When you and your mate sign on to be parents, hopefully you realize the job description includes the title of teammate. Parenting infants, young children, teens, and adult children is a huge responsibility that requires you both work from the same playbook. Here are some basic rules to help make and keep parenting a joyful experience:
- Avoid undermining your mate in front of your kids. If your child says one thing and your mate says another, taking your child’s side without first talking to your partner is a mistake.
- Use the pronoun “We” rather than “I” when responding to a child’s request. If you can’t grant your child’s request, simply say, “We (your mom/dad and I) will talk it over and get back to you (in a specific amount of time). It’s okay to allow your child to wait for an answer!
- Compliment your mate in front of your children by telling them what you love about their mom or dad. For example, “Mom makes the best spaghetti sauce,” or “Dad is the best handyman.” Showing your kids you support one another with words of affirmation is another way of demonstrating teamwork.
- Make sure your and your mate’s values are congruent. Values are one of the things you teach your kids, so you want to be certain you and your partner are on the same page in this area.
- Have a regular, consistent family meeting with your kids. You and your mate make the agenda for the family meeting. Be prepared for the topics you will discuss and any boundaries you will set.
For more ideas on how you and your mate can work as a team parenting your children, click here.