Disagreements with your children will happen. It’s not a matter of if, but when. The question really is, will you be ready?
And I don’t mean ready as in:
You will have all the right answers.
You will walk away the victor.
You will prove to them that your experience and knowledge surpasses theirs.
You will stand your ground.
If you come to disagreements with the attitude that your status as a parent automatically qualifies you as top dog then you are likely missing huge opportunities to get to know your child and creating disconnection in the process. Just because you have some life mileage behind you does not mean you have knowledge of all that is to come.
Instead of seeing disagreements as something to avoid or win recognize them as a way to open up new channels of communication and a way to clarify your intentions as well as your child’s.
Every mom and dad parents during a time they have yet to see which is unnerving to say the least. But remember you are not alone. Your children are necessary assistants in navigating any and all unchartered territory. If a solution can not be reached immediately, say as much and discuss scenarios that are mutually beneficial. If you make it clear that you DO want to travel this new path together, the journey will be so much more peaceful and I guarantee, enlightening for everyone involved.
Keep in mind kids of all ages will benefit from having parents who are willing to discuss, plan, and set goals together. An outcome with a three year old will obviously look very different than the outcome of a conversation with a thirteen year old, but the structure is the same:
listen to each other
discuss potential solutions
give reasons for your concerns and opinions
make a plan–together.
This will not only create a much more harmonious relationship in your own home, but will also help your children in their interactions with others. I’d say those are worthy outcomes. Do you agree?