While parenting isn’t always easy, there are lots of ways in which parenting can be fun. My wife, Susan, recently wrote about how we can take the childhood game of “Tag,” and implement it into the way we parent. Below, she shares with us how to tag team in parenting. And be sure to follow Susan on Facebook and Twitter.
When we were little, we all enjoyed playing the game of Tag. We’d run barefoot through the grass, laughing and trying to “tag” anyone we could. Tagging them meant passing on responsibilities, taking turns being it. Now that we’re all grown up, we aren’t as likely to be found running around and screaming in our front yard. But who says the game of Tag has to end when we become parents?
Tag team parenting is really about teamwork.
Here are 3 Ways to keep the game of tag going with Tag Team Parenting:
1. Play on the same page.
Let’s face it— teenagers know how to work their parents. If one says “no,” they immediately chase down the other one in hopes of a different answer. But don’t let them catch you off guard. To tag team parent, you need to start by being on the same page with your spouse and communicate before you give your child an answer.
2. Play from different angles.
Recently, my college-age son talked to my husband, Mark, and me about wanting to live with two much older boys in an apartment near campus. First, I talked to our son about how this choice would leave him without a quiet place to study or focus on his schoolwork. Right when our conversation ended, I called Mark and said, “Tag, you’re it!” It was his turn to back me up by coming at our son’s situation from a different angle: encouraging him to check out other options for a living situation.
3. Play up your strengths.
As our kids grow up, they’ll face tons of different circumstances—from friendship drama to relationship drama, difficult school projects to difficult sports seasons. In our marriage, we have developed specialty areas for handling these circumstances. For example, I am better at handling discussions with the kids about relationship drama. Mark is better at navigating circumstances that require an objective approach. An example of this would be discussions about a coach who had made an unfair call. I am just too passionate about my kids and would not convey my thoughts as well as Mark. Knowing your and your spouse’s strengths makes it easier to decide whose turn it is to take control.
So have a little fun in your marriage by playing Tag, and tag team parent together! Not only will it keep your kids in line, but it will also put you and your spouse on the same team—which is exactly where you want to be.
Like Susan pointed out, it’s important to know How to Be Your Spouse’s Teammate in Parenting. So, in what ways have you succeeded or fallen short of being your spouse’s teammate in parenting? You can share your story in a comment below.
In case you’re in the mood to have some fun, here are 3 great tag games to play with your family.