Being a single parent, whilst not easy, is I’m sure easier than sharing parental responsibility at times. I don’t have a partner with different opinions, different triggers and different beliefs about how we should parent. And, I don’t have to agree what I’ll ignore with anyone else and what I’ll focus on. I make those decisions and then in theory stick to them!
Not on the same page
One of the sticking points I see so often when working with couples is that they aren’t on the same page when it comes to parenting. This is totally understandable. Our own upbringing and believe system has a huge impact on how we parent. Unless you sit down and talk to your other half to agree your approach you are likely to be on different pages, at least a bit.
It’s often a bone of contention when I’m talking to couples. If you’re struggling with your child’s behaviour and you find your partners approach irritating it doesn’t help matters and can lead to more arguments.
Bringing your approach together
When I’m working with parents we look at their own triggers and parenting beliefs. We discuss questions like ‘What do you find acceptable / unacceptable’; ‘What do you think parenting looks like?’; ‘What frustrates with your partners style of parenting?’. From there we can start to bring both parents onto the same page and decide agree a way forward. This helps everyone and can reduce tensions between parents.
As we bring their approaches together we are able to provide their child with a more consistent approach. Being beneficial for the child, and ultimately the whole family.
Prioritising the challenges
We also use the baskets approach to help them agree their priorities. (You can read about how to do this here) Once we have those agreed it becomes much easier for both parents. They know what they are focusing on and can support each other in ignoring other behaviours.
Changing your approach as a parent isn’t easy. It’s often deeply ingrained in us and takes time to change. When we are able to adjust and agree a way forward together as a couple it can have a huge impact on the whole family.
If you’re ready for change and would like some help then I offer individual family support and group support, depending on what you’d prefer. You can find all the details here and don’t hesitate to get in contact if you have any questions.