Here are 7 tried and true steps to bridging the gap and taming the frustrations.
Step 1: Establish the TRUE goal
When talking about discipline the goal isn't as simple as deciding to spank or not to spank or to punish vs redirect. The goal is NOT to decide on these methods. These methods are the options on achieving your goal, but these are not the CORE goals. The true goal is actually to raise an emotionally healthy and socially responsible child.
Parents may be bogged down in the conflict and parents may misread the goal as to spank vs not to spank. Which is why it is important to establish the TRUE goal. Most often the true goal is shared by both parties and thus starts the parents out on the same ground as a team vs competing with each other to"win" their point of view.
Step 2: Each person takes a turn sharing their point of view
Each parent takes a max of 5-min uninterrupted to share their point of view and why they think that way and rank on scale of 1-5 of level of importance to them. While that parent is speaking the other parent can write down any follow-up questions or thoughts. Next, the other parent shares their point of view.
Step 3: Take turns validating your partner's point of view
Summarize what you heard your partner say. This process clears up any miscommunications. Yet more importantly, it reassures your partner that you heard and understand their point of view and why they think that way. This helps you feel more connected as parents and as a couple. Validation does not mean agreement with your partners point of view. It means being able to see thesituation through their eyes to create understanding.
Step 4: Ask follow-up questions
Here is where you can ask your follow-up questions. The more information you obtain from each other the closer you become as a partnership and closer to your goals you become as well.
Step 5: Brainstorm all options
Together think of all possibilities no matter how crazy or unimaginable. Ex. Only timeout if the child disobeys more than 2x. Or no spanking unless child breaks specific rules.
Step 6: Rank each option
Each parent then individually puts each option in categories such as doable, possible, impossible. If an option is impossible for one parent to follow through with then it is removed as a method to use.
Step 7: Choose the option
At the end if only one option remains that and it is on one parents possible list and one parents doable list then that is still a win-win. You have been able to find a middle ground and an option that you are both comfortable with. One parent may be more comfortable than another, but you have both still reached an amicable compromise.