child, and yourself, create time in your schedule to kick back and relax. Even a few minutes of quiet time can make a big difference in diffusing high-emotion moments and bringing peace to your home life. Repairing your parenting relationship also means taking care of yourself and each other.
Parenting together can be challenging, but by using effective communication, strategic planning, cultivating an atmosphere of respect, being consistent, and taking time to relax, you can minimize meltdowns, create successful outcomes, and bring peace to your household. By repairing your parenting relationship, you and your partner can become better partners and raise healthy and happy children together.
Love and Blessings,
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