Thursday, June 23, 2011

When You Don't Agree

Presenting a united front is important when raising any children. It is even more important when raising special needs children who rely on you for structure and consistency. When raising (a) child(ren) with RAD, a united front is about survival.

Unless you are a single parent, it is inevitable there will come a day when you and your partner will experience your child differently and the united front will loom as a difficult or even impossible achievement. It helps to have a process in place to resolve differences before your united front  is called into question. In creating your process, it is helpful to first agree upon each of your children's strengths, needs and capabilities. I suggest this be done in writing as it is the best way to make sure you are both communicating clearly.

Next, it is important to identify family principles. We use three. 1. Have a good attitude, 2. Be kind, 3. Listen the first time someone speaks to you. I continually review these with my girls when things are going well (no laughter, please).

Now for the tricky part. There will be times when you and your partner see the same behavior at the same time and interpret it differently. Telling your partner he/she is crazy mistaken generally doesn't work well. I have tried and it never rarely works well. I do not have a nice, clear cut solution to share.

If I am in a therapeutic frame of mind, there are a couple of things I try. I try to identify how import the brewing disagreement is. Can I just let it go and move on? If I can't just let it go, I try to determine how important it is to my partner.  Once I have done that, I try to look at both of us honestly and determine who is in a more objective, balanced state. Of course, if it is an ongoing disagreement, all of the above isn't going to help much.

That is where I find myself today. The Dad and I are at the ongoing disagreement point. I can tell you that if I weren't a therapeutic parent, I would be threatening to get my own apartment, take GB and leave. I AM a therapeutic parent, so of course  that was not my response.

We will still be talking and trying to find our united front. Until then, I predict an early bedtime for the girls and I tonight.

If you have something that works for you, I would love to hear about it (apartments are NOT cheap).

4 comments:

Mom2LittleMiss said...

I've been "lurking" on your blog for a little while now and I've got to tell you how impressed I am by your attitude. You're a pretty amazing woman!

I wish I had an answer for you, but my husband and I often deal with the same thing. When it's not worth the argument, I throw in the towel and let him have his turn. When it is, I let him know that I've gotta do what I think is best for our daughter and put together a plan for action. It's a lot easier to see the outcomes when you have a plan and goals in place... maybe this will help?

Sunday Koffron said...

My husband and started our child rearing journey less than a year into our marriage when he decided that we had to step up and take in his mentally disabled teenaged nephew who was not being properly cared for by his parents. We were very young. And it was a huge learning curve to have to jump in so late, and with such a damaged/traumatized child. Not much about parenting can get either of us real excited now.

In our relationship I honestly make 99% of the decisions (and take on about the same amount of responsibility) for any of our kids, we talk about it; he states his opinion and says we’ll do whatever i think is best. On that 1% of the time where he takes a strong stance on anything – I pay attention. Because goodness knows, if he is willing to fight for it, It MUST be important to him and he MUST have good reasons for feeling so strongly about it. It is not a prefect system, but it has kept us relatively happy for 18 or so years.

Denise said...

This has been a huge, ongoing problem for us. Part of the problem is finding the time and energy to sit down and come up with a plan. We get as far as agreeing that we need to find a way to be on the same page...and then there's a crisis of some sort, and our conversation is abandoned!

Struggling to Stand said...

Couples therapy sometimes helps us, and when it does it is a great solution ... dive down for the "what is this really about" part. It probably isn't about the child, but about past hurts and fears. If you both are operating based on different deep-seated fears, there will be a lot of clashing. It takes recognizing what is *really* motivating each of you to see or not see a particular aspect of a child, or to act or not act even if seen. And sometimes, recognizing the deep motivation allows the logical brain to realize that the child is not doomed to the same fate as the adult, or what the adult saw in someone else. The child has her own reality and very different enviornment than any one else...
Sooo much easier to say than to do.