In my Houston relationship counseling practice, I’ve found that one of the biggest disagreements couples can have is on how to raise their children. Perhaps one parent comes from a strict background and the other was raised with lots of freedom. Or you’re religious and your partner isn’t; this was never an issue between the two of you before, but now you disagree over the involvement of religion in your children’s lives. Or you hate guns, but your partner grew up in a family that hunted and wants your children to learn proper gun safety. Whatever might be causing the friction, differences in how each of you wants to raise your children can cause significant relationship issues not only for the two of you, but your children as well.

Child-rearing is potentially such a big part of any couple’s life that I often even bring it up with my clients in Houston relationship counseling who don’t yet have children. I do this because many couples don’t think that far in advance or know how to ask each other the right questions when talk of children comes up, but the best way to avoid future relationship issues is to understand exactly what each of you are getting into. This way, when you get to that point in your child’s life, you should already know how each of you will respond and have come to an agreement. Unfortunately, some people simply never get around to really talking about child-rearing until they’re already in the middle of doing it.

Houston Relationship Counseling: Show a United Front in Child-Rearing

If parenting doesn’t teach you this, I’m happy to do so in Houston relationship counseling: by age 3, kids become very savvy about playing one parent against the other to get what they want. What this means is that you can’t show signs of disagreement when you are around them. If something they want to do causes either of you hesitation, that parent needs to speak and say something like “we need to discuss that” before any kind of acquiescence is made. Then go someplace where your children can’t hear you and hash it out together. As with anything else, listen to each other and try to understand where the other person is coming from.

Compromise. Chances are slim that you will agree on absolutely everything, but you need to at least be able to come to some kind of accord for your child. If, after doing this, you still find yourselves at odds on how to bring up your child, seek out Houston relationship counseling.