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Aligning two different discipline styles isn’t an easy task—no argument there. For most of us, responses to our children’s naughty behavior is determined not just by our own backgrounds, but also by our broader hopes for the ways we want to raise our children.


With two parents weighing in, this can make matters complicated. In fact, discipline topped debates on spending and nurturing to be the #1 point of contention between parents in a 2015 Care.com survey.

“Frequently, one parent wishes a softer approach, such as explaining, talking and encouraging,” says Barbra Russell, LPC. “The other parent wants to use a more stern style with harsher consequences. Each, of course, feels their point of view is the only right one, which can lead to arguments and problems in the relationship.”

Unlike battles over diapers and sleep schedules, discipline disagreements are only likely to evolve in time—often with more on the line when kids reach teenage years.

Here’s how experts suggest getting on the same page:

Address your childhood

Studies show most parents’ disciplinary philosophies are influenced by the methods their own parents used—especially when it comes to whether parents deem corporal punishment acceptable.

Dr. Fran Walfish, a family psychologist and author of The Self-Aware Parent: Resolving Conflict and Building a Better Bond with Your Child, says that repeating our parents’ habits is often done automatically and without consideration to the consequences. For those who don’t want to use the same methods with their children, she says it’s essential to take an “honest look within” to come up with a better game plan before the heat of the moment.

Be willing to compromise

Once you have a clearer sense of what you want to do—or not do—the next step is to seek an understanding of where your partner is coming from, too. From there, the goal should be combining both value systems in ways that both partners can feel good about, says marriage retreat founder Dr. Wyatt Fisher.

“For example, a wife may desire empathy for her middle school son struggling in school and not think daily homework checks are needed. However, the husband may desire accountability and want him to prove he's doing his homework to develop self-discipline,” says Dr. Fisher. “In reality, both values are important, empathizing with the challenges faced by the student but also requiring some level of accountability to ensure he stays motivated.”

Workshop scenarios ahead of time

Some disagreements may be linked more to personality differences between you and your partner than overarching philosophies. According to a 2015 Pew Research Center study, moms are more inclined to have conversations with children about why behavior was inappropriate as the discipline approach. The same study found moms are more prone to leniency with their kids than dads—which may explain why moms’ err on the side of second chances.

In these cases, it may help to come up with a plan ahead of time, says Russell, author of Yes! I Said No! How to Increase Healthy Boundaries and Increase Your Self-Esteem. She suggests reaching an agreement with your partner ahead of time what your expectations are for children’s behavior—and then working together to outline consequences if those expectations aren’t met.

Look at the big picture

As with many things related to parenting, decisions about discipline should be based on what’s in the long-term interests of your child, says Christine Smith, author of 18 Master Values: Be the Parent You Wish You Had. “They have to realize these are little humans they need to love and teach, not property they need to try to control,” says Smith.

When you and your partner can both approach these situations with the same goals in mind, it can help give you clarity and purpose. (Which goes a long way when you’re trying to maintain patience with a tantruming toddler.)

Assign responsibility to the kids

With discipline in general, the goal should be fostering personal responsibility in our children, says Russell. “When it's time to enforce a consequence, explanation to the child sounds something like this: We're sorry you chose to disobey and therefore you chose this appropriate consequence,” she says. “I'm sure you'll do better next time.”

When done well, this can also serve to take pressure off you and your partner. After all, the more self-aware the kid, the less you’ll need to step in with discipline anyway.

If you and your partner are willing to put this work in today, it will help avoid discipline conflicts tomorrow—while also helping you raise children with both of your strengths.

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Usually when celebrities post swimsuit photos on Instagram they don't exactly look like your average beach-going mom, but former Bachelorette (and mom of two) Ali Fedotowsky posted a series of bikini photos on Monday that are both beautiful and relatable.

"This might be my most vulnerable post on Instagram ever," she wrote in the caption for the photos which show a postpartum belly that looks like a real postpartum belly.

"At the end of the day, I know it's important to be open and honest about my postpartum body in hopes that it helps even one person out there who is struggling with their own body image," Fedotowsky (who just gave birth to her second child in May) wrote.

In the first photo of the series she's wearing a sarong around her stomach, but in the second and third photos Fedotowsky reveals the kind of stomach many mamas sport: It's not perfectly taut, she's not showing off any abs, but it is definity beautiful.

"If you swipe to see the second photo in this post, you see that my body has changed. My skin around my stomach is very loose and stretched out, I'm 15lbs heavier than I used to be, and my cup size has grown quite significantly," Fedotowsky writes.

The photos are a sponsored post for Lilly and Lime Swimwear (a line made for women with larger busts) but that doesn't mean it wasn't brave. In fact, the fact that it's an ad makes it even more amazing because research shows that when advertising only shows us bodies that don't look like our own, women become "generally more dissatisfied with their body and appearance".

Ali Fedotowsky

On her blog Fedotowsky notes that a lot of comments on her previous Instagram posts have been followers remarking how slim she looks, or how much they wish they looked like she does postpartum. By dropping that sarong and showing her tummy Fedotowsky is showing other mothers that there is nothing wrong with their own.

"While I appreciate the positive comments, you guys are always so good to me, I keep trying to explain that I'm just good at picking out clothes that flatter my body and hide my tummy," she wrote on her blog.

