As a mother, I will never give up on my child. As a mother of a child who has autism, I will never give up hope.
I look into his eyes and I see all the potential that he has to offer to this beautiful world and I just know that one day the world can see what I see.

Follow my blog as I share my life and my experiences as a person who loves someone with autism.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

“I’m right and you’re wrong!”

Daniel and I are not perfect parents and sometimes we disagree, but we work through it, and come to an agreement (most of the times), and in the end, I think we make a great team.

I found these 8 very helpful tips for when parents disagree and wanted to share them with you.

Tip #1: Reach an agreement to support each other publicly (or at least remain neutral).
You’ve heard about the importance of presenting a united front so your child can’t divide and conquer and it’s true. It’s confusing to your child when you argue about consequences in front of them. Children with a manipulative nature will use the situation to their advantage. Usually what happens is that you get embroiled in your own debate and the discipline action gets forgotten. It also undermines your spouse’s parental authority in front of your child, which is something you don’t want to do.

Tip #2: Develop a signal.
Let’s say that you strongly disagree with the other parent’s choice of discipline. Agree ahead of time on a signal that you can give that means, “Take a break. Let’s talk about this.” Perhaps making a T sign with your hands to signal a time out would be a good choice.

Tip #3: Talk privately about the child’s offense and how it should be handled.
There are few discipline actions that can’t wait for a few minutes. Taking the time to leave the room and talk privately with your spouse about how to handle the situation is a respectful way of communicating to your spouse that there may be other options to consider. Regardless, you are setting a much-needed boundary that this is an adult matter and that the two of you will handle it accordingly.

Tip #4: Check in with the other parent to see if they’ve already made a decision.
Many children will use the one-liner, “Dad said that I could” to get what they want. When hearing this line from your child, a wise thing to do is to actually ask the other parent if s/he has already given approval to your child’s request. Again, this demonstrates to your child that as parents you are united and will support each other. Usually your child starts back peddling if s/he is trying to manipulate you.

Tip #5: Develop 3-4 family rules that you can agree to follow up with consistently using the same discipline method.
One of the best methods for two parents to be consistent is to develop a few family rules for behaviors that are most important in your family. For instance, all families should have a rule that “No one’s body will be hurt by hitting, kicking, biting, etc.” A consistent discipline action should be applied by both parents when physical aggression occurs. For complete details on creating family rules and consequences refer to this article.

Parents will never agree on how to handle all offenses, but if parents respond consistently to the top three behaviors, it will make a significant impact.

Tip #6: Agree that smaller offenses can be handled at the discretion of the parent in charge.
Once you have your family rules in place, try not to sweat the small stuff. It can be beneficial for children to learn different methods of problem-solving and communication, so if your spouse parents a little differently, it may actually benefit your child. For instance, some parents are better at using humor to move through tough situations and if you’re open to it, you can learn what works more effectively with each child.

Tip #7: Never say, “Wait ‘til your father (or mother) gets home!”
When a statement like this is made it undermines the authority of the parent who says it and makes the other parent the “bad cop.” It’s important that you both share equally in disciplining your children.

Tip #8: Use positive discipline methods that work.
Many parents use time outs, yell or take away privileges as their top three discipline options. If those methods aren’t working for you it can be frustrating and lead to more arguments if you’re not feeling successful. If you feel like you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work, you can learn 10 positive discipline methods that work by checking our this resource.

Thanks for reading,

Source: Tips when parents disagree

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