A United Front

As Certified Leadership Parenting Coaches, my husband and I often tell our moms and dads that an important key to parenting is always striving to be on the same page. It is a difficult thing to predict where the issues and struggles will arise, but one thing that can really help  as you discipline and develop strategies for parenting is to agree to confer with each other and parent from a single stance.  In other words, decide ahead of time, as much as possible, how you will respond as a team, to any given situation. Furthermore, if something comes up and you haven't talked about it, there is nothing that says you have to react right then and there. Take five! Or ten minutes...or even three hours for that matter.  Not only will it allow time for the adrenaline to settle down and the steam to stop spewing out of your ears, but it will give you some much needed objectivity.  It is never a good idea to discipline in anger!

There is little that can unnerve a "Dennis the Menace" faster than the phrase, "I will talk with your father when he gets home and we will decide together what we will do about this!" Not only does this give your child some time to think about what he's done or a bad choice he's made, but it also allows you the time to get on the same page as a couple to decide on the consequences and even more importantly, it allows him to see that you are a team. There is nothing more formidable for a child to face than a unified front of Mom and Dad together, helping Junior to see where he strayed off the path of good sense.

Consequences given in a calm and confident tone will always have more of an impact than those screamed by a desperate, frazzled parent lacking emotional control. Reclaim your authority, as John Rosemond says, and act like you know what you're doing, even it you aren't totally sure.  It's all in the package delivery!