How-to Series: Working Like a Team in Your Marriage

Contributed By Ryan Brown, Church News contributor

  • 21 November 2018

As you go into the holiday season and the new year, give your marriage and your parenting skills a boost with helpful videos from the Church’s How-To channel on YouTube.

In the October 2018 general conference, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a new focus on home-centered learning and gospel study. This emphasis brings many opportunities to teach and instruct in your home.

In today’s world, parents face many challenges that affect families. It can be easy to feel inadequate as a parent, particularly when life gets busy. This month, the Church’s How-To channel is highlighting videos that can give your parenting a boost going into the holiday season and the new year. 

Teamwork

Remember that you and your spouse are a team, in marriage as well as in parenting.

In the video “How To—Be a Team in Marriage and Parenting,” Dr. Erin Holmes, a professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University, says that it’s important to recognize that hard days exist and that having a hard day is OK.

“If at the end of the day we can look at each other and say, ‘Wow, we made it; I sure am glad you’re here to help me,’ I think we’re getting something right.”

The realization that you, as parents, are on the same team with the same end goals is a powerful reminder that can help you overcome hard days.

Aligning different parenting styles

Nearly every parent has a different parenting style in how they teach, scold, or even play with children.

Nearly every parent has a different parenting style in how they teach, scold, or even play with children.

The video “How To—Align Different Parenting Styles in Five Helpful Steps” identifies three main types of parenting: permissive, authoritarian, and authoritative. What style do you use?

Try working through some of the following steps with your spouse (or the other parent of your children, if you are separated or divorced) to better align your parenting styles with each other.

  1. Communicate and share your feelings with each other.
  2. Work together to set expectations, rules, and discipline approaches.
  3. Back each other up. Support each other and don’t undermine the other parent’s decisions.
  4. Be consistent. Be united in your desire to work together so you can find an approach that works.
  5. Seek help and reach out to a professional therapist if needed for help in resolving differences.

Finding harmony between work and family

We all try and balance our professional work lives with our lives at home. But in “How To—Achieve Balance Between Work Life and Family Life,” Dr. Erin Holmes suggests that “balance” may not be the right word.

According to Dr. Holmes, balance can suggest that things are happening in equal ways—that the amount of pressure at home and at work are equal. A more helpful way to think about this pressure may be to think of the word “harmony.”

Harmony in music can include dissonance as well as perfect balance. Sometimes things at work will overwhelm your life. At other times, your family life will need more attention.

It can be helpful to recognize that sometimes there will be times when work and family life are unbalanced—and that’s OK. Rather than seeking for balance, we can seek to find harmony in the various demands on our time.

It can be helpful to recognize that sometimes there will be times when work and family life are unbalanced—and that’s OK.

Working through decisions together

In the video “How To—Show Love Daily,” Dr. Loren Marks, a professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University, says that love is a series of daily decisions. Often these decisions have an immediate, short-term impact. But sometimes the impact can extend much further.

Dr. Marks shares something he calls the Five-Year Rule. He recommends looking at things through a five-year lens and asking yourself, “Will this discussion matter to us in five years?”

Often the answer will be no, which can help you let things go. But sometimes the answer will be yes, which means that as parents, you will need to come together to find solutions and compromises.

Families can look very different from each other. While much of the advice in this article is catered toward a home with two parents present, many of the principles can be adapted to apply to single-parent homes, grandparents raising grandchildren, situations of divorce, or other circumstances.

To find more tips for parenting and working together as a family, browse other video playlists on the How-To channel on YouTube.