In the parenting journey, the child’s parents/caregivers will at times disagree on how to handle a specific situation or on their parenting strategies. This happens often, and has a significant impact on parenting. In our show we will look at what is often behind these disagreements and what can be done about it.
As we are all aware, children need consistency in their lives. Predictably helps them feel secure and aware of their boundaries. Parental disharmony not only causes the child to feel unsafe but also promotes triangulation, a child playing one parent against the other. This does not end in early childhood but can continue into emerging adulthood – especially around independence and money matters. The “mom lets me do it” excuse when confronted by dad is a typical strategy for a child to employ when playing one parent against another.
There are a variety of reasons why caregivers disagree about parenting. These include gender based perceptions of authority and the parenting styles that the caregivers were subjected to when they were children. Not being on the same page becomes more of a problem when parents are divorced and in blended and step households. Children who are co-parented in two different households are often subject to two different parenting styles. This becomes especially critical if the divorced parents are not communicating – a fairly common situation. Blended families, by definition, are bringing two different families together with the challenge of creating one united family.
We also address the issue of relatives and hired childcare workers who have scheduled time with the children but want to manage the children in a style differently than the parents. The solutions are basic but often difficult to implement. The keys include feeling secure about your parenting style, planning for change in living situations and finally getting the caregivers who have differences to agree on a trial program that they both will adhere to for a designated period of time. The results will provide the data for going forward. We close the show with a personal story from Richard that will provide some further insights on the problem.