The 3 Sacred RuLes Of Collaborative Parenting

This is a sponsored post and was first published on MyCity4Kids.com 



Mom: “Oh, my little baby is learning to ride his bike! I can’t believe it! Look, I know you are all grown up and all; but be careful okay? No, don’t remove your helmet! And it’s okay to cry if you fall down, I am right here okay, sweetheart? I will come pick you up right away! There goes my little rider…”
Dad: “Helmet strapped on? You remember what I said about the brakes? Okay, then, off you go, buddy!”
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Mom: “Rishi! You haven’t brushed your teeth yet! Come on, brush your teeth before you go to sleep….no, don’t pretend to be asleep now! Come on! I am waiting, Rishi!”
Dad: “Choo-choo…hey Rishi! There’s a train here! Its shaped like a toothbrush and its going on the tracks that are my teeth…oh look! Its leaving foam in its wake instead of steam! You must see this, come on – oh, even better, you want this train clean your tracks too?”
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Dad: “What are you doing?”
Rishi: “Reading...”
Dad: “No football today?”                                               
Rishi: “Yeah, I’ll go later, they will be there till late…”
Dad: “Outdoor play is important, Rishi. Go get some fresh air! At your age, you must get out and about!”
Rishi: “But Mum lets me read whenever I want…she says ‘reading is the best habit you could have’…”
Dad: “Rishi? Out. Now! You can read later bud…”
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All these stories are different versions of the same point – no two parents will have the same parenting style. One may be more tolerant, the other more strict. We need to understand –
  • Every person is the product of their surroundings and upbringing; and this is reflected in their way of parenting too.
  • Just like our children are watching the way we behave today, we too have watched our parents when we were younger. So, naturally, our first lessons of parenting, and our reactions and expectations regarding our children more or less reflect those of our parents.
  • Then there are our own individual traits and habits – a mother would love to subscribe to parenting guides or read through parenting articles on the internet, while the father might prefer to go with his gut feelings.
  • And then of course, there are differences in how emotional, practical, fun-loving, strict or easy going each of us is.
  • Not to forget, our personal hobbies and interests as well as what is ‘okay’ for us personally, differs from parent to parent too – some of us are readers, others can’t seem to find the patience to read; some of us are artists or music lovers, others are athletes…  
In a way, having a mother and a father with very different parenting styles is a good thing, essential even; as this exposes children to different personalities and different ways of doing the same things. But, it also tends to send them mixed signals.
So then, how do we ensure that we are all on the same page?
Well, if both parents decide to collaborate and work together for a common goal, they can surely work wonders with their children despite their different parenting styles! Is this easy? Maybe not, but can it be done? Yes, of course it can! Here’s how.
We just need to remember that we are all a team; and as a team, we need to follow these 3 sacred rules:
1) We play for the same team, we have the same goal
 Each parent has different aspirations and expectations from their children. But it is essential for parents to agree on the bullet points and be on the same page when it comes to the larger picture. For example, maybe your child is good at sports or a great artist – now, how each parent encourages the child may differ substantially, but they need to both agree that they are fundamentally okay with their child growing up to become an artist in the first place. We parents love our children equally and it is important for us to be able to communicate to each other what our expectations and plans for our children are and how we plan to go about.
 2) 'Different' is not 'wrong'
As parents, we need to appreciate the fact that, just because our partner does things differently from us, does not mean that they are wrong and we are right. They may have their own ways of doing things; we owe it to them to give them a chance at handling things their way too. So long as we mutually connect on a personal level and tick off the important points on our common checklist, it is actually healthy to expose our children to our different styles of doing things.  
3) It is important to lead by example  
In our day to day life, we forget that we are being watched by our children constantly; and that for them, what and how we do things becomes the norm. We therefore need to remember when we set rules for children and tend to think ourselves above these rules that this sends mixed signals to children. Or worse, it could even make them feel that it is okay for adults to break the rules. So , it is essential that children see us, no matter how different our thoughts and practices, being bound by the same rules as they themselves are.

We need to remember, there is no problem or issue that cannot be solved or managed by having our inter-communication lines open; and mutual discussions and agreeing on the essential bullet points are essential to successful collaborative parenting. After all, we are all looking to raise our little ones to the best of our ability. 

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