Did you see the movie “Oblivion?” It came out in 2013 and starred Tom Cruise. “Jack” and his partner were tasked with “post-apocalyptic” missions; everyday they were asked to answer this question from headquarters “are you still an effective team?”
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!
When I counsel couples one of the exercises we go through is the value system. Marriage is much easier when your partner shares similar values, and ultimately you should share the same parenting style if you’re planning to have a family.
One of the most important tips I can give parents is to be “an effective team!” Sometimes raising boys (or girls) can feel like a post-apocalyptic mission; if you’re not on the same page with “how to” raise your son, he’ll be the one to suffer. Not to mention the tremendous toll it will take on your relationship.
How do I know…because I see it EVERY DAY.
Teams Share a Goal
If your system is dysfunctional the kids will be too. When parents have different views on what their son needs it creates inconsistency.
For example, Mom thinks her son needs anxiety medication; Dad absolutely disagrees and believes more exercise would be helpful.
I’m not suggesting you will always agree; I am suggesting as parents you owe it to your son to come to a decision together first on the best approach or the inconsistency sets an example for him and you guessed it, he becomes inconsistent as well.
Be an Effective Team
To be an effective parenting team follow these steps:
- Be/set a good example (starting here is paramount!).
- Set up natural consequences, and stick to it (this empowers and teaches your son to make good choices)!
- Raise your son to be his best authentic self; not what you want, instead accepting who he really is (setting healthy boundaries and limits and witnessing his gifts as they’re presented).
- Be consistent (always).
- Spend quality scheduled time (minimum 3-5 hours a week).
- Avoid “labeling” behaviors (like you have ADD/ADHD, ODD, OCD it can lead to self-fulfilling prophecy, depression and anxiety).
- Utilize conflict resolution tool; this tool is great for couples conflict and parent/child conflict (it takes practice at first, but pays off in long run).
Parents have one shot at this mission, it’s one of the most critical tasks they’ll encounter and being an effective team should be the #1 priority!
Need help developing a plan and becoming that effective parenting team? You can find my book(s): “Saving Our Sons” and “Generation of Men” on Amazon.