So you have been looking forward to having a family of your own, becoming a doting parent, and sharing the bliss with your spouse.
You think about that precious cherub lying quietly in your arms, looking back at you, and blowing bubbles. Then, you take a million photos to capture the memories of your child growing up.
There are like 100,000 pictures lounging in your My Documents folder. You are a proud parent.
You deal with the poop-filled diapers, doctor’s visits, throw-ups and late-night crying sessions. You even got through the anxieties of teaching them how to turn over, crawl, walk, and talk.
Now comes the terrible twos and your well-behaved angel has morphed into a minion from hell.
What should you do?
First, do not freak out. Keep it together. Next, decide on a game plan and be prepared to change it as your child gets older.
Develop a Parenting Plan
Raising children is not an easy job.
Many people struggle with parenting issues and become overwhelmed by the recurring problems of raising a child.
However, you don’t have to sink beneath the tidal wave and become overwhelmed.
Remember the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
So, take the time and speak with your spouse.
Even though you discussed each other’s history and talked about how you grew up, when you have a child, it helps to focus the discussion on how you were disciplined.
When you get that feeling that parenting your child is becoming overwhelming, that is a great time to say, “Honey, let’s talk.”
Feel free to talk to your partner about your concerns, your ideas, and the daily challenges.
Ask them about how they were raised and how they would want to discipline your child or children.
If you have differences, come to an understanding, compromise, and decide on the way forward. This might be a conversation that you will have for several years.
Write Down the Rules
Then take note of how you will raise your child together.
Writing down these parenting rules will help to solidify the plan and remind you both of what you agreed on. It is also something that you could possibly share with your child when they get older.
Revisit the Rules
Having written rules is great.
It is also beneficial when you want to review how you and your family have changed over the years.
But keep in mind that you might also be forced to change the script for a particular child because they require a different parenting style.
Patience is not only for your children, but also be patient with your spouse and with yourself.
You are both coming from different backgrounds. You were both reared with possibly different parenting styles, and you both have two separate brains even though you are in one relationship.
Things may take some time to gel.
Support Each Other
As your kids get older, they get smarter.
Keep in mind that you might change your perspective on how to handle a particular situation, but this might not have been communicated to your spouse.
In such an instance, it could cause an argument.
As best as possible, first try not to argue in front of the kids. Then show a united front.
Support each other’s decision in front of your children, and then in private, you can discuss the matter.
Remember, take it a day at a time because there will be challenges that will force you to regroup, rethink, and come up with a different co-parenting approach to child rearing.
Determine Your Co-Parenting Style
An understanding of the various parenting styles will help you become more successful and consistent in raising healthy children.
Parents have a lasting influence on their children. They directly affect the type of human beings that their children evolve into.
Being an uninvolved parent can have a dramatic and hurtful influence on an impressionable child.
Be invested in your child’s life, in their future.
Ask about their day at school. Speak with their teachers. Learn about their friends. Find out what they want to be when they grow up and encourage them. Do more than simply provide food, clothing, and shelter.
Yes, you want to be a disciplinarian, but you don’t want to be authoritarian and break your child’s will.
In this way, they will become suppressed and potentially angry.
Take a more authoritative approach.
Love your child and discipline them. Consider their feelings but still find ways to reward and praise your child while letting them know you are in charge.
Do not be too permissive and let them do as they please, at all times.
Self-discovery is good. But set boundaries until your child can show they will obey the rules, respect authority, and always show exemplary behavior.
Give your child your attention, and adjust or mix these parenting styles as the situation demands.