My wife and I have very different ways of handling our children (almost 3 and 5 years old). We agree about the rules we want to set, but we are complete opposite when it comes to implementing the rules.
For the last three to four years, I have been fighting to get my wife to implement the rules we agree upon and to be extra careful with implementing the rules myself. This has caused our relationship to be close to a breakdown and it is severely affecting the feelings I have towards my children. I look upon the time I spend with them more as work than as pleasure, because I have to spend so much time trying to get the children to enforce rules. The kinds of rules we are talking about are things like putting on clothes themselves, sitting at the table while eating, eating diversified food, staying in bed after they have been put to bed, not hitting, kicking, biting or throwing things at each other.
I consider my attempt to get my wife to enforce the rules in a similar way to mine as failed. And I believe it to be a high risk of our relationship breaking down if I continue to try this path. I don't believe that a broken relationship will improve the situation in any way, but only reduce our ability to solve the problems. Therefore, I am asking you whether I could just let go of most of the rules and still have children that turn out well. Do they need to sit at the table while eating? Can they fall asleep in front of the telly every night? Can they learn conflict resolution on their own?
They are both in kindergarten now, where they are functioning reasonably well, but they have both had periods where the kindergarten have had to dedicate one employee almost exclusively to the child for a few weeks. This happened with both around the age of 2,5.