Interview With Marriage Expert Dr. Corey Allan
Interview With Marriage Expert Dr. Corey Allan. This interview is one in a series of expert interviews on the eDrugstore.com blog. We add new interviews on a regular basis. Please see our complete list of insightful interviews.
1. With all the stressors married couples face raising children, what are some ways the couple can come together as a team, both in respect to their marriage and also raising the children?
One of the best ways to come together for your children is to focus on your marriage and the relationship with your mate. Demonstrate your love in front of your kids (appropriately of course). Go out on dates. Hug. Hold hands. Talk.
By keeping the relationship a priority, it will help lessen the disagreements that are bound to occasionally happen in the child rearing area. When you know you and your spouse are doing well in the marriage, it’s easier to let some of the “parenting style” differences be just that, differences. They aren’t the end of the world or all out war.
2. When one parent is more passive and one is the disciplinarian, how can a couple use their differentiating styles to complement each other instead of negating each other?
The best way to incorporate different parenting styles is to be up front with each other and play to each other’s strengths. Out of ear-shot of the kids, discuss what’s going on and possible solutions to the issues facing the children. You can disagree, discuss, brainstorm, then plan out an approach that may work together. Remember, you’re not raising puppies, you don’t have to catch a child in the act and punish them right then. You can take some time, calm down, think, discuss, and then share the consequence of their action.
Playing to each other’s strengths means you allow the “less emotional in the moment” parent to deliver the consequence, or you allow the parent who can be clearer with the particular child to lead the conversation. A key component through this is for both of you as parents, whether you completely agree or not, to present a united front for your children. One parent secretly going behind the back of the other will produce more problems down the road.
3. In this extremely hectic place in time, what are some practical ways families can simplify their lives, yet maintain a sense of fun and adventure?
Schedule time together as a family. One night a week for games or movies. One day a month to ride bikes together or go hiking or camping. The outdoors, regardless where you live, offer a tremendous amount of fun and adventure. Play a sport together, fish, fly kites, run, go geocaching. Whatever you do, do it together, and take turns letting different family members choose what to do each time.
4. So many parents cater to their children’s every whim, not just by purchasing new games and toys at the drop of a hat, but by constantly providing fun activities to ward off boredom. As a society, are we creating monsters? And if so, what can we do to tame them before it’s too late?
Life is struggle. There’s no way around this fact. Actually, the struggle is healthy and produces better things for you throughout your life. By sheltering kids from some (if not most) of life’s struggles, we are producing monsters. As a parent, let your children struggle with boredom. You can offer suggestions or ideas to combat it, but don’t do it for them.
Also let them struggle through some of their relational and developmental problems on their own. Obviously support them and keep them safe from mortal dangers, but struggle is a good thing. The things we work for in life are the things we value more in life. But this is only learned through experience, you can’t tell a child this and they’ll understand it – they have to learn it on their own.
5. Each childhood age range comes with its own set of challenges, and some parents feel constantly stretched – and therefore may not give their marriage the attention it deserves. How can parents keep from becoming overwhelmed with the responsibilities of raising children, from babies on up to the teen years?
I believe that when you focus on your marriage and make it a priority, the parenting comes easier. It doesn’t take away the problems, but you get the benefit of a partner who is with you along the way. Research also shows that children raised in intact families do better and experience less problems than those raised by single parents and blended families.
Parenting is a full-time job, but it doesn’t have to be on your own. Work to make the parenting a team effort and it can actually be something that draws you closer to your spouse than a wedge driving you apart. Your children will eventually grow up and leave the house (that’s a great thing), your spouse will be with you for the rest of your life. Make the marriage a priority and everything else seems to fall into place.
About Dr. Corey Allan – SimpleMarriage.net
Corey Allan is a husband, father, author, speaker, as well as a marriage and family therapist with a Ph.D. in Family Therapy. He has been married for 16 years, and he and his wife have 2 children. Dr. Allan’s website is based upon upon the concept that marriage is more about becoming a better human than it is about the two people being happy. And when you keep things simple, you can experience more in marriage and life. When this is done by both members of the relationship, you experience the best in both of you.
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