Healthy Minds, Healthy Souls: When parents are not on the same page

You have heard it said before, when parents aren’t on the same page, their children always win, only not in a good way.

You see, children are still growing and developing into young, responsible, respectful and patient beings. They don’t come out that way. In fact, studies show our brains are still maturing, changing and developing well into our mid 20’s. Children need lots of guidance and it needs to be consistent across situations and people.

So, when it feels like your children, “just won’t listen,” consider whether your efforts are being unintentionally undermined by a lack of consistency.

Summer is a time for fun. It’s a time for relaxation, vacation, and celebration, but it’s also a good time to focus with less distraction on filling their hearts, minds and souls with the values you seek for them to have. This is important all year round of course, but the gift of Summer is that our children are often less mentally exhausted and therefore, have more reserve to devote toward shaping their souls. Many parents often relax rules, expectations and values over the summer only to be met with frustration.

Children are smart and they know where limits exist, and where they don’t. They know when a limit you are setting is not firm one, because it is not followed up on or supported by both parents. These situations set children up to push limits. Which sets parents up for exhaustion, frustration and escalating anger.

It’s important to know the limits and values you want to encourage with your children. Decide what behaviors bother you most and what values you wish to instill because of it. Then, most important, talk to your spouse to be sure you are on the same page. Parenting is a give and take. Try to listen to, and respect, each other’s viewpoints about what makes for effective parenting in your home. This will lead to a mutually agreed upon set of values you are BOTH willing to enforce. Otherwise, your efforts will be lost, along with your energy, and sense of peace and wellbeing as a parent.

Make this Summer one to remember. Use the extra time to work on your family’s values so that everyone can be consistent with them. Reward steps your children make toward following them, show your support and enjoy a more frustration free Summer!

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