Parents, how many of you had a conversation with your partner BEFORE you had kids about the kind of parents you want to be? Did you talk about your expectations around topics like chores, discipline, and school performance? What about the life skills and characteristics that you feel are most important for your children to develop? Have you discussed your own personal values when it comes to money, civic participation, and gender roles in your relationship?
If you did have these conversations before you had children, chances are you are ahead of the curve. Many, perhaps most, parents do not have these conversations and are disappointed and sometimes angry to find out later that their partner isn't on the same page. For the parents out there who have had these conversations, have you had them again recently? Things change.
How many of you see a difference between the parent you thought you were going to be and the parent you are? The circumstances of life change and we adapt. Our children often need things we didn't expect or anticipate. Jobs change and schedules are adjusted. We move. Our children grow - and boy do they grow fast. And as we learn and grow, our values sometimes shift. It's important to maintain communication with your parenting partner about your goals, values, and expectations for yourself, your family, your partner, and your individual children. This isn't a one-time conversation - it's an ongoing dialogue.
Whether you have had some of these conversations or none of them, the good news is that it is never too late or too early or too frequent to start or start over. The Positive Discipline: Keeping the Joy in Relationships Workshop Tool Cards have a great tool for getting started called "Couple Meetings". Similarly to "Family Meetings" (from the Positive Discipline Parenting Tool Cards), a regularly scheduled Couple Meeting helps you and your partner stay connected and check-in with each other about the topics that matter most to each of you. This small step can bring more joy and satisfaction to your parenting as well as to your relationship.
Positive Discipline: Keeping the Joy in Relationships Workshop Tool Cards
Positive Discipline Parenting Tool Cards
Positive Discipline: Keeping the Joy in Relationships Workshops