Feeling as if Your Children are Causing Marriage Problems?
There are three things couples argue about the most; money, sex, and children. Here is more Christian-based help for those feeling that their children are causing marriage problems.
Your Children are Not the Issue
First of all, the door to disunity always opens from the inside in a marriage. Therefore, your children are not the issue. Ultimately, either one or both of you have poor conflict resolution skills, a lack of peace, and/or a lack of functionality.
God has designed marriage so that no matter the outside force, couples should have an inseparable bond. So the ultimate problem is not with the children as much as your ability as a couple to handle the job of parenting.
It is so vital to have a united front with the children. This is because children will always take the path of least resistance, and if they find a weaker link in the parents, they will take advantage.
Here are a few tips that I have learned being the father of 7 children:
1. Do not discuss matters in front of the children if you are not in agreement as of yet.
Once children see that there is a foothold to work one parent against the other, they will often use that to their advantage. By the way, it is not that they are rebellious as much as they are testing the authority figures in their life. That is, children view their parents as a bridge upon which they desire to safely walk. If those parents show signs of weakness, then they will jump up and down on that bridge to see if it is strong enough to hold them.
2. Speak in the we instead of the me.
There is power in numbers. So, stop saying I and use the words we, us, and our more. It has an effect as children are little psychologists, and, deep down, they know what the real deal is.
3. Do not alter your decisions and approach until you have conferred with the other spouse.
I cannot stress this enough. If a parent does not confer with the other before changing the rules or the predetermined plan of action, it will nullify the power of their private talks.
4. Do not argue around the children.
We cover this in chapter 11 of our marriage book, How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting with One Another.
5. Do not gossip behind the back of the other parent with the children.
Honestly, nothing undermines parental authority more than this. Functional families do not gossip about each other.