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                Parenting Basics 101

                                    Learn how to be a better parent using tried and true methods

Parenting Blog

I post here from time to time as issues come up, or in response to parent feedback and questions

Parenting Blog

Parent as a Team

Posted by Dave on August 22, 2022 at 12:40 AM

Although I touch on this idea several times in the Parenting Basics Outline, comments and questions make it clear I've understated the importance of team parenting. Being a parenting team doesn't mean doing absolutely everything together, but it does require you both to be in substantial agreement about how to raise your kids.

For instance, you never want a child to feel they can play one parent against the other as a strategy for getting what they want. It's so damaging to family dynamics and goals that in our household, it's a serious punishable offence! If a kid tries to "divide and conquer," they'll quickly find themselves in trouble with both parents. In truth, most kids will try this at least once, but a strong, unified response from both parents generally puts a quick end to further attempts. By the way, "parents" in this context also includes any live-in adult caregivers, including grandparents, significant others, babysitters, and so on.

Team parenting should encompass every aspect of family life. Putting specific areas of responsibility in the hands of a one parent is fine to help balance workloads, but both parents have to be in agreement on what that means. An example might be managing daily chores. Both parents must agree on what form chores will take and how they will be implemented, but one parent can manage who does what and when. The other parent might be responsible for education issues, like homework, parent conferences, and so on.

Does being divorced change things? It shouldn't but often does. Parents frequently forget that their own struggles shouldn't be allowed to affect the way their children are raised. Make every effort to rise above personal grievances and do what's right for the kids. Never use the kids as pawns in our own battles. Managing divorce in a way that does the least damage to the kids is a significant subject all by itself, more than can be in a short blog post.

Categories: General Topics