One of the most common issues that comes up in the parenting groups I serve is the issue of discipline and how many expectation clashes happen.
Chances are YOU know you want to bring your kids up differently to the way you were brought up.
Did you discuss that with your partner before you had children?
When you discussed the whole concept of parenting, did you reach an agreement?
Operating on Automatic – Seat of the pants approach
So often parenting, amongst many things, is treated as something that “kinda just happens” as in “seat of the pants” management. That’s when the wheels are likely to come off. We end up on different pages, and likely both feeling criticised, based on the meanings we give about the other person’s perspective.
Now I have to admit, it was something that neither of us discussed before we got married. We too headed in with our own ideas, and muddled along, just like most couples.
Except in this day and age, parenting and our child raising or co-parenting partnerships are so much broader than they’ve ever been.
It still takes a village to raise a child. It’s that these days we may not know all the members of our support system the same way. And chances are we are going to be on different phases of our parenting beliefs, rules, styles choices. So having clarity around what we do want is super important.
If you are like me though. All I knew is that I didn’t want to be like my mum, and all my husband knew was that he didn’t want to be like his dad. And even then, we didn’t have clarity around what that meant.
It’s not even that we didn’t like our parents. We loved them and we didn’t like aspects of the way they behaved. That’s a really important definition to realise. This is not about disrespecting our parents, it’s about accepting their humanness. Which means we can accept ours as well.
Lots of times, the problems come when we get caught between loyalty to the way our parents raised us, and whether that misaligns with the way we want to raise our children. Even more challenging when our partner is also caught by their loyalty.
When we don’t have clarity around the gaps that need to be filled, we can disappoint ourselves, or be frustrated by the feedback we receive from those around us. Our partner, our parent, our friends, they don’t know what we are trying to achieve.
In lots of ways, it’s similar to going into business, especially if our family are the “make safe choices” bunch. It’s not really fair to blame them for not understand how we want to raise our kids. We have to adult, and that means knowing where we are headed, and having boundaries around what we will and won’t be influenced by.
When it comes to our partner, spending time truly gaining clarity around each other’s views, and listening without judgement, justification or defensiveness is where we can have the most influence. No one likes being wrong. When we can be curious, we get the opportunity to understand and they get to feel seen and heard, same as we all want.
The more we get caught by the whirlwind of any tribal cycle enmeshment, the less likely we are to be a functional and effective leader in our family.
If you resonate with the challenge of breaking free from your tribal cycle,
and you know there has to be a better way then
come join us in
where we are being the Village that raises our children together.