When we become parents or if we’re planning to become parents, we develop our own concept of what the “right thing” is when it comes to parenting. Parents may opt to be the strict disciplinarian or maybe they’ll opt for being more relaxed and care free. Some parents may want to try sleep training their infants, while other parents may not be as comfortable with that method. When we become adults, many of the decisions we make when it comes to parenting are based on our own experiences and upbringing. We might choose to follow our parents’ style or go in the opposite direction. What is most important is that both parents agree, or are at least comfortable, with how best to handle different situations they will need to address while raising their children.
When it comes to parenting, one size does not fit all, but it is important that parents are on the same page. Some parents may have the exact same parenting styles, where some parents will be completely opposite from one another. Before your child is born, or even when you realize you may have gotten out of sync, have a conversation with your partner about your expectations and determine an action that both of you are comfortable with.
If you and your partner have different parenting styles, here are a few tips to help you still parent as a team:
- Communicate: First and foremost, communication is key. It would be beneficial to discuss about your parenting styles before your child arrives, but you may not have ever considered a scenario that has arisen, or you’ve realized that you’ve gotten out of sync. Share your parenting strategies and find a compromise where you may see things differently. An important part of communication is to be sure that you are doing so when you are both calm and willing to discuss options and be open to each other’s opinions.
- Be Supportive: Though you may have different parenting styles, it’s important that you are supportive of one another. If your partner isn’t as comfortable with something but did agree to it, help them through the situation.
- Set Rules Together: Both you and your partner should agree on the house rules and what the consequences are should the rules not be followed. If you have vague rules, you and your partner may see behaviors differently and discipline differently. It’s also important that the rules and consequences are well known, so that if your challenged by your children, both parents can provide support to each other.
- Be flexible: No two people will ever agree on everything. Compromise is key when two parents may have different parenting styles. It’s also important that you are flexible in how you feel different scenarios should be handled based on your child’s personality and needs. It’s also important to be flexible if you realize that the strategy you both agreed on isn’t as effective as you’ve hope. Don’t be quick to shut down other ideas that may work for your family.
What ways have you and your partners worked through your differences to ensure you worked as a team?