My husband and I were together for ten years before getting married, settling down, and having children. We wanted to start a family when we were ready, and we didn’t realize that we even though we were “ready”, definitely excited, and thrilled to become parents, we missed that super important talk about parenting styles, expectations, and what kinds of parents we wanted to be!
I know it sounds silly, but there are various parenting styles out there, and I go over them in a previous post here. Having this conversation is imperative! Preferably before you have children, this conversation should be something you and your partner or spouse have checked off.
But what if, like me and my husband, you miss it? What if in the midst of all the excitement, you just put this conversation aside? Truthfully, it was my fault, because I just assumed that he would follow my lead. Me, being the “MOTHER” and all. But his role as a father was just as important and he had his very own ideas of how he wanted to raise his children. Understandably so.
So we were left in conflict. a conundrum. Who was right? Who was wrong? Who had the “better” parenting style? Guess what? WE BOTH DID.
Through all the arguing, fighting, and therapy sessions (yes, we got help – I highly recommend professional help for those who can’t find a middle ground) we found a middle ground. We found a happy balance, which consisted of a mix of both of our parenting styles.
You see, we love our boys, we love being parents, and we love each other. Our family is very important to both of us, so important, in fact, that we were both working really hard to nail down the perfect parenting style. But we were both going in two separate directions.
So what did we do?
There is a great article at Love and Logic that go over tips below on what to do if you and your spouse have different parenting styles.
- Agree to be a united front! Never bash each other in front of the children. And whenever possible, make your partner and spouse look good to your children! Show them that you both support each other! And that you are a team!
- Agree that consistency and follow-through are more important than “perfect parenting.” In reality, I really don’t think that there is such a thing as “perfect parenting.” There are always mistakes, and ways to improve. We learn new things every day!
- Agree to be different! In fact, I think that spouses and partners SHOULD have different parenting styles, because they will both bring different aspects to the table. A different point of view from each party is vital.
- Remember that a lecture will work no more for your spouse than it does for your kids. You will waste time trying to get your spouse to see “your way.” Instead try to see things from their point of view first, and try to find comparisons and similarities, as well as differences. But positive differences.
- When all else fails – go to counseling! I strongly recommend this! Counselors, therapists, and family mediators are here to help! They will offer something extremely valuable to you and your partner – a third party perspective.