When your coparent is NOT on the same page
"I can't do this new parenting tactic when my partner isn't on the same page as me."
I hear it from every single one of my clients at least once in our time together (unless only one parent is in the picture). It seems really important if you're working on improving your parenting, that your partner support you and try to do the same thing, right?
Here's the harsh truth about coparenting that comes as a surprise to many of my clients: You will never be on the same page as your partner.
Even if you both were trying as hard as you could, read the same books (or blogs!), and sat in on your sessions with me together, you STILL wouldn't be on the same page. Why? Because you're not the same person.
Each of us bring our own perspectives, childhoods, worries, beliefs, hopes and personalities to our parenting, and I could teach you both the exact same parenting skill and you'd still hear something totally different, or execute it totally differently from each other (I see it every day!).
And yet, there are still people doing a great job coparenting, and kids who are growing up empowered, emotionally healthy and well behaved. Know what that means? It means your challenges parenting the way you want to have nothing to do with your partner. And it means that you don't have to be on the same page to parent well.
Sounds simple, yeah?
But just because something is simple, doesn't make it easy.
It's not easy to let your partner mishandle things without offering 'constructive' criticism.
It's not easy to be quiet when they say the wrong thing and make things worse.
It's not easy to stay the course when it feels like they're undoing all your hard work.
It's not easy to opt out of the fight when they do the opposite of you every time.
It's damn hard. But, paradoxically, it will get you both closer to being on the same page, faster (really!). It's not necessary for you to be on the same page, but it IS counter-productive to meddle in our partners' relationship with their child.
Trying to drag them along on our self-improvement journey only builds walls between a struggling parent and positive change.
I know first hand how hard this is, and especially when the things our partner does trigger or upset us. It's torture and it's hard to know when enough is enough. When do we step in?
That is more than a blogpost can answer, but remember that you are not alone in trying to be better, do better, and know better...and this tricky topic is no exception. Reach out for a free strategy session with me and learn more about what it's like to go through these struggles with me by your side every step of the way.