As we’ve seen earlier this week, it’s so easy to get off the same page as parents. You don’t have to try. It’s almost automatic.
And while it’s easy to do, it’s not great for our kids. It’s also not what you set out to when you became parents.
So how do you get on the same page as partners and stay on it? Here are a few suggestions:
Talk about it. Because you and your spouse probably have a naturally different approach to discipline, decisions and parenting, it’s a great idea to have a discussion about it when you are not “in the moment” trying to make a decision. Take a night, go out for dinner. While you might have better ideas, here are a few conversation starters to get you going:
What do we hope to see in our children as they grow up?
What will help us get there?
What is the natural approach each of us bring to parenting (strict v. relaxed, rules v. relationship)?
How can we leverage the strengths of each approach without realizing the weakness of each?
What “rules” will we set up for decision making when the other isn’t there?
Communicate Before Deciding. You can make some decisions without your spouse because the answer is clear and you know you’ll agree on it. But other times you just can’t. Tell your kids to wait. Then talk to your spouse. It’s easier than ever. Text. Call. Ask. And if you don’t get a reply, tell your kids to wait.
Disagree Privately. As much as you try to communicate with each other, you’ll each make calls in the moment the other disagrees with. Don’t call out your spouse in front of the kids. It’s hard to show restraint in the moment, but do it. Always agree publicly and disagree privately. It’s good for your kids and great for your marriage.
What are some practices that have helped you and your spouse stay on the same page?