One Family, Different Parenting Styles
Jul 21 , 2022
Way before starting the parenting journey!
When babies first come along, it's not uncommon for new parents to have different opinions about the baby's sleep, eating schedule, timeout, screen time, social expectations, or even dating. Since we were not raised by the same parents and in the same environments, we naturally rely our parenting style on how we were raised, what we have seen in other families, and what we have been told.
The effect of constant conflicts with your partner!
While disagreements are expected, how you cope with them makes all the difference. If not handled appropriately, it can ruin your relationship with your partner and with your child as well, as you'll see further in this article. These different opinions tend to create tension and anxiety, often felt by children, that leads to more conflicts, emotional trust issues, and more.
Being willing to listen!
The first step would be to talk it out, even before children. Talk about how each of you sees their parenting style, what it's essential when in a relationship with the child, and share your thoughts, information collected, and expectations. Do you spot anything that you both can agree on? Want to do the same? If you have different opinions, listen to each point of view to understand where it's coming from and what feelings are involved (love, fear, anxiety).
While it's ok to disagree, learning to listen and understand one another and how to compromise for your child’s well-being and your relationship is crucial and the key to successful parenting.
Focus on solving the problem and not who's right or wrong.
How many sweets can they eat, what would be the appropriate bedtime according to age, and does the child have house chores to do or not? And so on. Agree on specific rules.
You are a model for your kids, even when you have a conflict!
The positive part of having disagreements with your partner is the GREAT opportunity to offer an example of how two people can work together and come up with a solution to different problems, how to handle conflicts, and share different opinions in a way that contributes to the solution.
Be flexible and open to everyone's opinion, feelings, and point of view!
If you have established some new rules, if kids are old enough, share the new house rules with them and ask their opinion if they would like to add something or change something. Be open and work on finding the best version of the rules that would be ok for every member of the house. Teach your child collaboration and how to make things work for everyone, how compromise looks like and why its ok sometimes to use it for the greater good of the family.
Remain united, and stick to the initial plan!
Don't let you and your partner be divided and conquer when things get thought.
Try to have few disagreements in front of your kids, and do not interfere in the other one's parenting decision, so your child won't feel the instability and insecurity in the heart of their safe space(family). You can talk about it later when kids are not around and get to a solution that works for everyone.
Kids will bend the rules, will forget, and will try to make you forget about the rules. STICK TO THE RULES, and BACK EACH OTHER UP. If you don't remain united, it can cause anxiety, and you are set up for disaster, where everyone will suffer (more or less).
You are going to make bad decisions, and that's just fine!
Everyone makes mistakes, even us, be kind to yourself and be flexible. Change the rules if they don't work for your family anymore. You are the leaders of your tribe, so if you constantly disagree, you set a bad example for your children, which will have long-term effects, while respectfully resolving a disagreement sets an excellent model for the entire family.
Don't ask children to take sides!
Do not involve children in adult conflicts, asking them to take sides. We don't use our kids to validate our opinions. That puts a lot of blame on their shoulders, creating a feeling of anxiety.
Most parents' conflicts are around food, sleep, and discipline. Get informed and try to find what will work for your family, stick as much as you can to it and adjust on the way. Don't try to be the perfect parent; instead, do your best every day and enjoy the incredible adventure of your life a little bit.