There are plenty of conversations that should happen before “I Do” or “Let me just put the head in” and these conversations should continue throughout the duration of your journey through parenthood. One of the main ones that I think a lot of people miss is, “What’s your ideal way of parenting?”
Many of us take what we learned, good or bad, in our childhood and apply it to how we raise our children. Sometimes we observed how ineffective certain punishments or discipline actions were that we vow to do something totally different with our children.
On the flip side, there are many things we learn and felt that WERE effective we say we will carry on into our own parenthood journey. For me, one of those was that my husband doesn’t hit our daughters. Spankings, whooping’s or whatever, I’m not with the shits. Call it a double standard but it’s not happening, not on my watch. My mother also never allowed my father to hit me (discipline me) in that manner. Honestly, most fathers don’t even need to go to that level with their daughters as a simple “I’m disappointed in you” will make the average young lady crumble into tears. (To see my thoughts on this topic real time, click here for my feature on the YouTube series “Spectrum”) Now for #boymoms, I don’t step outside of my lane. A boy might need a chuck in the chest by dad… ion know. Moving on.
So how do you broach the topic?
SIMPLY. ASK! I have never understood why people are afraid to ask the questions they want to know the answer to. Silence is a sure-fire way to assure you of a future misunderstanding or argument. When you ask the questions, you are certain of how your partner feels on said topic. Do you believe in spanking? How do you feel about immunizations? Do you believe in therapy? These are questions that need to be asked!
Top 5 Questions on Parenting to ask before Marriage or Having Unprotected Sex:
1. Do you believe in spankings, whooping’s, pow pows or whatever cute name you have to tapping that butt? – This is a basic question for how you will discipline your child. If their answer is different from yours, you will need to determine how resolute you are on that method of disciplining and see if a compromise can be met. How to discipline your children is one of the biggest conflicts in parenting. Don’t believe me, ask your friends. , I don’t step outside of my lane. A boy might need a chuck in the chest by dad… ion know., I don’t step outside of my lane. A boy might need a chuck in the chest… ion know.
2. What kind of parent do you want to be? – Are you the good time parent and everything is met with laughs and giggles? Do you believe in a healthy balance of good cop/bad cop? You need to know the type of parent your partner envisions themselves because you definitely don’t want to feel like you are the only one that will be at the table with the children for the "difficult" conversations. Parenting is meant to be a partnership, not saying single parents can’t do it but trust me, having done it both ways; two people are better than one. And a tribe is GOAT!
3. What does learning/education look like to you? – Are you a traditional public-school enthusiast? Would you rather learn through life experiences? Do you think there are such things as milestone delays? You’d be surprised at how many people don’t believe Autism is a real thing! So, what if your child has some sort of delay? How will the two of you handle that? Will you be met with resistance at including therapies or getting additional assistance or will your partner be right by you and your child’s side. Ask the questions! While we would all love to think all of our children will develop at the rate that we think they should, it doesn’t always happen that way. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page with possible interventions and also WHEN to intervene.
4. What does a tribe look like to you? – Everybody doesn’t believe in tribes or community upbringing. Meaning, some people don’t want your mama, daddy, best friend and others disciplining, speaking to, encouraging your child. I know... sounds insane to me too but villages don’t exist in the old school sense anymore. I don’t know how many times I have heard, don’t address my child like that? OK, well ma’am/sir your little bad behind kid cannot come over here anymore. If I cannot correct your child, please keep them at home. Period. Understand that your partner may have the same feelings. Speak on it sis!
5. Is your parenting multifaceted? – Do you believe in “one size fits all” in your parenting? All children are not created equal. I repeat, ALL CHILDREN ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL. Sis, I know you have an angel baby right now and I pray they stay that way. I hate to tell you, they won’t. Or better yet, your second child will be NOTHING like your first and let’s not talk about the third and so on. You have to constantly revisit your parenting style and if your partner is determined to parent the same no matter what behavior may come your way out of these blessings called children; sis… run. Or seek counseling immediately. It will be a struggle.
The Point of It All…
Partnership without children is challenging all by itself. When you add children to the equation, it complicates things 10 times more. Complications don’t have to last forever; communication will help alleviate that. I cannot stress communication enough, up front; BEFORE the baby and continued communication as different situations arise. You can’t map out everything that will happen during this parenting journey but lay a foundation that can be built upon, not quick sand that will have you sinking along with your children.
Always leave the table with a smile! A united front is something to be happy about because these kids will take you out!
Love & Light,