All parents including ones who are no longer together need to consistently work as a team regarding their children, to not do so leads to mixed messages for the children and a wedge between both parents that children can if inclined smartly take advantage of. This is where the “Common Ground” Technique comes in handy.
When I visit many families, whilst both wanting to do the best for their children, parents can often not realize they actually handle their children in completely different ways and conflicting parenting styles cause problems finding themselves in this power struggle regarding who’s right and not. This situation then becomes about them and not the children which causes more drama and hurt. Some children will even behave better with one parent then the other leading the parent who is struggling feeling helpless and even resentful to child and partner. One set of rules apply in one household whilst another set of rules in another. So to stop this cycle this is what you can do.
- In this technique, you will need to write down your goals for your children together and work to find common ground on which you both agree. For example, times for bedtime during school week, even if this takes time, both need to commit to solution.
- Setting times for this talk helps to keep communication clear and open as you raise your child together . As note this is something a Single parent does not have to do.
- Those goals should be prioritized and then worked on together where possible and separately checking in when you can daily or weekly. It doesn’t matter whether you are a couple who are still together, separated or divorced – you can still work together to get the best out of your children and the situation you find yourself in. You just need to be willing to do so and put all your own emotions (EGO) aside, focusing on the children’s welfare.
- Whether the topic is about activities ,health, food, or development each partner and child deserve the right to be heard and their concerns validated so that the connection of together for the child remains in tact.
- When you see efforts being made be kind in pointing out the progress made giving each other encouragement brings you closer to continuing all the good being done,and it shows your children that even though your choices are different you can learn to find common ground to respect each other in keeping it moving forward raising your family, these healthier displays of family functional life are vital to your children having healthy adult relationships too.
- Compromise can always be found you just have to be willing to look for it but know the difference between reasonable expectations and a parent finding a reason to justify un-acceptable behaviour.
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Copywritten by Jo Frost