One of the common concerns I hear is, “What do I do if my husband does not support my parenting style?” or my husband criticizes my parenting. How do you resolve parenting conflicts? Can a relationship work with different parenting styles?
All of these questions are valid. Sometimes our stark differences in parenting come up only when we are faced with different parenting situations. Many of us may have not talked about our parenting style when we first dated.
But, all is not lost. If there is anything you need to know, we all have much more in common than we do our differences. And being able to work through our differences for common family goals is very important for the unity in the family.
In our case, I recognize that my husband comes from a different cultural and family background, his life journey has been different than mine and that means that he makes certain choices for himself that may not always align with mine.
Parenting is one area in which we sometimes end up on the opposite end of things.
But the wonderful thing about gentle parenting is that it has taught me how to approach conflict in relationships, work on myself, and set boundaries where needed for my child’s well-being all while working from a place of connection and with a problem-solving attitude.
So, to answer the question,
CAN A RELATIONSHIP WORK WITH DIFFERENT PARENTING STYLES?
Yes, if we chose to focus on our goals for the family, then whatever path you take you would still be working together to achieve those goals.
At the same time, mutual respect, being open to each other’s ideas, and upholding our children’s rights to respect and love in their parent relationships are important.
Here is how we can go about coping with conflicting parenting styles.
WHAT TO DO WHEN PARENTS DISAGREE ON PARENTING STYLES
Discuss your long-term goals for your child. What family values are important to both of you? What values do you want your children to have? I am guessing we all want to raise, kind, empathetic, and grounded children, right?
2. Problem solve
Discuss what needs to be done in order to instill those values. Will parenting methods that involve yelling, and shaming help your child feel empowered or shamed and afraid?
Does labeling the child help the child understand how to tackle situations or teach the child that something is wrong with himself?
What can we do to instill these values we care about and nurture our child’s uniqueness?
When we discuss we allow the co-parent to use value sets from their own background to solve problems rather than teach them new unfamiliar ways of parenting.
Build a set of rules and consequences together. Discuss probable situations when these would be in use. Ensure that both of you work together as a team and are able to back each other up.
3. Share your parenting success stories
I share snippets of my parenting learnings and successes with my husband. Sharing your story gives your partner a template for the next time they face a similar situation with your child.
Most importantly, model your parenting style for your partner. Watching you handle tough situations is also learning. You know like when you first start work in a new team at the office, they require you to shadow experienced coworkers, right?
Handling a temper tantrum calmly and coaching your child through turbulent emotional phases can be the best examples of gentle parenting in action.
5. Share resources
When your partner is receptive to your parenting style share resources like books, articles, and expert videos with them.
Make this a journey for them. Do not lecture, accuse or preach. If there’s anything you learned from gentle parenting so far, it rarely works.
How do you manage opposing parenting views in your home?