Being on the same page as parents is important, but not every couple has the same parenting style. iMOM’s Susan Merrill and her husband found out they had different styles of parenting when Mark took their daughter with him to the grocery store.
Their daughter knew how to get exactly what she wanted at the store by sneaking items into the cart. Then she would unload the groceries at home in order to hide the items. One day when Susan helped put the groceries away, she realized what was happening. When Mark and Susan discussed the issue and what to do about it, they realized they had different parenting styles: Susan’s style is more direct and firm about issues and consequences, while Mark is more laid back.
If you and your husband don’t see eye to eye on parenting styles, here are 4 tips to help:
Agree on the middle ground
Each parenting style has pros and cons. Once you know the positives and negatives for each of your styles of parenting, it is time to find a compromise. A blend of both styles can be achieved if you both are intentional to do it. Make a plan of how you will move forward using parts of both of your parenting styles. This will help reduce the conflict in the marriage.
Own your part
When people start giving constructive criticism, we often feel attacked. It can be hard to hear about areas we need to improve in, but if we don’t see them clearly we will rarely work to change them. In order to not get defensive and create more conflict in your marriage, it’s good to own your part. Owning your part doesn’t always feel good, but it is a great chance to grow. Mark grew as a parent when he saw how he was manipulated by his daughter and learned to watch out for similar instances down the road. Top researchers agree that owning your part is a better option than getting defensive.
It can be hard to hear about areas we need to improve in, but if we don’t see them clearly we will rarely work to change them.
Remember that you are on the same team on the parenting journey. You are better together than apart. Owning your part isn’t about feeling like a failure, it’s about learning to be a better parent for your child’s sake. God can use both of your parenting styles and personalities to shape your child in amazing ways.
Give each other helpful tips
Switching up your parenting techniques may not be easy. It’s good to talk through a couple scenarios where you each need to improve and give tips on what to do differently. You can also check out these tips for changing your parenting style.
Help each other in the moment
The biggest test is when you are face to face with a parenting moment where you agreed to make a change. It can be helpful to lean on each other if you aren’t feeling too confident. Some couples create a code word that they can say to remind their spouse that it’s an opportunity to change it up to the new compromised style. Make sure you debrief together later to see how it went.
Parenting isn’t easy, but with a partner on your same team, it can be a lot smoother roller coaster ride.
What are some parenting issues you and your husband disagree on?