It is very common to experience differences in opinion with your spouse about parenting. It is also very common to experience conflict when there are strong differences of opinion on any subject. However, no matter how strong the differences of opinion are, the result of the conflict doesn’t have to be a win-lose outcome. Neither you nor your spouse are in a losing position when the ultimate decision and the manner in which this decision is reached are in the
best interest of the child.
In fact, when a child witnesses their parents engage in respectful disagreement, it can be instructive and educational. When you and your spouse make a decision that is mutually supported and suspends further disharmony, it creates an atmosphere of respect and peace in your home.
Seeing effective conflict resolution modeled at home is a great learning experience for children. While the child may not always understand the complexities of their parents’ disagreements, they will observe and record how each conflict is handled and ultimately resolved.
When a child is exposed to differing points of view from their parents about one of their own life issues, an object lesson takes place. In this situation, a child can see that an issue affecting their life can be viewed from different and mature perspectives.
Learning that there are alternatives available for the successful solution of a problem may literally be a life saver for a young person. Being exposed to critical thinking and alternatives to problem solving that are explained can be another valuable gift from parents to their children.
*Note: For this desired learning to ultimately take place for a child, parents must openly and candidly communicate with their children the factors considered in making decisions about matters that affect their children’s lives.
While the child may not always understand the complexities of their parents’
disagreements, they will observe and record how each conflict is handled and ultimately resolved.