One of the greatest challenges to a marriage is co-parenting, especially when the parenting styles of each of the parents are quite different, or worse yet, in direct opposition to each other. In my work with couples, this issue comes up more than any other single issue that couples bring in to marriage counseling. I have also noticed that the article on "parenting styles" is one of the most read articles on our website. So what makes this issue such a hot topic among couples?
One of the biggest complaints I hear from parents is that they can't get their kids to do chores. The problems they cite include procrastination, forgetfulness, distraction, not finishing, doing something halfway or not well, and worst, just plain defiance as in ignoring the request and refusing to do it. The compliance issue is a little more complicated than the other problems, and I'll address that later in the article. For starters, let's list the main factors that can help lead to success.
Some great research has been done (16 years worth) by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University on the effect of frequent family dinners on teens' use of drugs and alcohol. The list of findings below come from The National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XV: Teens and Parents which CASA released on 08/19/10.
Have you ever been in a situation where you just wanted to vent about something and the person listening to you stepped in quickly with advice on how to solve the situation or worse yet, told you in so many words that you were overreacting? Most all of us have been in that situation either as the person listening or the person venting. It can be frustrating from both sides: for the person venting, the feeling is one of being cut off, misunderstood, dismissed, put down or unimportant.
I've had several parents asking this week if they really have to take their toddlers' pacifiers away because it has been recommended that it is time to do so. In both cases, the toddlers had terrible reactions. One child had a sleepless night and was inconsolable (which means the parents had a sleepless night too). The other said her child continued to be upset over days and seemed in such distress, that she finally gave it back.