10 Helps for When Dad and Mom Disagree

Lisa Cherry —  March 13, 2013

football bridal veilBy Lisa Cherry

If it was up to me, football tackling could be outlawed for my boys.

If it was up to Doug, the girls might all wear the same wedding dress and just pass it down the line. 

Parents don’t always see eye to eye.  With the multitude of decisions necessary in raising children, sorting out our conflicts is a real challenge on an easy day!

But in times of crisis or stress, the pressures tend to bring out more differences. Divorced, blended families and mixed religion homes.... Wow, the obstacles to unity can be overwhelming.

Here are ten keys Doug and I have found helpful for maintaining unity in our leadership. Perhaps many of them would be helpful for you today. Modify them as needed for your particular home situation.

1. Maintain personal humility
Pride goes before a fall and God gives His grace to the humble. Those are two dandy reasons I have found to allow the Holy Spirit to examine my heart for pride!

2. Recognize that Dad and Mom have unique views for a reason. We are designed differently, and this can be a source of strength. Learn to celebrate the heart passion connection of the mother and the logical reasoning of the father. God must have thought kids need both!

3. Purpose to never put the other parent down in front of the children or in front of others. This is important in strong Christian two-parent homes as well as single parent homes. Honor the position of father or mother even if you cannot honor the behavior of that other parent. Ask God for the wisdom to speak words of life. The kids follow our example of honor/submission or dishonor/rebellion.

4. Do not give an answer to the children before consulting the other parent on significant or controversial decisions. Let them see you as a team that works together. "I will talk with your father/mother about that and get back to you," needs to be a common matter of course.

5. Do not allow your kids to play one parent off the other.
This family behavior leads to parental strife and oversensitivity. We have taught our children that trying to move around my "no" by going to Doug or vice versa will result in their loss.....and a significant punishment!

6. Learn to hear out the viewpoint of the other parent. Listening is a skill that can be matured.

7. Honor each other even when someone makes a parenting error.
This is critical to a marriage. Notice I said "when" not "if." All of us will make errors and no one likes failure. How we handle one another in those vulnerable moments can either bring strength and healing, or weakness and disaster.

8. Pray together. God knows more than either parent. He will respond to our cries for wisdom and courage. Cancel arguing with each other and drop to your knees together!

9. Be willing to wait longer than is comfortable for a final answer until you reach proper agreement. Your children will respect your sincere efforts to reach a God-honoring decision even if they may be irritated by your delay. And by watching your sincere efforts, they are learning positive marriage and interpersonal skills.

10. Consider the possibility that both parents may be partially right and the decision needs a creative combination of each person's viewpoint.
I am constantly amazed at how often this is true for Doug and me. IF we are flowing well with keys 1-9, we have the opportunity to see God pull us through the tough scrapes of parenting. If we do not have keys 1-9 flowing smoothly......well, perhaps we better not go there! :)

 What keys have you found that has helped your family? We would love to hear your ideas.

Click here, then scroll down to the end of the post to leave a comment. 

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This post is gratefully linked to:  Top Ten Tuesday    Titus 2sdays     Titus 2 Tuesdays     Tuesday Tips   Teach Me Tuesdays       Domestically Divine Tuesdays        Encourage One Another    Works for Me Wednesday    Wifey Wednesday      Wholehearted Home Wednesday    Tell His Story     Winsome Wednesday      Marital Oneness Mondays     Welcome Home    Modest Mondays  Marriage Monday

  • http://wholehearted-home.blogspot.com/ Judith

    Thanks so much!! This was excellent!! Stopping by from My Daily Walk.

  • http://twitter.com/mommyhead Tara Cherry

    This is really good stuff.  I know when I was a kid I would always try to play one parent off of the other and have already noticed my 4 year old doing this at times.  Great list of helpful hints

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