Working as a Team

Gettin’ good players is easy. Gettin’ ’em to play together is the hard part.
~Casey Stengel

Team Parenting: when people work as a team, jointly committed to the care and raising of a child; both mutually supportive; sharing basic philosophical positions about parenting; helping each other out; listening to feelings; appreciating efforts; and planning together how to deal with major issues.

Sounds perfect, right? However, this is not a perfect world. While team parenting is an ideal concept to work toward, the day-to-day struggles of parenting, and the back-and-forth between people who may have very different ideas about raising children sometimes makes teamwork seem impossible.

But remember there are ways that you can encourage a team spirit by using healthy communication skills. If you need help with something or disagree with your partner’s parenting methods:

– talk about it in a non-threatening way, privately, away from the children
– be appropriately assertive instead of aggressive or submissive
– listen to your partner’s needs; try to be empathic
– own and express your feelings using “I” statements
– accept that differences and conflict in life are inevitable
– keep your sense of humor without sarcasm or put-downs

Healthy communication can help get the “players” united and create a winning team!

by Claire Gawinowicz, Certified Parenting Educator

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