Parenting Mistake #1 - Parents are not on the same page

Dad and mom come to the responsibility of parenting with missing, different, or conflicting ideas about parenting.  Perhaps these ideas come from their family of origin, learning they've picked up, or opinions from themselves or people close to them.

This likely means that there is no clear mission or direction toward which parents are aiming decisions.  If the parents don't have a common vision or plan for where the family's going, making decisions will be greatly frustrating.

A lack of common vision means that there will likely be difficulty cooperating as a father/mother team for the good of the children.  Mom and Dad may get along on a personal level, but when each one pulls the family in different directions and at different speeds... this is a recipe for disaster.

No parenting "manual"

Since there is not a book that gives parents what the goal should be for their family or telling them what steps they should take to accomplish the goal.

Parents that are not on the same page tend to default to unhelpful tactics such as:
  • Repeating practices from how they were raised.
  • Doing what is most convenient in the moment.
  • Making decisions without taking time to think about the future consequences.
  • Parenting to make the kids/in-laws/friends happy.
  • Testing out the latest fads and trends in parenting.


The results of parenting in this way is that parents do not end up with a stable home environment.  Parenting practices will be inconsistent and the wills of the children can wear the Dad and Mom until they get what they want.  Frustrated parents then become emotionally reactive with the children and each other.

Children in situations as this can more easily split the parents - play one side against the other - and end up calling the shots in reality.  A consequence of this is that parents end up undermining each other, Dad will tend to emotionally disengage from family life, and mom will be left carrying the bulk of the burden of the responsibility.

Most importantly, the children are not taught what they will need to become responsible and independent adults.

What to do

In short: Get together on your parenting! (Matthew 7:24-27)
  • Have a game plan and set a good foundation.
  • Know what the Bible says about parenting.
  • Be clear on your goal.
  • Be especially clear on discipline.

  • Agree not to be split by the children.
  • Dad should have the final say as the leader of the family.
  • Parents should develop a healthy way to make decisions.
  • Debrief your parenting to learn from mistakes (it's normal to make many).
  • Never undermine each other in front of the children - talk about all sensitive decisions in private.
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