Bringing children into the world is a joyous occasion. Most couples see it as a wonderful extension of themselves and their family. They have more love to give and a chance to connect with another human being on a deep level. A human being they created out of their love for each other. While all this is true, the reality of child-rearing isn’t all that romantic. For most couples the positives outweigh the negatives, but bringing up children is hard work there's no denying it. As a couple, you need to have concrete ideas on how you want to raise your children and it is good to have this worked out before your take the plunge into parenthood. If, however, you didn't do this and problems are arising with how you are dealing with your children and it is causing friction in your marriage, it is time to work through the issues, before they become marriage breakers.
- Discuss the areas of child-rearing that you and your partner are disagreeing on. Go through why you want to deal with issues in a particular way and then let your partner discuss their child raising philosophies.
- Working out how you want your children to be educated can cause a number of problems. One parent may be opting for a private education, while the other may want to home school. What are the financial issues of sending your children to a private school? Will it stretch the budget so far that pressures will be put on other areas of your marriage? Be realistic and open-minded when it comes to education options for your children.
- If you have a mixed marriage in terms of culture or religion, there may be issues regarding child raising that could impact on cultural or religious concerns. Hopefully you will work out how to deal with these issues before you have children. If not, there could be many problems to deal with, least of all family reactions to your choices.
- Once you have agreed on how you will deal with the children for discipline, be consistent. Don’t give in to the children if it means going against your partner. The children will pick up on this quickly and use it to divide and conquer! Remember you and your partner are the adults and have a right to be respected and listened to by your children.
- Be prepared to change any decisions if things aren’t working. Like every part of your marriage, scenarios change. If home schooling is too hard on the partner providing the education, look at other options for your children. If your children are rebelling against the house rules because they think they are too strict, talk about it with your kids. It is okay to let them in on the decision making process as long as they are also willing to set the consequences and deal with them if they break the rules. Giving children ownership of what is required teaches them responsibility.
Raising children is challenging but if you and your partner are willing to face the issues together, it can be one of the best experiences of your life.