Finding the Perfect Balance: How to Be a Good Parent

As a parent, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in busy schedules and caring for your child(ren) that your relationship with your partner slides. Here are some things you can do to maintain a healthy balance in your family.  

Manage Routines and Responsibilities  

When possible, share parenting and household responsibilities equally. This may not mean splitting them 50/50 but dividing them up in a way that’s compatible with other responsibilities. The key here is that it needs to work for both you and your partner.  

One way to do this is by sitting down together and creating a list of home and parenting responsibilities. Some may naturally fall to one parent instead of the other, so divvy those up first. Then discuss how to share the remaining items. Keep in mind, these are not being set in stone and there will need to be some give and take each day. But come back to that list so the scales don’t stay in an unbalanced position.  

Make Sure You’re on the Same Page  

Inconsistencies between parents can cause confusion and uncertainty in children. For example, when rules and boundaries are unclear or parents are seen as “good cop, bad cop,” the emotional climate at home can feel unpredictable. Here are some ways to break this cycle and get back on track as a partnership:  

  • Talk about values –What kind of parents do you want to be? What characteristics are you invested in modeling for your child? And what don’t  you want your child to see or experience from you?  
  • Find out where your experiences with your children overlap – Even if you address a situation with your child differently, there’s likely something you and your partner have in common, such as feeling discomfort when your child is upset. Recognizing that commonality can set the stage for mutual understanding and more effective co-parenting.  
  • Solve problems as a parenting team – When you think of you and your partner as a team, it can be easier to support each other during tough times. Plus, it can help reinforce the need to be consistent in your actions.  

Get Expert Help  

For many people, it’s not easy to focus on the topics mentioned here. If you need more help or advice, reach out to a licensed marriage and family therapist or consider joining a parenting support group. There are many options available online and in person.