It can be such a relief to know that other people are struggling with the same challenges that you are. It can also be
comforting, in a way, to find out that there are problems out there
that you don’t have. (well, it’s true!) To that end, this post is the
first in a multi-part series about the most common parenting conflicts.

I did a small survey and have summarized the results below. (In other
words, this is neither scientific nor exhaustive.) But I think you’ll
find common ground all the same.

Typical areas of conflict between parents:

  • Discipline: (strategies, thresholds, undermining vs united front.)
  • Anxiety: (differing levels and differing triggers)
  • Self-care: (Who gets personal time! Who is getting more! There is Never Enough!!)
  • Sex: (hormones, feeling over-touched, the importance of reconnection.)
  • Lifestyle issues: (diet, TV, language, work vs play)
  • Balance and Sharing: (household labor, ‘owning’ the kids, reading parenting books, extended family, role modeling, competing for love.)

Steps that can help:

  • Define a common problem.
  • Use “I” statements. Avoid blame and ‘making wrong.’
  • Active listening skills (body language, focus, “uh huh,” rephrasing, empathetic response.)
  • Reach out. Ask friends, family, professionals. Ask for help. Ask
    for camaraderie. Ask for distraction. Ask for advice. Both parents must
    reach out!
  • Acceptance, compromise, communication.
  • Counseling. You get the help of an ‘expert’ with training and
    experience in these exact issues, plus a dedicated hour each week to
    focus on growth.

In future posts, I will delve a little deeper into the different categories. First up: discipline. Come back for more!