Training up a Child(ren) when you don’t agree

I love my husband.  He loves me.

That being said, we often have differing opinions about raising up our boys.

Not that one way is better than the other, just that we come at this parenting thing with different experiences, different ideals and different wounds.

Yes, I said wounds.  I have found in my almost fourteen years of parenting that the issue that clouds my parental judgment most often is the foggy lense of my personal wounds from childhood.

For instance: when my boys were little I wanted them to be involved in ANYTHING they wanted to be.  That quickly led to a pooped out mama, tired and overscheduled kids and a dad with that look of “I told you so” in his dark brown eyes.

When I stepped back and looked at the situation, I was trying to give my kids something I missed out on.  I figured they had to want to be involved in scouts and little league and play groups.  I had wanted to be.

Here is the thing I have come to understand over the years: God made each of my children as a one of a kind creation.  If I am going to raise them up to be who He created them to be, I need to do so without any hidden agenda.  I had to allow God to heal the wounds of my childhood, the little girl inside me, so I could be the best parent to the children He gifted me with.

My husband has had to go through the same type of journey.  And together, through prayer and lots of discussion and compromise, we have become a parenting team.

There are times I don’t agree with how Mike is handling a situation.  There are times he thinks I am way too much of a softie. and he is probably right.

But we have a few agreements about parenting that have helped us resolve conflict when it comes to discipline:

  • We ALWAYS present a united front.  If we disagree with the other parent we do so in private.
  • We admit when we don’t know what we’re doing and apologize to the kids when we mess up.  Seeing the fact that mom and dad aren’t perfect does absorb some of the pressure to be perfect that kids place on themselves.
  • When in doubt we look up.  God has never failed to give us an answer about how to handle a situation.  We have deferred discipline until we had peace in our hearts and with each other on how to proceed.
  • We seek out mentors.  God places people in your life for a reason.  We look to couples who have “been there, done that” with their kids when we hit a parenting quandry.

We by no means have it down but the lense we choose to look through is the lens of what would Jesus do? and how can we help our children realize their potential in Christ?

What are the hurdles you and your spouse face when it comes to discipline and parenting? Do you have parenting agreements?

This post is linked to Wifey Wednesday.

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