It can be such a relief to know that other people are struggling with the same challenges that you are. It can also be
comforting, in a way, to find out that there are problems out there
that you don’t have. (well, it’s true!) To that end, this post is the
first in a multi-part series about the most common parenting conflicts.
I did a small survey and have summarized the results below. (In other
words, this is neither scientific nor exhaustive.) But I think you’ll
find common ground all the same.
Typical areas of conflict between parents:
- Discipline: (strategies, thresholds, undermining vs united front.)
- Anxiety: (differing levels and differing triggers)
- Self-care: (Who gets personal time! Who is getting more! There is Never Enough!!)
- Sex: (hormones, feeling over-touched, the importance of reconnection.)
- Lifestyle issues: (diet, TV, language, work vs play)
- Balance and Sharing: (household labor, ‘owning’ the kids, reading parenting books, extended family, role modeling, competing for love.)
Steps that can help:
- Define a common problem.
- Use “I” statements. Avoid blame and ‘making wrong.’
- Active listening skills (body language, focus, “uh huh,” rephrasing, empathetic response.)
- Reach out. Ask friends, family, professionals. Ask for help. Ask
for camaraderie. Ask for distraction. Ask for advice. Both parents must
- Acceptance, compromise, communication.
- Counseling. You get the help of an ‘expert’ with training and
experience in these exact issues, plus a dedicated hour each week to
focus on growth.
In future posts, I will delve a little deeper into the different categories. First up: discipline. Come back for more!