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Who's right, who's wrong?

By unknown | Feb 17, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

It has happened a hundred times before. You assume one thing is acceptable and your partner assumes the opposite.

It has happened a hundred times before. You assume one thing is acceptable and your partner assumes the opposite.

You wonder why your partner is punishing the kids for that, ignoring their bad behaviour and your partner either ignoring or failing to see your point of view?

When couples disagree about discipline and division of responsibility, they often make the mistake of trying to establish who's right and who's wrong. But more often than not, there is no right and wrong.

Here are tips to find that middle ground:

l Find a common goal: often when we're stuck in an argument we forget that underneath the differences lies a common goal. We are parents together, we love our kids and we both want what is best for them.

l Agree to disagree: differences of opinion are inevitable. Rather than trying to convince your partner to share your point of view, accept that you're different and you're each entitled to see life through a different lens.

l Reach a compromise: having agreed that you share the same common goal and that you're each entitled to your opinion, sit down together and work out how to move forward. Discuss the points that are essential and those that are arbitrary.

l Pre-empt arguments: many couples find there are particular times when they're most likely to argue. Typically, this is in the morning when everyone's rushing out, meal times or bedtime. Plan ahead to avoid this happening.

l Learn what triggers arguments: it could be something as simple as your partner raising an eyebrow or always sighing when you ask them to do something. Discuss the triggers and agree how to eliminate them.

l Nip rows in the bud: if you've gotten into the habit of arguing over the same old things, then it's easy to slip back into those bad habits even after you've reached a compromise. Give each other the benefit of the doubt and gently remind each other that you've agreed on a new approach.

l If all else fails: for some couples there are hidden payoffs for continuing to argue. It may be that there are resentments that lie much deeper than the things you argue about, but rather than face them, you bicker about trivial things. The main issue may be something that happened in the past or an ongoing problem that has become too difficult to talk about. Arguing about something else allows you both to air your feelings, but avoid talking about the real problem. The only way to stop the cycle is to deal with the deeper issue. If this is too difficult to do alone, talk to a counsellor. - From Super Nanny


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