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In the beginning, my husband and I disagreed about a few different things, for example how much TV our newborn should be allowed to watch (or should I say “exposed to when she’s awake” since she wasn’t really “watching” as a two-month-old?).
My answer: NONE
His answer: Just a little bit, okay? Just a few more minutes. The episode is almost over. Just until the next commercial.
We don’t disagree anymore. We actually came to a very simple arrangement.
If one of us feels more strongly about a topic than the other, the person who has a less passionate opinion adapts. Our logic? “If you care about this way more than I do, what am I arguing for? It doesn’t matter as much to me as it matters to you, so let’s do it your way,” is basically what we’re saying to one another.
And if we’re both really passionate about a topic we talk it out and compromise. In this case, I was really adamant about Baby not watching TV for her first two years. Hubby really had no strong preference – he just enjoyed having Baby on his lap while watching TV, so he came over to my side on this one pretty quickly.
What if it meant a lot to him to watch TV with his newborn baby girl, and he had the argument and passion to prove it? Well, I would bend so we wouldn’t break, so to speak, and the negotiations would begin. A half hour a day? 5 minutes a day? Okay 20 minutes. 10 minutes. You know how it goes.
Not for everyone, I know. It works like magic for us, but we also have a long history of working diligently on our communication skills so this is just a suggestion in case it works for you.
If it doesn’t, NurtureMom.com has a cool Parenting Styles Assessment with a few basic questions and a scoring method to help you understand how different your opinions are from your partner’s, and what to do about it.
Whatever your situation, parenting as a team (even when you disagree) is so important for the health of your family and the sanity of your marriage! It also gives your little one a strong sense of security in the two people she loves the most.
If you haven’t found a way to make peace with your partner yet, keep looking! The answer is out there! It’s worth making the effort.