Two Parents, Two Points of View
At times, parenting can be a difficult job. Sharing your parenting responsibilities with another person is often stressful as well. it can be a tricky situation when two people are making joint decisions about raising children–especially if you have differing points of view.
When you become a parent, there is no job description, and you don’t get a handbook. You have to make thousands of important decisions that you are sure will impact the lives of people you love dearly, and this can be very taxing.
When you are raising children with another person, you want to share that responsibility, and at the same time it can be quite a challenge. Especially when you need to agree on a decision but you disagree about which strategy is best.
This is true regardless of the circumstances that surround your co-parenting– whether you live in the same house or you’re co-parenting with a separated or ex-spouse. Either way, making joint decisions from separate perspectives is not an easy task.
“The trouble with being a parent is that by the time you are experienced, you are unemployed.” ~Unknown
What Really Matters Is the Child
The key here is remembering to keep your attention focused on what’s important for the children. Don’t get distracted by the “who’s right / who’s wrong” game. Keeping what is most important for the child’s well-being at the forefront is the first step toward success.
How can you get on the same page as the other parent when they have a much different perspective?
Start by taking a good look at the situation. It is pretty likely that you both want the same basic things for your children; to be happy, healthy, successful, etc. If you can begin your discussions by focusing your attention on what you each value that is driving the strategy you prefer, rather than the specific strategies themselves, then the rest will start to fall into place.
Begin with an alignment about what you each want for your child–what you want for them at deeper more values based level. This alignment will help you end up with fewer disagreements, fewer arguments, and greater sense of cooperation and satisfaction for everyone involved.