Parenting on the same page may not mean what you think it means.
“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”
~ Phil Jackson
What Does It Even Mean to “Parent On the Same Page”?
To answer this I have to be honest, I am not even sure what this means. I’ve had parents tell me that parenting on the same page means that:
“Parents are on the same wavelength” . . . or . . .
“They are of the same mind” . . . or . . .
“They agree on how to parent” . . . or . . .
“They do the same things” . . . or . . .
“They parent as one.”
I don’t actually think that much of this is possible or realistic, and as a result, many parents think that there is something wrong with them and/or their spouse.
The Myth of Parenting on The Same Page
The myth of parenting on the same page is that it will “fix” all of your problems in your relationship and with your teens.
The myth is that when you parent on the same page, you will magically agree with everything that your spouse does. Or even better yet, they will magically agree with everything that you do.
The Problem with “Same Page” Parenting
I have many problems with same page parenting.
I’ve seen spouses manipulate each other in name of “Parenting on the Same Page.” I’ve seen one parent try to control, change, or fix the other parent, convinced that they are the whole problem.
I’ve seen parents dilute themselves, and parent totally out of alignment to their values in an effort to be more like their spouse.
The problem with this is that it is hard to be something that you are not. It is hard to parent in a way that is not aligned with your parenting values and vision. Often one partner is left sacrificing themselves and their values and personal strengths for the sake of parenting on the same page.
Oftentimes parents will both abandon their values and inner strengths in an effort to meet in the middle somewhere. Now you’ve got two parents parenting out of alignment with their personal values and strengths.
When parents try to parent on the same page, one or both often begin to see themselves as a victim in the relationship, at the mercy of the other.
Why It’s Important to Parent on the Same Team, Not on the Same Page
By now I’m sure you’ve noticed that I love sports analogies. They make sense in my brain.
Look at your parenting relationship with your spouse as being on a team.
On teams, there are different members of the same team who have different strengths, skills, and values.
This is a good thing. You have QBs who have the value of being seen and making the impossible throw. They love being in the spotlight and making the big play when it counts the most. They know everyone is watching and they love the added pressure.
On the other hand, think of the lineman whose value is to protect the quarterback and help him look good. They just quietly go about doing their job because it’s inline with their values. They know that no one watches the line, and they love it. They don’t have to deal with the pressure of being in the spotlight.
In addition to having very different values, they also have very different strengths and skills. Could you imagine a QB trying to get his offensive line to all adopt his values and skills and strengths?
When you parent from the mentality of being on the same team, you empower the other parent to embrace their values, strengths, and skills to be the best that they can be.
You allow them to be them.
You trust that what they bring to the team is exactly what is needed. You notice and appreciate what they bring to the table.
How Parent on the Same Team (even when you’re NOT on the same page)
- Define Your Own Values
- If you’re like most parents, you’ve never taken the time to define your own values.
- DO IT!
- This will help you know what is truly important to you.
- Look to your current reality and results.
- Some values you may want to ditch.
- Some values you will want to double down on.
- Define Your Own Role and Purpose
- It’s no one’s job but your own to tell you what your job is as a parent.
- Clearly define who you want to be as a parent.
- This will help guide you in tough parenting moments.
- Explore Your Own Strengths and Skills
- Believe it or not you have strengths and skills that no one else has!
- You are uniquely equipped to help your teen in ways that no one else can.
- Know your strengths and play to them.
- Develop and hone your skills as a parent.
- Seek to Understand and Appreciate Your Spouse as They Are
- Your spouse has their own values.
- They have their own role and purpose.
- They have their own strengths and skills.
- Appreciate that they bring things to the table that you simply can’t do.
- Find Ways to Be on THEIR Team!
- You don’t have to be the team captain.
- It’s usually easier to join their team than to get them to join yours.
- Find ways to support them and make them look good!
- Protect them.
- Help them thrive and succeed.
Call to ACTION!
Become A Firmly Founded Parent today. You can transform yourself as a parent!
Stop worrying that you are doing it all wrong, and join the Firmly Founded Parent TODAY!
This is the first and most powerful step in changing from the inside out when it comes to your parenting.