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Are You United in Parental Decisions?


Do you know why it’s important for parents to be united in how they deal with their children? I’ll address that in this blog post.

When you disagree with how your spouse is handling a situation with your children, keep quiet in the moment and then privately discuss with your spouse how you felt about the decision. If the two of you come to a new decision, you can share it with your children later.

It’s crucial that your children see you and your spouse as united, so they can’t manipulate you by playing one parent against the other.

I’ll share a mistake I once made in this area. Our family had gone out to a restaurant for dinner. Our eight year old daughter ordered a salad with her meal, but the waiter forgot it. I asked my husband what we should do and he said to first see if she could eat all of her dinner. I should have just said okay and kept quiet. But when the waiter returned, our daughter looked at me and I asked Tom what he thought and he gave in. I had allowed our daughter to manipulate us because I cared more about appeasing her than supporting my husband.

Eventually, my husband and I learned to work together. When our children came to one of us with a request that needed to be decided as a couple, we told them we’d discuss it with the other parent and get back to them. And if one of us made a spontaneous decision, the other one would stand by them in that decision at that moment.

Tom and I learned to be united in front of the children and discuss our differences privately.


Questions for meditation and discussion: (1) When you disagree with how your husband is handling a situation with your children, do you find it difficult to keep quiet? Explain. (2) How do you feel when your husband disagrees with you and voices that in front of the children? (3) Have your children ever tried to manipulate you by playing one parent against the other? How did you handle it? What were the results?

Application homework: Work on being united with your husband in front of the children and then discussing your differences privately. Record how it goes: did you see any changes in anyone’s behavior? If so, explain.

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