I don't know how often we really discussed that when I was growing up but it did really make a strong impression on me. Ken and I have worked to be united in this way. It is something that has gone pretty well but something that I would like to work on more.
Something that we did do that helped to get us off to a good start was before our oldest, Mara was even born we read through a parenting book ("To Train up a Child" by Mike and Debi Pearl) together - I think I read it to him while we were traveling - and then we discussed the ideas in the book. That way before we even started to work on training a child we had come up with a plan and discussed how we would do it. Otherwise it can be quite easy to disagree how forms of punishment, when discipline is needed and much more!
It was a huge blessing for us that we did share many of the same ideas on this subject so we didn't have much in the way of disagreements to work through but I do still remember several times in the early years of child training when I would struggle a bit in my effort to present a united front.
In our parenting styles we both love our children dearly and we want the to obey, I struggled with sometimes being a little bit "soft" with the kids however and unfortunately not always consistent. My emotions could get in the way of doing what I should. Ken being a guy (at least this is a typical gender difference) didn't have so many issues in this way and so there were a few times that I would not feel completely supportive inside when he would discipline them but I am so grateful now that I wouldn't express that uncertainty. We have children that truly love and respect their daddy (and they do me as well, just in case you were wondering) and even right after discipline after he had comforted them they were ready to spend time doing things with him.
In always being united we were able to train our children (easily in fact - I don't even remember a struggle with this) to not go ask one parent after the other parent already gave an answer (to try to get a more favorable answer) .
One quick caution - This does not suggest that you stand by and watch your husband abuse your children - but I hope that is not the case with any of you. That is a far different thing that your husband lovingly disciplining your children.
We are past that small child training stage in our lives but we still have plenty of opportunity to present a united front to our children. In fact the teenage years are probably when most parents might struggle with this and when it might be most detrimental to the children and possibly the marriage.
My goals are to:
- Stand united with Ken in how we raise our children - this means discussing ideas and goals for them.
- Never speak to the children negatively about Ken. Now our kids do know that we have different ideas on some things. I lean towards wanting to turn our place into a farm and Ken wouldn't mind living in town and having a lifestyle like that and so we do talk over our different ideas but we do it in love and usually come to a compromise that we both are happy with. The kids are aware of these different ideas but I don't think they are seeing that as a lack of unity.