You have stopped listening long ago. You are only concerned with one thing. Being right. Winning the discussion. At any cost. The arguments no longer have meaning. It feels like you are threatened to death, so that’s why you need the victory. For redemption of getting the anger out of your system so you can have some peace.
Fact is that here you have two people, each with their position on a topic. Therefore, there really is no winner of the discussion, but rather two hurt people who need to retreat and reflect on the hard words spoken.
The discussions in the fusion families about parenting often happen this way and it takes its toll on your relationship, if it happens too often.
Therefore, here is my best advice for what you must be aware of and a method you can follow to get through your disagreements and reach a common ground.
When the “storm” is brewing
When you disagree on the upbringing of your children, then it is good to know from which perspective you are discussing it.
Regardless of whether you both have children or not, the following statements are therefore worth looking at:
• Deep down do you think you’re doing pretty good and do not feel like your partner should interfere with the upbringing of your children? You can easily find out for yourself? You do not need his/her input?
• Deep down you feel mad when your partner points out something about your children and you feel it is a criticism of you.
• Deep down, you have not really accepted that both of you have a role in disciplining your children.
• Deep down you think it’s incredibly uncomfortable to discipline his/her children, just like you cannot stand it when he/she says something about yours.
How well do these statements fit you? Relax now – These statements fit most of blended families. You are not alone!
The good news is that now you are fully aware of how it works, so therefore you have the option to change it. But it requires patience, trust (from both of you) and plenty of practise.
Try to find out what it takes to get the statements to disappear – one by one.
Can your partner say or do something different?
What do you need to happen for you to accept and allow the disciplinary role?
Is it over a good glass of red wine on Friday night (while holding your hand) that you can best handle criticism or interference?
Be patient and loving toward yourself. Be honest with your partner and explain how you feel currently. It takes time, a long time…. But you will get there.
It is good to remind yourself that you must “build” your blended family from the same blue print and not on your own drawing solely.
How do you come up with a common goal?
Two families will become one. Two different forms of discipline and values have to become one. Now you are able to apply what works and put it together in a new way, your way.
I will just remind you that there is no right or wrong way, but just two different ways of disciplining, each with its own result.
The only question is which outcome do you want?
If you think of 10 years from now, which values do you hope to give your children?
How would you want them to be as citizens of this world? What are your key words?
They are sure to be some strong words. Save them in your heart.
Let them be your overall goal for your upbringing. Now we will look at how to achieve these goals.
Get together with your partner both physically and mentally. You will be a strong cohesive and coordinated team of educators for the kids. Perhaps they will object, but eventually they will be secure when you stick together as a team.
Talk to your partner about the following:
• How do we want it to be in our family?
• What is important for me when it comes to discipline? And for my partner? And why are these things important?
• What are the values we want to give our children? And what do we believe is the best way to cultivate these values in our everyday life with the kids?
• What is my position? And my partner’s perception of the practical things? (Download possibly my chapter on the topics of disagreements from the front page on my web site).
• Talk about what you think works really well in your respective ways of disciplining? What did each of you have good success with?
When you have completed the above discussion, you have charted some very important milestones for your children’s upbringing.
And here comes the hard part which you must each ask each other:
• What do you think does not work in my disciplining? (Try you best to listen while remaining silent, even if you don’t like what you hear)
• What do you want me to stop doing or do differently?
• Is there something in my children’s behavior which you would like to discuss?
Knowing what is important for each of you can take your educator role to a new and more conscious level, taking that into account and with care for the areas you each have a hard time with.
The goal must be that you will not (quite so often) “trigger” each other.
Have a good day. If you like my post please LIKE The Fusion Family – Spiritual Tools For Your Blended Family Life on FACEBOOK and/or subscribe to my newsletter.
Ps. My husband and I went for a walk alone, every time we disciplined each other’s children. I almost wanted a divorce every time, I was that furious.