Parenting is a tough job. Though it may seem like our kids are going to listen to us all the time, there’s going to be moments where we will be angry or disappointed towards them when they do something wrong. How we work together as a team can really channel the authority we have over our kids. The aim is to not be a pushover and to set some ground rules to avoid any mishaps from happening.
As parents, we should be helping our children grow into the best version of themselves. Having equal authority can both channel new perspectives to our children. How you work together, communicate and set ground rules is something parents should do and it’s important that you share equal authority and not hold the title of “favourite parent”. So what ways can we show our kids we have equal authority over them?
Set a few ground rules that children can easily follow
The last thing you want to do is set some rules that your children will easily forget. Setting a few rules (three or four) can sound pretty basic but if you want them to remember all of them, only telling them the important ones can help them make better choices. Discuss with your partner what rules you would like to implement and see if both of you agree on the same things. If not, reach a compromise and set up a new list of rules you’re both happy with.
Know the balance between being lenient and strict
When it comes to raising children, especially teenagers, it’s important to find the balance between being lenient and strict. Being too strict can hinder the independence of your teenagers and being too lenient can encourage them to break the rules more often than they should. Having a balance between leniency and strictness can help your kids become trustworthy of you. Furthermore, if you lay down the consequences of actions that either anger or disappoint you, let them know what punishments they have to endure (ie. grounding them for a week, no mobile or internet etc).
Communicate your parenting styles and reach a compromise
It’s inevitable for both of you to have different parenting styles to one another. The important thing to do is communicate and be honest with yourselves. Do you think paying for chores is really needed? How flexible are you with curfew time? Do you support sleepovers or not? Meeting each other halfway can help you figure out the grey areas of these questions. As parents, our styles of parenting can clash with one another but that doesn’t mean we can’t make it work when it comes to raising our children. Remember the rules you implemented have to reflect your parenting values equally. Don’t settle with them unless you both agree with one another completely.
Spend quality family time together
Family time together is an important way to rekindle those bonds you have with your children. As they grow into teenagers, it’s harder for us to catch up with them when they’ve reached that age of earning their license, hanging out with friends or working part-time at the local grocery store. If you spend at least a couple of hours doing something you love as a family, your children will realise how important they are to you and your genuine concern over their wellbeing and happiness. There’s a difference between being overbearing and caring; your child will not open up to you unless you give them the appropriate time and space when it comes to their problems. Aim to have an open mind when it comes to these family discussions and cherish your time together as a family.
Every family’s dynamic is unique. Depending on culture, age and values, people will always have a different opinion on authority when it comes to our kids. Remember that no parent is perfect and eventually, our kids will be making some mistakes overtime. They will disappoint us in some way or another and that’s okay.
As long as they learn from what they’ve done, we should be encouraging support and compassion towards them, especially throughout their teenage years. We have the capability of showing them what it means to be responsible role models. By showing your children love and strength in your own relationship, you inspire them in many ways to do their best in everything.