Is it possible for couples with different values to agree on effective rules for their children?

Yes! When couples simplify and seek to understand each other.

Let’s start with the good news:

Differences make us relevant and interesting to each other.

Think about it, if you and your partner were exactly the same, one of you would be unnecessary. (Let’s not go there.)

The good news is also the bad news:

Differences create conflicts. (You already knew that.)

There are different values, different preferences, different backgrounds, different cultures and different upbringings. 

These create conflicts, but they also help us to bring something unique to the relationship. 

Don’t try to replicate the exact culture of just one of the family backgrounds.

The two of you have come together to create this new family that includes parts of each of what makes you you.

As long as we are bent on keeping our own opinions and our own preferences at the forefront, it will increase the conflicts that come because of the differences. 

Since we are speaking from our truth, we know we are right.

We don’t THINK we are right, we KNOW we are RIGHT.

And that makes the other party wrong.

Who wants to be wrong?

That means our truth is a lie.

Remember, Win/Win is always better than Win/Lose.

Effective communication will guarantee that both parties feel heard and valued.

Seek first to understand. Dr. Stephen Covey taught this effectively in his leadership training, “Seek first to understand and then to be understood.”

When we KNOW we are right, we enter the conversation ready to get our point across and we aren’t listening to anything else. 

Take the initiative to be the first listener.

Don’t offer anything until your partner knows that they have been heard and understood. 

Now, there are three rules I would like you to consider for your family.

You don’t need a lengthy, exhaustive list of family rules to try to cover every situation.

All you need are three rules.

That’s it.

Rule #1: Respect yourself and others.

Run that by your partner. I bet both of you can get on board with having your children respect others and themselves. 

Rule #2: Respect property. This is all the stuff and belongings in our physical environment. 

It doesn’t matter if the items belong to us or someone else. We are under obligation to cause no harm to the situation surrounding us.

Rule #3: Respect authority. This means you, the parent, most of all. It mostly means cooperation with reasonable requests as a parent. 

These three rules will cover most of the disagreements you have as parents. 

If you need more help, reach out, we have you covered.


Join the discussion One Comment