We are all hardwired to repeat what we saw at home. So know that we are all doing the best we can with the information we have. We all have a story from our childhood, and it’s hard to change a lifetime of patterning, it takes lots of practice. Here are some tips for when you want to parent one way, and your partner is doing it differently.
- Learn about each other’s childhoods.
Ask questions like:
– How did your parent connect with you?
– How did your parents communicate with you when you felt happy, excited, sad, scared, angry?
– How did your parents discipline you as a child? How does this come up as a parent now?
– How did your relationship with your parents differ, and how were they similar? Are there ways you want to be like, or not to be like, each of your parents?
These conversations can be painful, take it slow, take breaks, and hold space for each other.
- Have regular check-ins
Being on the same page about discipline, bedtimes, screen time, family time, etc. helps make sure you’re parenting together. In conversations about discipline, you can ask things like, “What do you think about trying this out?” “This is what I’m trying to do what do you think about that?”
- Stand Back
When you see your partner getting triggered, it can be tempting to want to jump in to help. This often undermines your partner’s abilities, unless there is physical harm or deep shaming, let your partner work it out. Instead of jumping in and telling them they’re doing it wrong you can offer support by being a calm presence in the room or providing a break, “I can see your feeling angry do you want to take a break.”
Process together later, “How was that for you, I could see you getting upset, are you ok?” If they are willing to open up and discuss, then go fo it. Remember, hold their inner childhood experiences in mind.
We learn so much by watching. Model the way you want to parent. Model peaceful, respectful behavior not only to your children but to your partner as well. Treat your partner with the same respect you’d like for them to have towards your children. Join me tomorrow for tips on partner conflict resolution.
Research shows that children who have a secure attachment with at least one adult experience benefits. If you’re the person who listens to your child’s feelings, that is enough, and they can heal from the tension, hurt, and disconnect they experience from a parent who is still learning.