Skip to main content

Parenting as a Team

Photo by John Mark-Smith
        Becoming parents is such an amazing blessing.  From the moment we first hold our newborn child, our world is changed.  Whether navigating the terrible two’s or adjusting to parenting young adults, we learned something that is crucial about parenting – we are much stronger together than we are as individuals.

MARK: With no parenting manual, we fumbled through the early years of parenting our first child.  Mel and I parented individually and differently, each of us following our own parents’ examples.

MEL: When our second child arrived, our differences were really put to the test.  My natural parenting style was loving and gentle, and I struggled with discipline and to say no to the kids.  Mark handled day-to-day discipline easily, but was less comfortable with deep discussions with the kids, like how to handle feelings of anger or loneliness.  Mark and I clashed on how to parent them.  We were divided, our kids knew it, and they used it to their advantage.

MARK:  When our kids were 5 and 8, Mel and I attended a Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend experience.  From our discussions that weekend, we realized we were parenting individually in ways that lacked consistency for our children.  We began to take steps to parent them as a team..

MEL:  We struggled at first to find our groove.  I still thought my parenting style was better, and Mark was tentative about becoming more involved in “my territory.”

MARK:  Eventually we realized that our kids needed both of our parenting styles and that we should support each other with these differing styles.  We had lots of discussion on what’s best for our children, including how we would discipline them.

MEL: Top priority for me was to avoid holding parenting disagreements in front of the kids.  They needed to know that they couldn’t play us against each other any longer.  When an issue cropped up, I told the kids that Dad and I needed to discuss it before we would respond.  Mark and I set family rules and made it clear what the consequences would be if they broke the rules.

MARK: I wanted our kids to see us as a parenting team in more ways than just discipline.  I wanted them to relish fun time as we planned a family outing together and to enjoy the comfort and security of Mel and me sharing their nightly bedtime routine.  They needed to know that they could count on both of us to be there for them when they needed us.

Through parenting as a team, we have seen a difference in our children’s behavior and character.  Strategizing together is comfortable now.  We learn from each other, and are open to considering each other’s input.  Our children have thrived in a way they couldn’t have if we had continued to parent as individuals.  Parenting as a team has made all the difference.

Photo by Jude Beck


  1. Great reflection! So many parents are overburdened (lack of time, tenuous financial resources, distance from family support, etc.); it can be easy to get overwhelmed and anxious. This reflection underscores creating that "team mindset" that offers support to each other and provides great stability for children.

    1. Thanks for your comment. So true! We had one parent stressed by "too much" time with the kids and the other parent stressed by a deficit. And, with the closest family 300 miles away, it was challenging. The team mindset gave us both a sense of support even when just one of us was with the kids.


Post a Comment

Other Popular Posts

Great Sex!

Sex between a married couple is not only good, it’s very good. If you read the research and surveys, you will find that married couples experience better and more frequent sex than non-married couples. Married couples are healthier, happier, and live longer. When we went on a WorldWide Marriage Encounter weekend, we were more than a little surprised when a priest told us that our love-making is good, is important for us, and is important to the world. He encouraged us to “make mad passionate love!”
    So, why has married sex become something else? Society and media portray sex for married couples as dull and lifeless, a tool used to manipulate, something to joke about, and something that - beyond the newlywed phase- gradually drifts away. We’ve been sold this bill of goods, and we often buy into it! What we really crave in our sex life is to give and receive something powerful- to experience the depths of our passion and love for each other, to be as intimate as possible. Our freq…

8 Misunderstandings That Are Hurting Your Sex Life

Why are we writing about sex again?  Sex in marriage is more important than most people think.  It's mysterious. There are a lot of "layers" and complexities to this whole topic.... read on...

10 Stay at Home Date Night Ideas

Date Night has become a household term in recent years and many couples strive to make this quality time together a priority in our increasingly fast paced lives. Throw some kids into the mix (or in our case a granddaughter), and it’s even harder to carve out quality couple time. Not to worry because finance guru Dave Ramsey has come to our rescue with not only a whole host of date night ideas, but most of them are budget friendly. We’d like to highlight 10 of Dave’s Stay at Home Date Night ideas! 

Marriage Manners Matter

"Fine!" and "Whatever!" These 2 powerful words have the incredible potential to bring nearly any discussion to a screeching halt.  They send the insensitive message of "I don't care. Discussion over.  Period. Full stop!"   As married couples, we have probably used these or similar words.  And, if we have raised children we have probably employed time out, taken the car keys or other forms of discipline.

Those 2 little words are not  the focus of this blog.

Annual Marriage Tune-Up

A number of years ago, some friends of ours told us about a little trick they use to keep their marriage healthy, strong, and vibrant. Every year, they pledge to attend some kind of marriage enrichment event together. According to our friends, this does not mean weekend getaways to the beach, skiing, or going to a bed and breakfast together.

How to FIX Your Spouse

Does your spouse do anything that absolutely drives you nuts? Would you like to know how to “fix” them once and for all? Read on.

I Married YOU, Not Your Family

Growing up and getting married means that we leave our family of origin and start a new family.  We’re not asked to forget about mom and dad, but we do need to remember that our spousal relationship is important to take care of because it becomes the solid ground where we plant our new roots.

Come On, Baby, Light My Fire

One reason married couples end up together is because there is a physical attraction between them. Some call it chemistry. There are times when we can’t keep our hands off each other.  We make any excuse to be close, to be intimate.

Advice From a Divorce Lawyer

Yes, this is a strange twist.  We recently heard about James J Sexton's book, "If You're in My Office, It's Already Too Late."  James is a divorce attorney from New York, who started noticing some patterns after 20 years of working with couples whose marriages were ending.

Quarantine Romance

We have been under a stay-at-home order for 5 weeks now due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  Just being in the same house together doesn’t ensure a close, intimate relationship though; we must decide to take actions that bring us together.  We decided to view this mandate to stay at home as an opportunity to find new everyday ways to romance each other.