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Fact Sheet: Jenny Hale - Parenting on the Same Page

Parenting on the Same Page

For more information head to the 
The Parenting Place.

In reality it just isn't possible to agree with one another all the time. However, how you disagree is the key. Is it respectful, honest and kind? Whatever you role model in front of your children, will be imitated.

Some deferring is essential - from both parents. Often the thing that is causing the tension is less important than the way you are handling it.

For example;

One parent thinks the TV should go off - dinner is ready. The other parent thinks it's okay to wait until the programme has finished.

Who is right? Who gets their way? What do the children get to see?

1. Show the children you can work through a difference
2. Communicate your expectations - Does Mum mean come to the table now?
3. Is it respectful to ignore a parent's request?
4. Wherever possible, parents pull together

Typical hot spots

1. He says no and she says yes
Back each other up - children do great research

2. The see saw - one parent really strict and the other parent forced to rescue or be too soft
Keep it balanced - remind each other to be Kind, firm and calm

3. One parent switches off - absent and distracted
Stay tuned in. It really helps if the children know you are following up on a request made by the other parent

4. He's a twit/she's a twit - a superior attitude often breeds contempt in the children
Be respectful
Discuss the issue later away from the children

5. Parent to child alliance - siding with a child in preference to your partner
Children feel safe when you are not allowing them to control

6. Keeping the information to yourself
Loop the other parents in. Remember to ask 'What can I do to help here?'

7. Favouritism - allowing a child to dominate and choose which parent does what
Have turns - good for everyone

Tips for success

Respect each other's roles. Get your children to show appreciation for what the other parent does for them
Invest in the relationship
Learn how to communicate respectfully, privately at times, and with negotiation and compromise
Have family meetings to discuss issues and build a family focus that does not revolve around the children entirely.
Be aware of the persecutor, rescuer and victim roles that families get stuck in.