Navigating differences of opinion in relationship vs. parenting

My mum was always a National supporter, and my dad was Labour. Every three years they would dutifully go to the polls and cancel out each other’s vote.

One of the most useful insights about staying together as a couple is – you are not always going to agree, and that’s okay. I run relationship seminars and teach some wonderful tools to help couples negotiate with each other – but I am very aware that sometimes it doesn’t work. I know counselling can help, but honestly, if you don’t like your partner’s mother, how much counselling will it take before you do?  The really valuable thing to know is that you can disagree, it can annoy you but you can shrug, sigh and still love each other.

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However when it comes to parenting, it is immensely useful to present a united front. You will have different approaches to rules and behaviour – two authentic people will always have differing ideas –and your kids will soon get to know who has the softer touch when it comes to asking for things.

Where it gets tricky is if you start contradicting each other or undermining the other parent’s authority with the children, “Don’t bother about that – that’s just mum being cranky.” Whenever you can, back each other up. If you get the, “But mum said we weren’t allowed to!” complaint, a good strategy is to say, “Okay, she might be thinking of something that I haven’t thought of. Do what mum says and I’ll have a chat with her so I’ll know why she said that.” In most cases, showing the children that you support each other is more important being right!

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family-coachSometimes family life is way more challenging than we had ever imagined. We would like it to be a lot more enjoyable, if only we knew how. Family coaching is designed to meet you where you are at, whatever stage you are at on your parenting and relationship journey. We want to be on the journey with you. To find out more and to book a session, click here.