Working together to raise your children can be confusing. Each of you will both have different ideas about how to pass on values, when to discipline and when to reward your children. One of you may want to follow how your parents did it, the other might prefer to seek advice from friends or parenting books.
The most important thing is to work out together. Parents who support each other and are flexible are more likely to give their children a secure upbringing. You’ll both find that as your children grow up the demands of parenting change. It’s normal to feel confused or a sense of loss as children move from one stage to another. And it may be that as parents one of you finds a particular stage harder than the other. One of you might remember having difficulties at that age yourself, but it’s important to remember that your children are not you and may not react or behave in the same way as you did.
Working together to raise your stepchildren
It can be even more complicated when there are children from previous relationships. More and more couples now have to combine being partners with being parents right from the start of their relationship.
Having a relationship with someone who already has a child can be pretty daunting. Should you just be mum or dad’s partner – a ‘friendly adult’ – or a step-parent? Sorting out what’s best for everyone involved can be both stressful and complicated.
The partner with children may feel torn between their children and their new relationship. Often you will both feel as if you are making it up as you go along and that’s okay – there is no right or wrong way to manage these complications but sometimes the pressures on you as a couple will be huge.
So if things are really tough, outside help or advice may be useful – some organizations offering support are listed on the links page.
Back to the Bringing up children together category.