It’s not just sleepless nights that cause parents to argue – divided opinion on parenting can also cause us to snap at our spouses. One of the toughest challenges as a married couple is when we do not see eye to eye on issues pertaining to number one, finances and number two, raising our children. Sometimes, you can clearly state your rationale but your spouse (note the lack of endearing term here) disagree because he/she thinks her viewpoints ought to be validated too.
In fact, it doesn’t get easier when our children grow older. Most of the time, the disagreements arise because both parents have the best interest of the children at heart. No right. No wrong. Everything is gray? Surely not!
From screen time to bedtime and to waking up time. Too much play? Not enough play? Too much sun or not enough sun? The list goes on! We argue over so many things, that ironically, we are both none the wiser. The reasons for these disagreements could be due to our different upbringing, or because men and women value certain things more highly than others. For example, Moms would usually freak out if their toddlers pick up a creepy crawly at the park but Dads would probably dismiss it as not a big deal, in fact, it stimulates their curiosity. I must admit I tend to sweat over the small stuff and my husband always has to remind me to ‘relax’, ‘let go a little’, ‘be less uptight’ to help me put things in perspective.
Nobody said parenting was easy. But talking about the things we disagree on, and trying to reach some kind of workable, peace-keeping compromise, will make things a lot easier.
One of the common tiffs which crops up once in a while, rearing its ugly head in our home is the issue of discipline.
To put things into context: The common discipline topic for parents is whether or not to spank our children (be it using bare hands, the ruler or the cane). Being educators, we have seen many examples of students who have gone astray because of ‘permissive parenting’ so my husband and I are on the same page when it comes to ‘sparing the rod and spoiling the child’ (or at least we think we are, till the disagreements and squabbles emerge).
We have always told our daughter Dana that bad behavior will not be tolerated and if willfully done, she will punished. But we are aware we tread a fine line between punitive discipline and discipline in love. So we find ourselves constantly debating on how severe should the punishments be? Under what circumstances should she be punished? What constitutes fair punishments? Who should go and reconcile (and pray with the daughter) after she’s punished? We found ourselves having different opinions about the appropriateness of the discipline to be meted out. These had led to many late-night “discussions” about whether the she was acting the way she did due to her immaturity or if it was out of sheer disobedience, peer influence or mischief. Recently, I caught her telling a lie in school blatantly to me. Her Daddy wanted to let her off with a verbal warning (he’s always been the more indulgent one) but I felt so disappointed by her action that I insisted she should be caned as a deterrent.
Regrettably, much of our parenting dialogue nowadays, with Dana in formal schooling, has to do with discipline. We are also increasingly conflicted because the use of corporal punishments will be counter-productive as the daughter grows into a tween. I never knew parenting is so much harder after they enter Primary School (and I know even more issues will crop up in their teenage years)! How I wish we can ‘freeze’ time or turn back the clock…
Anyway, I’ve said enough. I’ll would really like to hear from you. Please leave a comment (either here on the blog or in this FB Post) and share with us:
1. Who is the stricter disciplinarian in your home – you or your spouse?
2. What’s your and your spouse’s take on corporal punishment?
3. What are some alternatives to corporal punishment that have worked in your family?
To thank you for your participation, 3 readers will receive a Nestle Goodie Bag (worth S$50).
Nestle Singapore would like to engage parents on a nation-wide discussion through social media platforms on how best to nurture our next generation so feel free to share your views on the different parenting topics you come across under this hastag #nurtureyourchild.