Is your partner supportive of your parenting…
Or are you constantly fighting about the way to handle your kid’s behaviors?
I’m going to show you a 4-step framework you can use to help get your partner on board…and I know it works because it’s what I used in my own family.
A few years ago life in the Abraham household wasn’t pretty.
My own, dear Lemonpickle was not always on-board when it came to dealing with the kids and their behaviors (particularly our eldest sk).
It seemed like everything turned into an argument, and life was pretty miserable.
It got so bad that he was avoiding the kids like the plague…and I became their ‘safe place’ (translation: Dayna couldn’t leave the house without WWIII breaking out).
Everything was crumbling…his relationship with the kids and our relationship with each other.
There were no connection points, and it felt like having an extra kid in the house (note to self: it’s okay to think this…But don’t say it out loud!).
Things are much different now.
My husband and my son discovered (to their mutual surprise) that they did have some common bonds (even if it’s just that they both like vanilla ice cream) and they learned that whatever you focus on grows.
We dug deep and saw what was really happening below the surface and devised a plan that worked for the whole family.
Things turned around for our family because of the framework we discovered… the same framework we teach and I’m going to share with you today.
This framework is simple — but not always easy — and it starts with YOU.
How to Get Your Partner On Board in 4 Simple Steps
Step One: Everything Starts with YOU
Everything that happens in your life — happiness, joy, contentment — starts with you.
Change is an inside game that radiates out.
Decide what you want for YOU — what you want for your family — and go for it!
If you’re having a hard time getting your spouse on board it’s okay to start without them.
Because here’s the thing…
You can set your best intentions, but you’re not in control of your partner’s reactions or your kid’s reactions...you can only control your reactions.
If the kids are fighting or melting down, find some strategies to help keep you calm…like taking a breath or getting some air.
This won’t always be easy to do…but look for progress, not perfection.
Baby-step your next step.
Make it so small it’s impossible to fail…then celebrate your win (even if it’s only “today I stayed calm for five minutes).
Step Two: Create a Connection with Your Partner
The best thing you can do to help get your partner on board is to connect with them ‘outside of the moment’.
And this can be done even if you feel like you’re just living with a shitty roommate and you think your relationship is beyond repair.
Alice (one of our Calm the Chaos students) found herself in this exact same situation…and she managed to get him on board by stripping it down and connecting on a basic level (read her story — and others like it — here).
You can begin with simple things, like:
- Holding hands while you watch Netflix
- Taking two minutes to ‘hug it out’
- Ask your partner about their day — and actually listen while they tell you.
Remember, life can be crazy…so try and connect when things are relatively calm, not when you’re in the middle of a storm.
And don’t talk about the kids or their behavior…this is about building a connection between you and your partner.
And when you’re building your connection remember to celebrate your wins.
A random phone call in the middle of the day — to tell your partner something you love about them — is amazingly effective.
Step Three: Develop Understanding
Jason will be the first to admit that he’s terrible at putting himself in other people’s shoes…but it’s something we all should try to do.
You need to recognize that your partner isn’t necessarily on the same journey as you are.
They’re dealing with issues in their own world, such as:
- Work stress
- Self-esteem issues (“Am I a good parent? Am I a good partner?”)
- Sensory preferences and triggers
The important thing here is that it’s not personal.
Ashley’s (another CTC student) husband used to come home from work and plop down on the couch…when all Ashley wanted was for him to be with the kids and give her a break.
She’d been dealing with the behaviors all day long (and feeling like the worst mom ever) and she needed him to support her.
By learning to understand him she was able to recognize that he’s exhausted from his day too...and he just needed a little time to decompress before he was able to connect with the kids.
So, instead of getting angry, they brainstormed a plan — with their kiddos — that solved this issue for their family.
And while they may not always be on the exact same page…at least now they’re in the same book.
Step Four: Empower Your Partner
Now, some of you aren’t gonna like this.
And it sounds counterintuitive and may be hard to accomplish…
But you’re gonna have to bite your tongue and not jump in when your partner is triggered and starts saying things to your kids, like:
- That’s it mister! You’re grounded for eternity!
- I’m going to take away all your electronics and sell them!
- No more birthday parties for you…EVER!
Now, I know your instincts as a mama bear are telling you to jump in and save your kids from this kind of madness.
But it’s best if you say nothing “in the moment” (caveat: If someone is in danger, do what needs to be done to protect everyone and be safe)
“What? Not jump in? Easier said than done, Dayna.”
I hear you…but here’s the thing.
When your partner is triggered and they flip their lid they’ve gone into fight mode…and they’re not going to hear a single word you say.
You’ll just put yourself in the middle of an argument and feel pressured to take sides (of course, you’ll be on your kid’s side…so you create an ‘us against your partner’ dynamic).
So, when you’re ‘in the moment’ let it slide…when everyone is calm again you can figure it out as a family.
You have to be willing to let your partner make mistakes…and learn from them.
If you’re always swooping in your partner will feel undermined and powerless (which will further damage your relationship).
Your story isn’t written in stone , but only you have the power to change it.
You get to decide the life you want to lead.
You don’t have to have your partner on board to get started…because it starts with YOU.
Then you just follow the framework to:
4-simple steps…but not always easy.
Resources To Get Your Child to Listen Without Throwing Fits
To help you remember exactly what to do when your kids are not listening, I’ve put together these three amazing posters on how to get your kids to listen, follow directions, and learn from home.
These posters give you tips on how to get your kids to do what you ask, without refusing, running away, or ignoring you!
There’s also 7 phrases you can say in the moment to get your kids to listen. Some amazing swaps that you can use so you can build their self-esteem by connecting instead of correcting.
You might also be wondering how to get your kids to help out around the house, and not have fights over a bedtime, or or taking their bath. I know many parents are struggling to get their children to do chores and establish daily routines right now when we are all out of our usual schedule.
So that is what I’m going to be talking about in my next blog post about how to get your kids to follow simple directions.
But right now, download your FREE Get Your Kids to Do What You Ask posters and start connecting by swapping those phrases, and getting your kids involved in making a plan!