In the Philippines, the definition of family does not only stop with mom and dad. It also involves titas and titos, grandparents, cousins, and even friends of the parents. Here, parents raise the child with the entire village involved, because they want to nourish a child’s idea of values to the best possible understanding they can have.
Thus, successful co-parenting means being open to the values and opinions of one’s family, but always putting the child first. Here are a few ways to give your child the best home that will help them grow into their best version.
Co-parenting with cooperation and consistency
One of the bigger hurdles of co-parenting is the clashing beliefs on how to raise a child. Different generations may have clashing ideas of how things work. From “face the wall” time to the use of rewards and reinforcements, everyone has their experience, whether as parents or as children growing up.
The goal of successful parenting is cooperation and consistency. Regardless of how big their influence is on your child’s life, it’s good to be on the same wavelength as your co-parents. If you want your child to always eat their vegetables, then everyone, from tita to grandma, should agree with this rule. This encourages a consistent system, so you can avoid giving confusing mixed signals or making your children harbor feelings of favoritism toward a specific co-parent.
Open discussions: The value of authoritative parenting
There are four common styles of parenting, namely authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and neglectful. Of the four, the middle ground yet progressive perspective is authoritative parenting. This is defined as the type of parenting that creates an open environment for discussion. It breeds respect for your children’s opinions and the desire to create reasonable rules that they understand.
Research shows authoritative parenting is most beneficial especially as they grow up. Children who experience this type of parenting are more likely to grow up independent, self-reliant, mentally well-adjusted, and more confident.
Authoritative parenting lets children understand rules instead of forcing them to blindly obey. They learn the importance of autonomy and accountability for their actions—two aspects that can steer them towards a brighter future.
Open discussions are also encouraged with your co-parents. While you may have differing parenting styles, an authoritative parent keeps an open mind and encourages collaboration. They are on the lookout for good strategies and techniques, and sometimes, co-parents like grandparents and other relatives with child-rearing experiences can definitely help.
Learning to trust your co-parents
Every parent still needs a break, and when you have co-parents, this becomes an even bigger possibility. Taking time off and dropping your child off to grandma and grandpa for a weekend morning is perfectly okay.
Some moms feel guilty for asking others to take care of their child for these small weekend rewards. But taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your child. Between stresses at work, in the home, and with societal issues today, one should not feel guilty for a morning of brunches, massages, and catch-up with friends.
Your me-time is essential to recharge, so you can dive back into the week fresh and refreshed. More importantly, putting trust in your co-parents to take care of your child is also a learning point that they can pick up on. Your child will learn to see your co-parents as important members of the family whose guidance and knowledge they can trust in. As long as you all remain consistent in your journey of co-parenting, trusting the grandparents or the titas lets you expand your child’s social support for the future.
Involving family and friends when raising your child is the Filipino way of celebrating closeness and connection. When the purpose of every co-parent’s decision is for the child’s benefit, you know that you are raising your child’s every possible by drawing out their best possible for their future.