Here are some common conflicts most, if not all, parents face:
Common conflicts for parents:
-Disruptive children (making a scene it public)
-Communication (not knowing what children are doing)
-Demanding your attention
-Messy children (won’t clean up after themselves)
-Picky eating (getting them to eat healthy foods)
Co-Parenting after Separation Conflicts:
-Resentment from previous relationship (disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing)
-Difficult time communicating
-Disagreements with discipline
-Time with children (having to split)
Blended Family Conflicts:
-Children not accepting new family (can cause tension in relationship)
-Confusion for kids (identity confusion)
-Can create rivalry between new and old siblings.
- Competing for attention
While assessing the conflicts we each endure, in order to best assist the consummation of this metaphorical bridge, we must first identify what type of parenting style we fall into:
Authoritarian Parenting: Parents set strict rules that have to be followed, failure to do so will result in harsh punishment. These parents typically have high demands, but don’t tune into their children. This style is generally obedience and status based and expects their order to be obeyed without explanation. Referred to as the “because I said so” parents.
Impact on child:
-Tend to associate obedience and success with love.
-May display more aggressive behavior outside home.
-May act fearful or overly shy around others.
-Have difficulty in social situations.
-Often have lower self-esteem.
Authoritative Parenting: Like Authoritarian, these parents establish rules that their children are expected to follow. But with this style parents are more responsive to their children and are open to listening to questions from them. When children make mistakes these parents are more nurturing and forgiving. They monitor and impact clear standards for their children’s conduct. They are assertive, but not intrusive or restrictive. Their disciplinary methods are supportive rather than punitive. They want their children to be assertive as well as socially responsible, and self regulated as well as cooperative.
Impact on child:
-Have good emotional control and regulation
-Tend to have happier dispositions
-Develop good social skills
-Are self-confident about their abilities to learn new skills.
Permissive Parenting: Permissive parents are generally known for rarely disciplining their children due to their expectations in the maturity and control of the child. They are more responsive then they are demanding, they do not require mature behavior and avoid confrontation. This often leads to being more of a friend then a parent.
Impacts on child:
- Sometimes have poor social skills.
-May be self-involved and demanding.
-May feel insecure due to the lack of boundaries and guidance.
Uninvolved Parenting: An uninvolved parent has few demands, low responsiveness and little communication. These parents fulfill the child’s basic needs, like food and shelter, but then are generally detached from their child’s life. They are typically emotionally distant from their children, offer little or no supervision, show little warmth, love and affection towards their children, don’t attend school events and parent-teacher conferences, and are often overwhelmed by their own problems.
Impact on child:
-Must learn to provide for themselves.
-Fear becoming dependent on other people.
-Are often emotionally withdrawn.
-Tend to exhibit more delinquency during adolescence.
-Feel fear, anxiety or stress due to the lack of family support.
-Have an increased risk of substance abuse.
It's often the case, that as adults we belittle and minimize the personality of kids, deeming them and their opinions trivial and unimportant and while although some kids say the darnest things, unconditional support and love, go a very, very long way. Next, are some tips an hour to better bridge the generation gap. But before we move on, it's important to keep in mind two points I've mentioned previously: having a sincere and open line of communication and finding a unique bond with every child.
Tips to help resolve parenting conflict:
Know kids will make mistakes. It’s a guarantee. No one is perfect and accepting mistakes are a learning process makes it so much easier to roll with the punches. As children develop they test boundaries, it’s a part of their nature. Instead of getting angry or avoiding it, confront the situation from a compassionate and guided perspective and the children will respond.
Be open to communication. You want your children to feel like they can come to you when they do make a mistake, instead of not telling you and the problem potentially getting worse.
Support the others discipline. If your children observe disagreements on how to discipline the situation, it makes the immediately disrespect. If there are disagreements take the issue aside and try to find a discipline that can work for both parents and that both are willing to continuously carry out.
Provide a constant form of consistency. In order for a child to positively grow, they need a solid stable form to start from. Whatever changes being made or stage they are going through in life, there needs to be a consistent source of love and support. You don’t have to love and support some of the behavior, but you have to consistently love and support the child.
Find a unique bond with each child. It’s important as the parent or stepparent, you create a unique bond with each child. Having a special connection helps them find their individuality and create an attachment. Its important to make each child feel just as important as the other.
Use mistakes as teaching tools. When kids inevitably do make mistakes, its important to use that time as a teaching moment and show the child the mistakes behind made so they can better recognize how to solve it next time. Simply solving the problem yourself, avoiding it, or getting angry with them wont help them grow. Kids that are taught to use mistakes as lessons were shown to adjust to change more successfully.
I sincerely hope these tips have benefitted you, the reader, and have provided some insight on how to curb one's own desires and habits. Kids are our future and, as stated earlier, although sometimes they can be a handful and overwhelming, how we treat them today, shapes the people they become,and consequently the world we live in, tomorrow.
Authors: Jada Jackson LMHC, Dani James and Ricardo Mojo (Interns)