"I bounced back pretty quickly after I gave birth to Molly. But things are different this time and I'm OK with that. I'm learning to love my body and embrace how it's changed. I hope I get back to my pre-pregnancy shape one day, but that may never happen. And if it doesn't, that's OK."

Ali Fedotowsky

It is okay, because our bodies are more than our swimsuit selfies. They the vessels that carry us through life and carry our children and provide a safe, warm place for those children feel love.

Loose skin is a beautiful thing.


Thanks for keeping it real, Ali.

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Amazon shoppers were anxiously awaiting the countdown to Amazon Prime Day, but when the clock struck one, er three, the website went down.

On Monday afternoon shoppers were trying to get their hands on the much-hyped Prime Day deals but instead of low prices, many users just saw 404 errors, continuously refreshing pages, or had issues keeping or adding items to their shopping carts.

CNBC reports shares of Amazon were down during the shopping glitch, and many shoppers took to Twitter and Instagram to discuss how all they could see on Amazon were the dogs who decorate the site's 404 pages.

As cute as the dogs are, shoppers are getting tired of seeing them, so hopefully Amazon gets things back up and running soon. Analysts had projected Amazon would rake in $3 billion dollars this Prime Day. Time will tell how much of that was lost during the great dog picture debacle of 2018.

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When we were kids, family photos shoots typically captured posed moments in a Sears portrait studio, but these days, professional photographers often encourage candid shoots with a more casual vibe.

Casual is hardly the first word that comes to mind when we think of the royal family, but newly released photos from little Prince Louis' recent christening prove why impromptu shots are so popular. Yes, there's still a time for a sit-down, studio-lit family portrait, but it's those fleeting moments of realness that mamas will really want to look back on some day.

Let's take a look at pics from the little Prince's big day.

The extended family sit-down shoot

It's a gorgeous posed photo (and it certainly captures Prince George's adorable smile) but this group pic still feels pretty stiff, even for the royals.

The smaller family photo

This one's a bit more natural, with Prince George flashing an even wider grin and little Princess Charlotte staring at the guest of honor (who appears to be napping) rather than the camera. Both Duchesses look stunning, as they do in all the photos.

Just the Cambridges

A similar pose to last year's Christmas card, this stand up shot of the family of five looks like it was captured just in time. Prince George may be preparing to bold, and Princess Charlotte is about to be lost behind her brother's christening gown.

Mother and son

A stunning outdoor shot, this pic shows little Prince Louis with his bright eyes wide open and his mama staring down at him. Definitely one for Kate to frame for the nursery.

A happy baby boy

That face! This beautiful shot of Prince Louis proves that candid shots can accomplish what posed, portrait studio pics often fail to: Those special, fleeting, moments when our children really show their personality.

Prince Louis, you Sir, are adorable.

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Jennifer Garner is always teaching us great lessons. Like, why we should have a "Yes Day" with our kids or how to make the perfect pizza dough. And this weekend, she offered another really sensible lesson on privacy and respect.

During an interview on CBS' "Sunday Morning", Garner talked about how the constant scrutiny and discussion of her divorce from Ben Affleck (who she shares her three children, Violet, 12, Seraphina, 9, and 6-year-old Samuel with) has been challenging. "I really feel the stress of it. I really, I could cry talking about it," she said during the interview.

We're used to seeing Garner smiling at us from movie sets and Instagram, but as positive as she is, constant divorce talk took its toll on her.

"Everyone says, 'Oh, you've had to go through this in public.' The public isn't what's hard; what's hard is going through it," she explains.

Of course, Garner and Affleck's divorce was scrutinized more than most due to their professions, but many mothers can relate to the stress of a separation. And whether you or your partner's private actions are being scrutinized by a small group of friends and family or by millions of followers, it hurts and can come as a bit of a shock.

"Divorce is a surprisingly public event," author Beth Joselow wrote in her book, Life Lessons: 50 Things I Learned From My Divorce.

According to Divorce Magazine, Joselow was divorced in the early 1990s, but her advice seems even more apt in the age of Instagram and Facebook. "You may find that people who wouldn't ordinarily comment on the private matters in your life suddenly feel duty-bound to tell you what they think of your decision, when, of course, you hadn't asked," she wrote.

Garner says that the overwhelming number of unsolicited opinions on her divorce taught her a lesson.

"What I think I've learned is that the scrutiny in your private life puts a pressure to make something happen," Garner says. "You feel a pressure to hurry up and get married, 'cause you think that'll end the 'Are they engaged? Are they not?'"

Garner felt pressured to get married because the press was constantly asking if she was planning to, but much less famous folks may feel this same kind of pressure from their families, friends or social circles.

"Marrying because you 'should' almost always comes back to haunt you in the end," Susan Pease Gadoua, L.C.S.W., co-author The New I Do, Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels writes for Psychology Today.

"I spoke with a woman recently who described the terrible ambivalence she had before tying the knot...Her gut told her not to go through with it but all pressure from her own head, her friends and family (and society) won out. She's now, nine years and two kids later, entering divorce proceedings."

We have to listen ourselves when it comes to starting a marriage or ending one. Garner's gut told her when it was time to not be married to Affleck anymore, and she's still able to have a successful co-parenting relationship with her children's father, as she proved with her public note to him on Father's Day.

In the end, when (and if) we choose to get married and when (and if) we choose to get divorced are personal decisions. And understanding when not to offer opinions is another great lesson from Garner.

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