Parents Need to Agree on How to Raise Their Children

PARENTS NEED TO AGREE ON HOW TO RAISE THEIR CHILDREN

Rob Pascale & Lou Primavera

 fizkes/Shutterstock
In an earlier article, “Married with Kids,” we talked about how the introduction of children into the home can wreak havoc on some marriages. These problems often result from work overload—their lives are no longer just about managing the house, or jobs, or making each other happy. The responsibilities that are dumped on new parents can mean that both, but especially wives (since they shoulder most of the burden), are perpetually stressed, exhausted, and pushed to their limits.

For those who are hit particularly hard, their relationship can suffer not just because of less time devoted to each other. When under chronic stress, there’s a strong possibility that partners will at times let their emotions get the better of them and they will then take their frustrations out on each other. There may also be disappointments that derive from unmet expectations. Expectations have a lot to do with adjusting to parenthood, and the more partners are off with regard to how they thought things would be, the greater is the likelihood of resentments and conflicts.

Problems can also result from differences in parenting philosophies. In some marriages, one parent may prefer to take a relaxed attitude while the other may want to institute more structure and rules for the child to follow. When parents bump heads on how to raise their children, not only do they give themselves reasons to argue, but they also work against the interests of the child. Sometimes in these situations one parent may try to gain the child as an ally against the other parent. The child may then feel forced to take sides with one parent or the other, or become confused as to what they’re supposed to do. The parent who loses that power struggle can feel alienated from the family, and may resent their partner or the children.

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Why Insecure People Struggle With Vulnerability

WHY INSECURE PEOPLE STRUGGLE WITH VULNERABILITY

Kyle Benson

As we’ve seen on this site, vulnerable communication is the solution for finding a healthy relationship and happy life. At a glance, most treat vulnerability as if it is something every person can do. Many believe that if the person sets their mind to it, they can get their needs met in a healthy manner. Unfortunately, this is only the case for secure individuals.

Secure individuals are capable of expressing themselves and regulating their emotions because they believe they are worthy of love and affection. They expect their partners to be responsive and caring. It’s easy to see that having such beliefs can lead on to not become overwhelmed as easily. Secure individuals have no issue communicating their needs to their significant other.

The problem is that insecure people -my previous self included- struggle to get in touch with what is really bothering them.  Once the emotional floodgates open, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. These can create irrational thoughts, which can end in a person lashing out.

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How New Parents Keep Their Love Alive and Well

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HOW NEW PARENTS KEEP THEIR LOVE ALIVE AND WELL

Amity Kramer

You know the times in life when things just don’t feel good? When you see one of those uplifting t-shirts that says, “Life is Good,” and you think, “Not mine, today is hard and I don’t like it.”

The Bringing Baby Home Workshop helps parents to prepare for those days. Like it or not, life as a parent is not always baby snuggles and Instagram moments. As a facilitator of this evidence-based workshop, I have the privilege of witnessing couples see each other in a new way, a way that is more clear and authentic than before. When that happens, couples intentionally take in more of that beautiful view, and they savor it.

I want to share some relationship enhancing strategies that parents learn in the Bringing Baby Home Workshop. These ideas are not unique to parents; all relationships thrive with a solid foundation and continued investment.

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Positive Parenting: Accept Feelings, Limit Actions

person and two toddler's playing at the seashore

POSITIVE PARENTING: ACCEPT FEELINGS, LIMIT ACTIONS

Rebecca Eanes

Over the years of moderating a popular parenting page on Facebook, I have had the opportunity to listen to many parents voice their concerns about changing their parenting paradigms to peaceful, positive parenting. One of the major goals of positive parenting is to raise emotionally intelligent children, and this is because research has shown that children with high emotional intelligence are less defiant, mentally healthier, and more successful both academically and in relationships.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, evaluate, and regulate emotions. In our quest to raise emotionally intelligent children, positive parents understand the importance of accepting a child’s feelings. A common misconception is that accepting all feelings means accepting all actions resulting from those feelings, leading to an unruly and disrespectful or spoiled and coddled child.

Feelings are neither right nor wrong. They simply are what they are. We feel what we feel. What we do with those feelings, though, is extremely important, and that is a large part of emotional intelligence. It’s not about just understanding and accepting feelings but also teaching children appropriate actions around those feelings.

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The Great Pretender

Mom Newborn Baby Hospital

THE GREAT PRETENDER

Famifi

Fake it ‘til you make it takes on new meaning when you become a parent.

I first felt it on the day I headed down the hospital’s maternity corridor toward the newborns room: saturation-level imposter syndrome. In the two days prior, someone had always ceremoniously handed me my newborn while I lay below florescent lights on my sanitized throne of paper bed sheets surrounded by family. Members of this extended village were the ones supporting me, helping me feel like this new normal—this new role—was, in fact, real.

