When parents don�t agree by xew0j7Ic

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									Presenting a united front from
       divided parents
       Bernie Les, Ph.D.
         Psychologist
         248-310-2346
       bles@wayne.edu
1.   What is a divided parental unit?
2.   Why do parents divide?
3.   What is the negative impact on children?
4.   How do we prevent division?
5.   How do we bridge the gap?
6.   How do we parent with divided parenting
     philosophies?
   Parenting philosophies don’t agree
       Values
       Parenting goals
       Parenting methods
       Based on differences in:
        1. World views
        2. Views on gender roles
        3. Cultural differences
            Family of origin
            Religion
            Socioeconomic status
            Ethnicity
   Parenting philosophy defined
       One’s own autobiography
         Embodied hopes, wishes and frustrations
       Based on one’s childhood
         Modeling of parents
         Reaction to parents
           Hazing model
           Driving agenda
   Marital Conflict
   Children
   Extramarital involvement
       In-law syndrome
       Friends
       Professionals
   Powerlessness
       Feelings of helplessness combined with lack of safety
        with partner leads to…
   Alliance building
       “Partnering with children” thus Promoting children
        to peer status
   Augmented or agenda-driven parenting
       Yelling at a child and coparent at the same time
        means you’ll be louder!
   Parental child is usually the first born
   His job is to diffuse tension in the marriage
   Children ask for this job!
   Divisive children do this for a good reason.
       It works
   The well-intentioned in-law
   Be careful when taking the marital conflict
    outside the marriage
   Destructive cycle
    1. Grievance
    2. Hesitation to confront directly
    3. Seeking out a sympathetic ear
    4. Alliance building
    5. Magnification of grievances
    6. Polarization of parents
   Impact of a Divided Parental Unit
   Impact of Conflict
   Promoted children
       Too much power leads to
         Failure
         Acting out
         Sibling rivalry
   Angry Children
       Demoted parent means a negotiable parent
   Difficult to soothe Children
       With a weakened parental unit, no one is in charge
   Direct Impact
       Poor modeling
       Insecure model of stability in relationships
       Preparedness for conflict
         Negative attributional style
         Suspiciousness of others
   Indirect Impact
       Conflict in parental unit depletes energy
       Compromises parent-child relationship
   Nurture the most important relationship in the
    house
   Good communication when disagreeing
   Avoid language that suggests an alliance
   Positive sentiment override
       Goals:
        1. Reduce conflict/aggression
        2. Increase cohesiveness/teamwork
     Simple logic: Do good things for each other
     Soothe primary feelings of the other
     Promote safety
     Ideal Outcome: Available energy for parenting
   Separate agreement with understanding
   Distinguish between Complaints and Criticism
   Avoid zero sum arguments
   Separate intentions from methods
   Important: Accept influence; Don’t stonewall
       If you want to be listened to, you must listen.
       Your coparent must understand you and know that
        your intentions are good.
   Sympathy can lead to a coalition. Avoid this
    by:
       Listen
       Respond with curiosity
         “I’m confused.”
         “That’s interesting”
         “I’ll need to get more information from your father.”
       Assure your child that this will be discussed with
        your coparent
   Interview each other
       Reduce projection process
       Fill your head with curiosity about your coparent’s:
         Shame
         Guilt
         Fears
         Worries
   Parenting discussions should stay focused on
    outcomes
   YOU DON’T HAVE TO AGREE
    COMPLETELY!
   Schedule parenting meetings
   Accept complimentarity
   See your coparent as someone who has good
    intentions
   Deciding on important issues in a slow,
    deliberate way.
   Keep your eye on parenting objectives
   Weighing pros and cons
   Parenting Differences don’t have to lead to
    conflict
   I’m easy and he’s hard on them… Okay!
   Dad is there to save the mother-child
    relationship from becoming too enmeshed.
   To raise an emotionally balanced, self assured
    individual
   To prepare your child for the rough and tumble
    world
   To promote sensitivity in your child
   To raise a child with autonomy
   And more…

								
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