The Importance of Being on the Same Page While Parenting

In addition to getting married and becoming a husband, being a parent is the most important role you will ever have. Whether you planned to have a child or not, they’re here, and you had better get used to it.

There are a ton of things you need to worry about in the early days of parenthood. On top of the day-to-day worries, you also need to decide what your parenting style is going to be. This includes things like how you plan to discipline your child, screen time, dietary choices, and much more.

Although my wife and I are still in the early stages of parenthood, we made the decision to come up with a parenting plan long ago. And, let me tell you, being on the same page is absolutely essential if you want to successfully raise a child without losing your mind (or your spouse.)

It’s easy as men for us to do one of two things. Either we decide that we can do whatever we want, you know since we’re men. Or, we go the other direction and say that whatever our wives decide is fine with us. After all, they’re the ones who had the baby, so they get the final say in all things parenting.

Unfortunately, neither of these routes usually ends well, as it will cause resentment and division between you and your spouse. Parenting has to be a two-way street with give and take. Some things will work for you, while others will work for your wife.

As long as you’re on the same page about the core components of parenting, life will be easier for everyone involved. It’s also substantially better for your child if they’re raised in a cohesive, healthy environment.

How We Got On the Same Page

From the moment we knew my wife was pregnant, we started talking about how we were going to parent. We started by talking about how we were raised and mentioned the things we liked and didn’t like.

My Parents

For instance, my parents were incredible when it came to quality time and choosing us over work or things they would rather be doing. They also had a policy that anytime we needed help, no matter how old we were or what we were doing, they would be there in a flash.

However, if I were to point out any area where I wanted to parent differently, it would have to be in their involvement in our personal lives. Sure, they were always there when we needed them most and were always ready with advice, love, and assistance.

However, when it came to personal issues, such as relationship advice, and personal struggles, they seemed to struggle in the advice department.

It’s hard for me to fault them in this area, though. They were raised in a community during a time when personal struggles and matters simply weren’t discussed. As such, they lacked experience in this department and decided to avoid it altogether.

Once again, if we went to them with questions and concerns, they were more than happy to talk and help us out. Where they struggled was in teaching us how to deal with things we might face preemptively and in being proactive in that regard.

We also had very few rules growing up and into our teen years. We never had a curfew, and we didn’t get in trouble for staying out too late. We also didn’t have to worry about getting grounded because that wasn’t a thing in our household.

Her Parents

My wife, on the other hand, had the exact opposite experience with her parents. Where mine were reserved and seemed to go out of their way to stay out of our personal lives, hers were very involved. As such, it could feel overwhelming at times or like they were being put under a microscope over every little thing.

Her parents also had way more rules and consequences for violating those rules than my parents did. However, as with my parents, hers always put her and her siblings before everything else, and they certainly weren’t lacking in the quality time department.

Other Parents

We also look at people our own age who we grew up with and who were parents before us. We both have siblings who are parents, as well as extremely close friends. And, because they all parent slightly differently, we have multiple excellent examples to study.

The Takeaway

Overall, we both have excellent parents and had excellent upbringings. We also have great friends and family members to look to for advice and warning signs. Our parents turned us into the people we are today, who I believe are successful, high-functioning, disciplined adults.

However, nobody is perfect when it comes to parenting. Both of our parents had to deal with rebellious teenagers, regardless of their style. Both sets of parents also had golden children who would do anything to please them and stay in their good graces.

Therefore, regardless of what parenting style you and your spouse choose, you’ll face some of the same issues that other parents face. If you’re on the same page, however, you’ll have a much easier time conquering those issues and raising happy, healthy children.

The Most Important Things to be on the Same Page About

Let me start by saying that you don’t need to be on the same page about everything. For instance, I’ve seen my friends and family members get into heated fights over things like how to give their baby a bath, how to hold them while feeding or burping, and which kid’s shows are the best for development.

To be clear, these are the parenting issues that don’t matter. As my wife’s aunt used to say, as long as your child is fed, dry, clean, and healthy, that’s all you need to worry about.

Micromanaging over things like these will make the opposing spouse more apt to either distance themselves because they feel like they can’t do anything right or parent however they want to, because they can’t please you anyway.

The parenting issues I’m talking about that are worth having serious discussions over include things like:

  • Whether or not you plan to spank your child.
  • What the best form of discipline is.
  • How much screen time (not what type of screen time) are they allowed to have?
  • What types of activities are you going to promote, i.e., sports, music, dance, etc?
  • How much freedom will they have in making their own decisions?
  • Will you raise your child to believe in the same religion that you do?
  • Defining clear boundaries for your child.
  • Anything else that is important to the two of you?

As with all things in marriage, you and your partner likely won’t see eye to eye on everything. The important thing is that you’re willing to compromise and come to an agreement on each of these things. That way, you’ll be on the same page and won’t be divided when future issues arise.

About Author

Jalin is a full time writer who enjoys writing about his own journey being a dad, husband, and someone deeply passionate about his work. His authenticity in what it means to be a stay at home Dad shines through in his story as he seeks to inspire other men to not only run after their dreams, but to do so in a way that is supporting and uplifting to the people most important in your life.

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