How to Act When You and Your Partner Disagree on Parenting
Parenting is, perhaps, one of the most talked about, written about, and talked about subjects. “Such and such works for me”, “You shouldn’t do that”, and “That method’s no longer used”. Everyone has their own opinions, which can make it difficult for couples. So, how can you act when you and your partner disagree on parenting?
It’s a topic that‘s full of recommendations, mandates, and suggestions based on the theories of the moment. To all this, we must add our own vision of what it means to accompany the education of a child. For this reason, parenting isn’t free of obstacles and difficulties, especially when it results from the joint work between two different individuals.
Let’s look at how to reconcile the differences that arise between parents when raising children.
Parents: You are a team!
Regardless of the way in which the couple is formed, both have to be able to understand themselves as a team that seeks the same goal: Achieving the welfare and solid education of their children.
Therefore, it’s important to try to avoid useless discussions about who’s right or who has the best idea. Rather, parenting is about sharing responsibilities, supporting each other in everything, and solving together those challenges involved in the development of children.
Parental styles refer to those behaviors, educational guidelines, and practices that parents carry out to guide their children toward the values that they consider appropriate.
These behaviors aren’t rigid, but flexible and applicable to different situations. But what we must provide is consistency, as ambiguous and contradictory messages confuse children. For this reason, dialogue is a fundamental tool when parents disagree on parenting.
You may be interested in: Why Parenting as a Team Is Important in Your Children’s Education
Some recommendations for dealing with differences in parenting styles
Parenting is a multifaceted task, which constantly confronts us with new challenges on different issues. In general, it’s not always possible to reach an agreement on all of them. For this reason, here are some recommendations to address differences when parents disagree on parenting issues regarding their children.
Talk, talk, and talk
People not only bring their unique history to the relationship, but also that of their families, their traditions, their values, and their beliefs. If you’re raising a child together, it’s important to be able to discuss what you want, what you have ideas about, and what’s possible.
Some issues will be easier to agree on than others, but nothing should be overlooked. In addition, sometimes you’ll need to negotiate and in other cases, you’ll need to live by “trial and error”.
Be respectful of one another
Beyond the differences in the way you want to raise your children, respect for your partner’s point of view should always prevail. The assertiveness at the moment of expressing disagreement with some ideas is essential to taking care of the couple’s relationship.
Besides, we mustn’t forget that children observe us all the time, even when we don’t realize it. If we don’t take care of the way we treat one another, they notice it and that makes us lose our place with them. If the conversation escalates, it’s best to continue it at another time when calm is restored.
Do not undermine yourself in front of the child
If partners disagree on parenting or don’t know what the other parent thinks, it’s important not to make decisions without considering their point of view. Much less, contradict the other parent in front of the child.
This is a kind of breakdown of authority, which can not only be personally upsetting but can also have future consequences on the child’s behavior.
Reflect on your own upbringing in order to work on the differences in the way you raise your child
No one’s born with a parenting manual under their arm. However, we have certain antecedents and references in regard to our own upbringing. The exercise of parenting invites us to reflect on our personal experiences and to think about those aspects that we want to preserve or modify.
Don’t be an accomplice of your child, nor blame them
First, it’s important to avoid lying to the other parent. Secondly, when a situation gets out of hand or takes a path that wasn’t agreed upon, it’s important to be able to express this to your partner. It’s not healthy to stay angry but rather ask what happened and be honest.
At the same time, don’t blame the child for the decision taken or claim that they threw a tantrum and that’s why they convinced you. Always take responsibility and assume that you’re the adult in charge.
You may be interested in: How Children Feel when Their Parents Argue
The family is a role model
The insistence on respectful parenting and the creation of a good family environment lies not only in the quality of everyday life but also in the orientation toward the future. Everything that children experience at home, they learn and repeat. It’s there, in the family nucleus, that they acquire values, ideas about how to behave, and the emotional resources to resolve their conflicts.
Finally, although it’s a question of determining a certain educational trend, it’s equally necessary to think about who you have in front of you and what they need: Not all children are the same and it’s important to be flexible in the educational approach to each one of them.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Cuervo Martinez, Ángela. (2010). Pautas de crianza y desarrollo socioafectivo en la infancia. Diversitas, 6(1), 111-121. https://doi.org/10.15332/s1794-9998.2010.0001.08
- Ramírez, María Aurelia. (2005). PADRES Y DESARROLLO DE LOS HIJOS: PRACTICAS DE CRIANZA. Estudios pedagógicos (Valdivia), 31(2), 167-177. https://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-07052005000200011