But at last I felt up to getting around the hallways on foot, now able to make my way toward this curious creature and claim him myself. So, I wielded a plastic wristband with my name on it, a flimsy passport that somehow convinced the baby warden to hand over this squirrely little person.

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Being Brave Together

Fear

BEING BRAVE TOGETHER

Famifi

We all want fearless kids, right? Little people who can jump off high dives, check under their own beds for monsters, and brave their way through Halloween night. So how do we help them build up the resilience they’re going to need to do just that?

Developing our kids’ internal compass

Kara Fic leans on lessons learned from her own childhood as she now raises two daughters, one of whom was recently heading out the door on her first solo commute to a school across town. Kara says she slipped her camping compass into the 11-year-old’s hand as she ventured out: “She’s ready for this new challenge,” says Kara, “but it’s still a big city. The compass is really just there as a backup in case she gets disoriented—and as a reminder that she’s navigated denser forests than this.”

Kara refers to the many campouts her family has taken together over the years when her daughters were first earning their stripes as Girl Scouts—and teaching the boys a thing or two about bravery in the process. Bears, bees, rain and rations toughened up the girls, Kara explains, as they did during her own Girl Scout days. She’s happy about how her daughters’ wilderness training now spills over into their city life—and into their fear management in general.

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Proven Strategies To Help Your Kids Manage Fear

Parent and Child Swimming

PROVEN STRATEGIES TO HELP YOUR KIDS MANAGE FEAR

Famifi

Helping our children manage their fears can be a complex task. And with every kid being different, no one strategy fits all.

We put together this list of 10 strategies and 6 books to get your kids facing and conquering their fears:

Strategies

• Find examples of kids being brave in books or films and talk about how those stories relate to the fear he or she is currently experiencing.

• Help them make fear manageable: Feel it, label it, share it, watch it go. Then make a plan for the next time fear shows up.

• Find ways to be brave together: take family adventures – camping, hiking, standing up for convictions, trying things outside your comfort zone.

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Conversations: What Keeps You Up at Night as a Parent?

People Talking

CONVERSATIONS: WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT AS A PARENT?

Famifi

Parents gather in all kinds of communities to talk about things that matter most to them. Here we asked two moms and a dad what keeps them up at night as they think about their families.

Jane:

My kids, so far, are pretty confident and self-possessed, so my biggest fear isn’t that they’re heading toward some cataclysmic meltdown, or whatever else typically ranks high on the lists of parent fears. My anxiety is much more mundane and basic. It’s really just about money. Not crazy amounts, mind you. My concern is about having enough to cover just really basic things. That’s a concern that has yet to go away. And to see the rich parents around me every day, (none of you lovely people, of course…) but to see them in their expensive highlights and handbags…from the signals they’re putting out, I’m not sure it ever does go away—for any of us. I’m talking about moms with crazy resources at their disposal but from the look of their clenched jaws and nervous eyes, it doesn’t look to me like they have any more peace of mind than I do. I would guess that behind many of those manicured, boxwood hedges there is plenty of stress too. Not from personal experience mind you…but I think money creates about as many problems as it solves. So give me my middle class family and middle class problems any day, because I know how to handle them. …But I do still worry.

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The Joys (and Tears) of Parenting My Adult Children

THE JOYS (AND TEARS) OF PARENTING MY ADULT CHILDREN

Shantel Patu

I watched as she stormed into the house. Peril, sheer peril, if you let her tell it.

She hadn’t noticed me reading, quietly in the corner, so she went about, slamming cabinets and drawers, then finally ending her assault on the kitchen by opening and staring into the fridge. I heard her mumble something about hating her job, her co-workers, her commute, and of course, her meager paycheck that she waited for each week. She was adorable.

I peered over my book and examined her. She was considered an average-sized person, about 5’7”, which was a giant to my 5’1” frame. She had these amazing, almond-shaped, bright brown eyes, which she was constantly complaining about the size and the color of, but to me and her father, they were gorgeous.

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Distracted While Parenting? Here’s How to Be More Attentive

DISTRACTED WHILE PARENTING? HERE’S HOW TO BE MORE ATTENTIVE

Shelbie Fowler

Parenting is often described as one of the best and most stressful jobs that a person can take on. Becoming a parent is an incredible responsibility that comes with a new set of rules, and the need to constantly be “on.” So what happens when parents go from being “on” top of things to being distracted and “on” their phone maybe a little too often?

The term for this phenomenon is distracted parenting. You may not have heard this term before, but you’ve likely seen it in action. Here are some examples of distracted parenting:

  • An entire family on their phones at a restaurant, not even making eye contact.
  • At a playground, a child is misbehaving and would likely be corrected if their parent was not texting.
  • At an event and one kid is running out of the door with no adult present and you think, “Where is the adult?”

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