Okay, I found this to be a topic that I guess I need to throw my two cents on out there. In some ways, it does hit home for Del and I as well. I do my utter best to support him as the head of the house and don’t over ride him and he does his best to not over ride me in front of the kids. However, there are some times when it does still happen because we do feel differently on some topics. It amazes me how I’m strict about certain things and he’s NOT. Yet, he’s strict about other things, and I’m NOT.
However, after having to do the whole shared custody ordeal with his ex and mine (even though we are no longer having to do that in either case anymore, we still remember our experiences like it was yesterday.) However, we do deal with an in-law who lives next door who has strong opinions about how we raise our kids and make it known to both the kids and us on a regular bases. Yet, we’ve made it known that these are our kids and we are not physically abusing them and that we have the right to be strict with them. We almost have to double up on the strictness since they do spend so much time with the in-laws (since we live so close to them); otherwise, our kids would be total crazy wild youngin’s. Obviously we aren’t getting through to my oldest well enough for him to realize that he does have to listen to us because he nearly lost his life today due to being stubborn and bullheaded and not wanting to listen. We were walking with a friend of mine, like we do quite often, on our dirt road and for the past two walks Jimmy has been wanting to get farther and farther ahead of us and wanting to play around on the road (throwing rocks, climbing the edges, and other boy related things), and that’s all fine and dandy when he follows the RULES of SAFETY that he KNOWS and has had drilled into him since he was 4 years old. Well, a truck came flying around one of the curves we were on, and we kept telling the boys to get to the side of the road, but Jimmy wanted to be stubborn and not listen. He was INCHES away from getting splattered across the front of the truck. It scared the living tar out of me!!!
My husband and I do our utter best to support each other in how we raise our kids because we know first hand how it can back fire when all adults in a child’s life do not agree on how they are suppose to be raised. I love my in-laws to death. They are great wonderful people and I honestly LOVE the fact that they take an active part of our kids life since my own parents have had very little to no contact with them. I wouldn’t even trade living as close to them as we do because I do consider my mother-in-law to be my best friend. My mother-in-law has been truly starting to support my efforts to keep the kids in line a lot more in the past six months or so because when we’ve been together with the kids lately she’s been also saying the same exact things that I’ve been saying to the boys. It makes my heart sing when I hear her backing me up. I don’t know if she realizes how much of a difference it makes in the boys and how others perceive the boys, but it definitely has helped even if it’s still in small doses at this point of a difference. The boys will learn over time that we are going to stick together more. As that happens, things will go in a better direction for all involved.
I’m alone with the kids a lot of the time (all three of them), and it’s vital that the kids listen to me and stick together and are on the same page of what is right and wrong. Otherwise, there’s no way in the world I’d ever be able to go into to town and do any type of errands or even want to take my kids anywhere with me. Kids have to learn discipline. Kids also have to learn that they can’t pin one parent against the other because if they learn they can do it; trust me THEY WILL!!
Can I say parenting is easy or that we all are right in our methods?? Nope. Can I say that my method is superior to anyone else’s?? NOPE!! However, what I can say is with each day I learn something new. I’m going to fail as a parent all the time because unfortunately no amount of handbooks or guides or memos is going to give ME the answers for OUR CHILDREN!! Together my husband and I made these kids (Well, two of them. The other one was sealed in my heart the minute I heard he existed!!!) and TOGETHER we have to raise them. So TOGETHER WE have to figure out a method that works BEST FOR OUR CHILDREN!! We have to keep OUR KIDS OUT OF THAT PROCESS!!! (WHICH IS EASIER SAID THAN DONE!!)
My challenge for you today is to have a heart to heart talk with the other parent who helps you raise your child(ren.) Gain a solid plan and course of action that you feel will work best for your own child(ren.) Your kids do gain a lot by having a united method of parenting!! (I am the product of divorced parents who NEVER reached this point, and I suffered ALL of my life as a result. So, from the view point of a divorcee and also a child of divorce; I can honestly say it makes a world of difference in the lives of ALL involved. My heart reaches out to you as you work out a plan and course of action together.
Another great blog to read on this issue is When You Think He’s a Bad Parent !!