Episode 065: The 7 Step Process Therapist’s Use to Help Couples Parent the Same

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Research shows that consistency between parents is critical to parenting success. If parents differ in their parenting approach, they unintentionally undermine each other's good parenting efforts and cause friction in their marriage. That being said, different parenting approaches are an extremely common issue in families. Parents come from different backgrounds, have different personalities, and are even neurologically wired differently from one another. So to help you get on the same page and eliminate disagreements over parenting, we have teamed up with marriage and family therapist, Jeff Tesch, LMFT to create this guide for you. It will walk you through the exact steps Jeff uses with his clients. LISTEN ABOVE OR READ THE SUMMARY BELOW Jeff Tesch, LMFT Why It's Important for Parents to Be on the Same Page 1. Kids won't develop as well if they're getting mixed messages from their parents 2. It can lead to marital conflict. Even extreme enough to destroy a marriage The Top 3 Reasons Parents Parent Differently Than One Another Parents grow up differently- You and your spouse/partner grew up in different homes and that has a huge effect on how you parent! Even if you grew up in similar kinds of homes, there's enough difference from how your parents were vs. how your spouse's parents were that it effects you in your parenting. Different genders are wired to parent differently- In general, females tend to be softer parents and more nurturing, whereas males tend to be firmer. Males also try to push their children out of their comfort zones and expect progression, while moms tend to want to provide comfort, security, and safety.The natural differences in the wiring between males and females is SO good for our kids. Dad's natural tendency to be firm and push their kids out of the comfort zone provides structure and progression for their kids. The mom's natural softness creates a home environment where kids can feel safe and loved.Note: the best kind of parenting is a blend of both the natural tendencies of the male and the female. BOTH parents need to be firm AND soft. BOTH parents need to provide safety but push their kids to grow. Learn from each other's strengths and try to adapt each other's strengths rather than fighting against each other. Warning: Parents can get into a TERRIBLE cycle of trying to compensate for the other's parents weaknesses, becoming more and more extreme everyday. For example: Say your spouse is very firm and strict. You may try to compensate by being very soft and permissive. This makes your spouse feel like they have to become even more firm and strict, which make you feel like you need to become more soft and permissive.This creates tension and kids learn how to use this to their advantage. ONCE AGAIN, IT IS BEST IF BOTH PARENTS BECOME A BLEND OF FIRM AND SOFT, STRICT AND LOVING! To learn more about being a balanced parent, a blend of firm and soft, go here. Parents "team up" with one child rather than with their spouse- In some situations, one parent can feel particularly close to one child and "go easy" on them. This can make the other parent feel like they need to be firmer with that particular child. It can also make the other parent feel like their spouse's relationship with that one child is more important than the marriage relationship.It is very important to remember that the marriage comes first and that you need to have an equal relationship with each of your children. How to Get Onto the Same Page as Your Partner/Spouse We HIGHLY recommend you download this worksheet to do with your spouse/partner. It will walk you through each of the steps we're about to teach you. STEP 1: TWEAK HOW YOU APPROACH YOUR PARTNER If you approach your parenting partner saying, "I've got it all figured out. I know how to parent the right way now and I just need to teach you." your partner is very likely going to be resistant.

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