Parenting the Parent

Andrea and Mark had two rambunctious young boys, and Andrea really struggled with them. They rarely listened to her, and she moved between being stressed and overwhelmed. Mark’s firmer approach usually worked for him, but he could sometimes overstep and yell.

Mark had a tendency to instruct Andrea on how to parent more effectively, and Andrea commented when Mark lost his cool and furiously yelled at the boys. Unfortunately, both parents regularly parented each other’s parenting in front of the boys.

Rather than telling their partner how to parent, I encouraged them to share what approaches worked for them. I urged them not to comment on one another’s parenting in front of the boys since it undermined each other, e.g., since you’re not doing a good job of parenting, let me tell you how to do it. If they had parenting differences, they could wait to reconcile their varying approaches behind closed doors.