Working together with your spouse in parenting and disciplining your children makes it all the more effective.
Now to introduce our second pup. His name was Chance and he was a very handsome Black Labrador. Chance was a “by the rule book” pup and loved people’s company on his terms. Chance also had a stubborn streak that had him withdrawn from the program, so he became our pet.
Lesson 3: Two is Better than One
When we began puppy-raising, the Guide Dog trainers encouraged both my wife and me to be involved in the training.
With the two of us being involved, the pups learnt to take commands from both males and females, which enabled my wife and me to be consistent in what behaviours were acceptable and what was not (going back to Lesson 2 on Consistency).
This also meant that if one person was out of the house, the other person would know what was appropriate and what was not.
Together, we both became familiar with the unique personality of each pup much sooner and could communicate with each other about what was working and what was not.
Unity & Stability
This also applies to raising our kids. Where possible, both the mother and the father should be involved in raising the kids. Having both parents involved and on the same page, creates consistency in unity and stability for the kids.
It also allows each parent to lead with their strengths and be supported in their weaknesses. For several years, we homeschooled our kids. It was a great opportunity for all of us to learn to be flexible and learn our children’s strengths and weaknesses and navigate challenges together.
Sharing the Load
One thing my wife and I learnt very quickly was to share the teaching load where possible. My wife was strong in languages and arts subjects, while I was strong in maths and sciences.
So, if the kids had issues with their English lesson, they would always go to their mum; however, if it was something about maths, then that was where I would shine.
Stability is exhibited in a dual approach and applies to general life skills.
Our family has three kids (two girls and a boy in the middle). I would take each of them out individually to dinner every so often.
These “date nights” were a time for us to hang out and enjoy some lighthearted conversations, but they were also times for me to show my daughters how they should be treated as a woman and to talk to my son about challenges he was facing.
My wife would also take the kids out as well and for my son, teach him about how to treat women and chat with my daughters about their challenges.
By both being on the same page, it allows you to problem-solve situations and work out what is the best approach for the situation you are facing as a family or with individual kids. In this way, you learn from each other how to handle situations differently.
Set up routines in your family, because routines help kids know what is important. Routines such as having a story at bedtime — and maybe you can take turns reading.
At mealtime, share the load of cooking and cleaning (and get the kids involved in age-appropriate activities).
Set a night a week aside for a movie night and take turns picking the most appropriate movie to watch.
Nourish Your Marriage
In parenting, two is always better than one, as it says in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 ~
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.
If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.
But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.
Succeeding in life, marriage and raising kids is what we all want, isn’t it?
So, what can you do?
Take your wife out for a coffee date and discuss each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and then commit to supporting each other at home with your kids.
Take your kids out on a date night and just have some fun. Dates nights don’t have to be expensive; they can be a simple trip to the local pizzeria. It’s not about the place, it’s about the connection.
Have an awesome time growing stronger as a team, for as Aesop once said,
“United we stand and divided we fall.”
Be united for a stronger family.