By Melissa Ford
Have you ever tried to "get on the same page" as your partner? Difficult, right? Agreeing on everything 24/7 - impossible! It's time to debunk that myth, which causes so many parents unnecessary frustration, guilt, anger, and other assorted "bad" feelings. The truth?
You and your partner are good parents for the very fact you aren't on the same page.
For years, I struggled to get my husband to parent my "right" way (do I hear a groan?), believing that we'd be a stronger, more effective team if we could just see eye-to-eye. When I took the concerned, caring approach, he took the no-nonsense approach. When he offered choices to our children, I wanted to lay down the law. Then one day, my narrow view about "good parenting" shifted when my husband devised a novel solution to a parenting problem we had faced for years with one of our kids - an idea I could have never conceived. This solution came from his unique experiences, his creative problem solving abilities, and his love for our child . . . and it was genius!
Wow! What other good ideas had I missed in my mission to parent from the "same page?" From then on when we didn't see eye-to-eye, I stood by my opinions yet I was open to hearing his ideas. I learned that being respectful of each other's diverse perspectives and approaches was the winning combination for a perfect parenting team.
When you work together (sometimes you take the backseat and let your partner take the lead), your own parenting becomes stronger because you benefit from a different viewpoint. Allow yourself to learn from your partner. Discover what he/she brings to your parenting team that is perfect for you and your child. Your child isn't your only teacher - look to your teammate as well.
Here's to your differences!