Prescription for Parenting Share +

Posted by: coronadosafe 6 years, 3 months ago

For the last few years Coronado SAFE has featured parenting expert Fred Becker of the Becker Institute during Family University’s evening parenting education seminar series.  While SAFE’s 2014-2015 Strategic Plan mandated a diversification in class and seminar offerings, SAFE will continue to provide Coronado parents access to Mr. Becker’s vast arsenal of parenting strategies with the unveiling of a new series of advice columns called: Prescription for Parenting. Coronado SAFE invites Coronado parents to submit questions with confidential answers provided online and in the press. 

To Submit a parenting question, email: or call Coronado SAFE 619-522-6884.

Agreeing to Disagree

November 2014

“Dear Fred, My spouse and I don’t agree on everything, but how do you get on the same page with your spouse on issues related to parenting?”

In most families parents do not agree on issues of how to raise a child and most parents will adopt the style of parenting they were raised with.

When disagreements arise, friction develops over issues of the parent’s roles, resulting in loss of confidence, respect, and support. When this continues the marriage becomes strained, the child begins to feel unsafe, and in some cases children will take advantage of the situation by manipulating one parent against another.

So what do you do? There is no easy answer to this, but there is one simple activity that can help you and your spouse gain a little more clarity over the situation.

  1. Have each partner make a list of their ten most important parenting issues, e.g. ideas surrounding discipline, expectations for school or expectations for their role in the home. Then pick your three most important items on that list. Take one week to revise the list so you feel confident about the lasting value of your three.
  2. Meet with your spouse and go over each other’s list and top three without judgment or debate. Seek to find commonalities in your expectations and negotiate differences to find a middle ground with things you may not agree with in totality.
  3. Work to support one another on their own top three (even if it isn’t as important to you).

The bottom line here is that children do best when mom and dad are on the same team. So at home, try to “speak with one voice” and keep parenting disagreements off-line and behind closed doors. Treating your spouse as an equal in the parenting process strengthens the relationship over time and sets a good example for kids to learn team-work and mutual respect. Marriage is hard work and parenting is often harder. So get clear with your spouse on the most important issues and accept that not everything will go your own way. This will help ensure that while you may not agree on everything, you can still stay on the same parenting page.


Fred Becker

Becker Institute Inc.