You may find that you and your spouse have opposing ideas of how to raise your children — everyone was brought up differently, and that’s perfectly ok! Find out how you can best navigate differences like this as a couple and find a happy medium.
Let me start out by saying this: It’s a given that you love and adore your spouse! However, you may find it difficult sometimes to perfectly align your values with theirs. Your spouse might have a different way of raising your children — everyone was brought up differently, and that’s perfectly ok! You may both have different ideas on how your child should be cared for and disciplined, and that is ok.
What matters most is that you and your spouse talk about these differences and come to an agreement on the most important family matters, ie. when your child tries to get his or her way. They might do something that goes against your family values, such as complaining or throwing a tantrum when it is dinner time. You and your spouse may have opposing views on how to resolve this situation, so you should discuss your ideas together and come to a consensus on how to deal with it.
Watts’ Relationship with His Parents
I recently had a conversation about this subject with a couple on my WCN: Web Series! In Jerry and Stephanie’s case, their two-year-old son Watts had just been weaned off breast milk, and this, unfortunately, caused behavioral differences between the two spouses. They had managed to work together to curb his neediness in public, but at home, Stephanie found herself being manipulated by Watts’ crying until she gave in to what he wanted — which was usually mama’s breast milk. On the flip side, dad always gave Watts a hard “no” and let him cry it out until the problem subsided. However, because Stephanie continuously gave in to her son’s crying, it caused a problem between the two regarding disciplinary actions for Watts. We set a goal for them to transition Watts away from breastfeeding.
Building Boundaries, Drawing the Line and Putting Your Foot Down
Because they were in this transition, new rules and boundaries needed to be set for the family. Watts tested those boundaries using his old habits. Being the clever little boy he is, he knew that the best way to get what he wanted was by crying to Stephanie, who felt the mom guilt and let him bend the boundary. Stephanie knew she needed to change this habit.
Children will naturally see how far they can test boundaries or relationships whenever a new rule is implemented, so make sure to be firm in grounding these rules and boundaries — this is key to a successful disciplinary regime for you and your spouse.