the word 'parenting' written in vintage letters and reflected underneath

We cannot assume that just because a child has two parents living together in the same house that they will be parenting together – parented in the same way by each one. We cannot assume either that the child is clear on what is expected of them when it comes to rules and boundaries. More often than not mum and dad will have different thoughts on parenting, rules, and consequences and there may be inconsistencies at times in how they are disciplining or what they are saying. I don’t know many homes where mum and dad agree on everything related to bringing up children. How could they when their past experience and how they were brought up is different in many ways?

The Benefits When Parenting Together

Most, if not all, of us know the impact on children if we parent in different ways. The main impact is that they learn to play off mum and dad against each other to get what they want by saying, ‘Dad said/Mum said’. The rules need to be the same and we need to show consistency so they know what they are allowed to do regardless of mum or dad asking them to do something. A child needs to know where they stand and what is expected of them. They won’t if one parent says one thing and the other one says something completely different. Which one should they listen to?

Parenting together can be made easier if mum and dad sit down from time to time (over dinner or one evening) and talk about what is working from a parenting perspective. They can think about each child’s need, what they are responding to (and what isn’t working) and come up with some new suggestions to parent them. That may be changing some of the rules or allowing them to have more freedom. These decisions need to be decided together and agreed on and then communicated to each child so they know what is going to change.

What do you think about having regular chats with your other half? Are you already doing this? Do you find the holidays easier to parent together or find there is more friction?

For more information on parenting, ‘The Parent’s Toolkit’ is a great resource as it covers off lots of areas of how to work with your children and get the best from them. If you feel like you could benefit from some outside help then please do get in contact with me.


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