Presenting a united front is important when raising any children. It is even more important when raising special needs children who rely on you for structure and consistency. When raising (a) child(ren) with RAD, a united front is about survival.
Unless you are a single parent, it is inevitable there will come a day when you and your partner will experience your child differently and the united front will loom as a difficult or even impossible achievement. It helps to have a process in place to resolve differences before your united front is called into question. In creating your process, it is helpful to first agree upon each of your children’s strengths, needs and capabilities. I suggest this be done in writing as it is the best way to make sure you are both communicating clearly.
Next, it is important to identify family principles. We use three. 1. Have a good attitude, 2. Be kind, 3. Listen the first time someone speaks to you. I continually review these with my girls when things are going well (no laughter, please).
Now for the tricky part. There will be times when you and your partner see the same behavior at the same time and interpret it differently. Telling your partner he/she is
crazy mistaken generally doesn’t work well. I have tried and it never rarely works well. I do not have a nice, clear cut solution to share.
If I am in a therapeutic frame of mind, there are a couple of things I try. I try to identify how import the brewing disagreement is. Can I just let it go and move on? If I can’t just let it go, I try to determine how important it is to my partner. Once I have done that, I try to look at both of us honestly and determine who is in a more objective, balanced state. Of course, if it is an ongoing disagreement, all of the above isn’t going to help much.
That is where I find myself today. The Dad and I are at the ongoing disagreement point. I can tell you that if I weren’t a therapeutic parent, I would be threatening to get my own apartment, take GB and leave. I AM a therapeutic parent, so of course that was not my response.
We will still be talking and trying to find our united front. Until then, I predict an early bedtime for the girls and I tonight.
If you have something that works for you, I would love to hear about it (apartments are NOT cheap).