Parenting Discussions You Need to Have Before Marriage
Marriage signals a massive step forward in a couple's relationship. It can signal their readiness to start a family, but it can also mean making more adjustments and adopting more changes.
Although having children can bring immense joy to couples, it could also put a strain on their bond. Fortunately, you can take steps to protect your relationship and make parenthood a fulfilling chapter of married life. So, it's important to ensure that you and your partner are on the same page regarding parenting decisions before tying the knot.
Today, we'll discuss the parenting discussions you and your partner need to have before getting married:
Your upbringing will inevitably be much different from your partner's. How you and your partner were brought up will undoubtedly have an affect on how you raise your children.
We previously mentioned in our blog how parenting styles are essential to family planning. There are four main parenting types, which have different effects on a child's behavior. A parent can be permissive, authoritative, neglectful, or authoritarian. Clashing parenting styles can be detrimental to a child's welfare and the overall health of your relationship. It is necessary that you and your partner are aligned when it comes to how strict or laid back you will be with your children.
Use of Technology
Parents play a critical role in ensuring that their children have a safe and nurturing digital environment. Exploring the positive and negative effects of technology on children with your partner is essential in figuring out what kind of parents you would like to be.
Children's increasing reliance on gadgets can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they can use it as a tool for learning by providing easy access to information. It can also allow them to enrich their relationships. But on the other hand, it can expose them to cyberbullying and sexual exploitation. Harmful content can also lower their self-esteem and increase their anxiety.
Finding the right balance between the use of technology and time off screens starts even before starting a family. Parents should set these parameters for their children as soon as they are born.
Education is a non-negotiable in a child's life. Because education methods are rapidly evolving, it's essential to discuss the type of schooling they will receive, the academic and extracurricular activities they can participate in, and what learning institutions they are going to attend.
Over the past few years, new learning methodologies have been developed as alternatives to the traditional schooling that most of us are familiar with. The most popular models are Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia. While these educational styles are similar in terms of their emphasis on academic freedom, they also differ in their approaches to learning. For example, Waldorf focuses on a play-based approach and weaves math and science into art and music. Montessori, on the other hand, lets children learn at their own pace while their teachers take on an assistive role. Reggio Emilia takes on a more project-based approach, with students' interests taking center stage.
On this note, you and your partner can discuss how these methods can benefit your child in the future and what could be the best fit for your family.
Perhaps the most critical discussion point for future parents is the core values they want to impart on their children. Therapist Stacey Hanes emphasizes that parents teach family values through demonstration. No matter how different you and your partner's upbringing are, there are uncompromising values you should agree upon to keep you and your children grounded. You and your partner can discuss core values such as kindness, integrity, fairness, and mutual respect. The methods by which you can teach these principles to your children may vary, but the end goal should be the same. It would help if you also opened discussions on faith or cultural practices sooner rather than later.
Although parenting certainly won’t be smooth sailing, having this discussion with your partner early on, before marriage, will benefit you both and set you up for the future. As with any other decision-making, communication, compromise, and openness will surely see you through this critical juncture in your relationship.
Article written by ReAnne Johns