Healthy Parenting Disagreements

Healthy Parenting Disagreements – my husband and I seemed to agree upon everything… before we had kids. Sound familiar? Many married couples skate through wedded bliss until many questions arise as to the best ways to raise children.. then the healthy parenting disagreements begin.

When my husband and I met, we were pleasantly surprised at how much we had in common and how easily we got along. We could not spend enough time with each other. Life was simple. We pretty much agreed on everything and never got into any huge disagreements. We played board games, went out to dinner, went to the gym to exercise together, went to the park to play tennis…all without a hitch.

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We were married for three years before having our first child. I consider that to be an average amount of time to wait. We did not feel rushed at all. We were very ready and excited for our first born to arrive.

Healthy Parenting Disagreements

It’s no surprise that having children changes your life. But, what I did not expect was the increase in disagreements. I think the main reason for this is that when you have to think about and be responsible for other little beings, there are so many areas where decisions need to be made and many more opportunities for heated discussions. To top it off, you really have much less alone (couple) time, for whatever you want to use it for. For example, the relationship may suffer for a few years as it is more difficult to find time to chat without any interruptions, or a quiet dinner for two with meaningful conversation, or a romantic movie night. This also brings on irritability, contributing fuel to the fire.

I know healthy parenting disagreements are all a part of what makes up a family. If we agreed on everything, we would never get to see someone else’s side or ideas. Life might lack new experiences. But it still is difficult to institute the skills of compromise and understanding, especially when the decisions involve children.

For example, parents may feel strongly about which school a child should attend, what friends kids should associate with, and what they should be allowed to do. Parents may argue because one may feel as though he/she is taking on a bigger role and not getting a break. Or, couples may disagree on discipline and parenting styles, when their children should begin dating, what kids should do in their free time, and so much more. All parents are well aware that the quick trip out, the restaurant dinner plans, the family picnic, etc., don’t necessarily all happen without a hitch, now that there are children involved.  Throw in the financial strain having children can bring to a family…diapers, clothing, food, cars, college educations, weddings, etc… and add in the many possible illnesses and/or struggles…ADHD, learning disabilities, autism, food allergies, etc…, and you’ve got yourself a loaded mix of conflict-induced topics.

I think what keeps my husband and I in check is that we always come back to that basic, simple connection that we have as best friends and partners. It gives our relationship the strength it needs to endure these many issues. Even though we’ve had our fair share of arguments, or healthy parenting disagreements, we are fortunate that we were able to learn a lot from them, including the best ways for us to communicate. We have heart to hearts asking each other what would be a receptive type of discussion so that we can be sure to be effective and not offensive. Effective discussions will soon meet their end once someone becomes defensive.

Overall, it is great knowing that we are both so passionate about our children’s well-being. The fights are there but, if we didn’t care, we would not be having any of the deliberations to begin with.

Do you fight with your spouse more now that you have kids? What healthy parenting disagreements are in your marriage?