Denise from Washington D C shared with me the fact that she disagrees with her husband when it comes to their kids’ education.
Kids’ education is a very broad subject and without more information it is difficult for me to give a precise answer.
The bottom line is this:
- Check first the reasons behind your position.
- Put them on trial: be honest with you.
- If your position still stands, explain it in writing to your partner.
- Let him ponder.
- Ask for a written answer.
Writing will build your case and will force you to rationalize. A compromise will usually result without harsh feelings.
Many issues can trigger arguments when it comes to kids, check the few examples below:
Bedtime and sleeping pattern: Dads usually love to play with their kids in the evening, creating excitement when mothers are desperate to calm them down to prepare them for bedtime. The playful energy kids have in the evening matches the need men have to relax. Mothers find hard to relax before children are all in bed, because in their mind, they are on duty until then. Disagreement starts here.
Here is what I did: I let my husband handle the bedtime routine. Very quickly he was caught in endless negotiations over the ten more minutes that are so critical for the children to claim; he noticed how difficult the children became the next day following a late bedtime. And he soon created his own policy (looser than mine) that kids have to stick to. Whenever he travels, my policy is back. And although a bit military the first few days, it usually goes well and I don’t have exhausted kids to deal with.
Don’t waste your energy in endless arguments over that. Try things out so your partner realizes the reason behind your position. There is always a middle ground field where you two can meet.
Eating habits: This is one of a few battles that most people don’t fight even if I believe it is critical to short term and long-term health. Although things slowly change, the norm is not on your side when junk food and constant snacking seem to be the rule here in the US. Even if it is a sensitive subject, do not give up. Once again, start with yourself, look for videos and movies that will explain the importance of eating habits. Don’t expect an easy and quick change because cravings are at play. Check transition to healthy diet for more information.
Health issues: One of the things most couples have issues with is health policies: should we vaccinate or not? What treatment is best to follow? Parents question more and more their doctor’s order. Considering how conventional doctors are trained, I think it is a wise decision. That being said, it makes things more complicated because you need to forge your own opinion. And this opinion lacks authority. Don’t let fear guide you there. Find information on the internet so you become more knowledgeable: your decision then might change or not but at least you will have the arguments to explain your position. Confrontation will lead you nowhere. So avoid that.
School choices: For those who can afford private schools, choice of school can be daunting. Most people choose their children’s school following peer pressure. At the end of the day though, you and only you will cope with the consequences of a school over another. The more open minded you will be the better. When school choice becomes an argument it either shows fear of change, or anxiety over making the right decision. Bear in mind that no decision is irrevocable. Unless you try something new you won’t be able to tell whether it is better or not. Make sure you are practical in your decision process: if the school you select implies material or financial strains because it is too far or too expensive, it might not be the right choice for your family as a whole. Last but not least kids are far more resilient than you think. My children have known five different schools in three different countries, and they are not traumatized.
Babysitting arrangements: This can be a very sensitive subject implying the extensive family. This is what free babysitting costs. If you don’t want to deal with that, hire somebody “neutral” that you will select to look after your children. Or make a deal with your neighbors in your community: you look after theirs this day of the week and they look after yours that day of the week. With flexibility and communication, that will strengthen your ties with your neighbors and solve your problem at once. The last you want to do is judge the way your family or your in-laws handle your children, and respond to your babysitting request. Times have changed!