In our previous Newsletter we had mentioned that the top 10 causes why married couples argue are:
2. Raising Children
4. Addictions to alcohol, drugs or food
6. Flirtatious behavior
7. Irresponsible attitude
8. Interferences from the in-laws
9. Unbalanced choices of activities
In our previous Newsletter we had also covered “Finances” as one of the causes for arguments among married couples. In this Newsletter we will focus on arguments that married couples have about raising their children.
Couples can disagree about how strict or how permissive they should be in raising their children; they can also argue about issues such as how much money to give or spend in their children; or what religious faith their children should follow; or what type of school they should attend; or which friends are considered acceptable and which ones are not; or how much privacy or independence they should be given, and on and on.
Esure, which is an Insurance Company based in England, conducted a survey in 3,000 people and found that couples will have an average of approximately 88 arguments per year related to how to discipline their children; 83 arguments per year about children’s bedtime; 79 arguments per year about spoiling or pampering too much their children and 79 times per year parents will swear in front of their children.
What to do?
To avoid or minimize arguments about raising your children, you can put into practice the following six steps system, which has been proven to be very successful:
1. Make a written list: You and your spouse should make in silence and without consulting each other, a written list of all of the issues that both of you consider are frequent causes of arguments in raising your children; and also write what is, in your opinion, the best way how each situation should be handled. Then, calmly and without interruptions or arguments, each spouse will take turns in reading to each other their own list, as many times as it is necessary, until all the issues are very clear for both of you.
2. Find what both of you agree on: Then, write down those opinions you both have and on which you can easily agree on without any arguments or confrontations.
3. Find what both of you disagree on: Next, write down those opinions you both have on which you cannot readily agree on without any arguments or confrontations about it.
4. Determine what is beneficial or detrimental: Then, proceed to write down all the benefits and the detrimental consequences for each opinion you both have about all of the different issues related to raising your children.
5. Make an agreement: After analyzing the pros and the cons, the benefits and the liabilities, what is good and what is bad related to all the opinions you both have, make an agreement on how the two of you are going to proceed from now on, in terms of what to do or not to do in raising your children.
6. Take action: Finally, determine what will be the immediate and the long term actions that both of you have to take in order to implement and to put into practice whatever you had agreed on.
Above all, what is most important to remember is that you and your spouse have to be flexible and receptive to the idea of putting aside your frustrations, anger, opinions, personal values and convictions, and be ready to negotiate what is best for your children. Ask yourself the following question: “Do I want to be right, or do I want to help my children?