Are you a believer in positive parenting? How about your spouse? Parents fighting over how to discipline children can cause tension and stress in the household. Learn how to stop fighting over parenting styles and parent as a team today.
How often do you find yourself and your spouse at complete parenting odds? There’s nothing worse than feeling like your partner undermines your own parenting. And in truth, this can cause some major issues for you as your child grows. So, what should you do about it?
Parents have got to be on the same page when it comes to parenting their child. Kids are very smart, and can easily pick up when parents are in disagreement with one another. It is also incredibly common for parents to disagree on a parenting style or technique. There are many couples that struggle with this very thing.
Today, I’m going to give you a couple of tips on how you can navigate this tricky situation like a pro!
Get an Objective Opinion
Most folks I work with come to me for parenting help. One of the things I tackle is helping parents come to an agreement on how to handle difficult parenting tasks, like disciplining a strong-willed child or consequences for behaviors.
An objective opinion can be really helpful! Don’t be afraid to seek out a Family Therapist or a Parenting Coach. These people can really help you guys see eye-to-eye and bring in a fresh view on a tired issue.
Come Up with a Compromise
It’s okay if you mix and match a couple of different parenting techniques and styles! If you really like Positive Parenting approaches, but he just can’t buy into them, spend some time getting to know what approaches he would like to use and try.
If we want our partners to be open to our parenting methods, we have to be equally open to theirs. Try picking your top 3 or 4 parenting techniques that you don’t want to give up, such as “I don’t want to use Time Outs,” or “No yelling at the kids,” etc. Let him know that these are non-negotiable items for you. Let him do the same. What is a non-negotiable item for him?
Compare your answers. Hopefully, your non-negotiable items will be compatible. If not, this should lead to some meaningful discussions about your items. After that, be willing to try some new techniques! If you’re willing to try new things, he might be willing to too!
Pick a Boss
Sometimes, no matter how much you try, you’re left in a situation where your partner won’t budge. His non-negotiable items are items you just can’t agree with. Perhaps you’ve asked about going to family therapy and he just about lost his mind at the mention of it. At this point, you’re stuck. The time has come to pick a boss.
In therapy, I’ve had families where one parent refuses to come in and be a part of treatment. This is not ideal, and as a therapist, it says a lot to me about the underlying family issues that might be going on. When this happens, I present the family with an ultimatum: both parents participate, OR the parent who doesn’t want to participate turns over decision making to the parent coming to the family sessions.
Surprisingly, when presented with this ultimatum, the non-participating parent has always been willing to hand over responsibility to the other parent. Unfortunately, this is not the solution I like to see, but for the sake of the kids having consistency in their parents, it can be helpful.
If you find yourself in this situation, pick a boss. Whether it is you or your spouse, decide who will take on the responsibility of disciplining the kids and how that discipline will be implemented. Both parents can make household rules, but the boss is the enforcer.
A Final Thought on Positive Parenting Techniques
Before we come to a close today, I wanted to take a second to share a few final thoughts. There was a question posted by a reader that asked if Positive Parenting techniques work with all children, or if some kids require something different. I think this is a really important concept to review.
Every child is different, and not every child responds to the same parenting style or technique. I’ve worked with families where each child within the same family needed completely different approaches.
This is especially true for kids who have suffered trauma, have developmental delays, or a mental health issue, such as ADHD or Oppositional Defiant Disorder. In general, kids respond well to praise, which is a cornerstone of positive parenting techniques, but some kids need more motivation to behave.
Don’t feel bad if this is your child. This doesn’t make you a bad parent or your child some sort of juvenile delinquent! And if you need to rely on other parenting techniques, such as Time Outs, removal of privileges, etc., it’s okay! Your kids will still grow up to be happy, healthy, and well-adjusted adults.
If you feel like this might be your child, I highly recommend you check out my latest book, “Eliminating Temper Tantrums: 4 Keys to Mastering Your Child’s Anger Outbursts.” You can get it for free through my website, and it will help teach you about Wholistic Discipline.
Wholistic Discipline is a unique approach that takes into consideration the whole child, creating a very comprehensive understanding of what is happening in your child’s life. No matter what parenting philosophy or style you follow, I think you will find that this approach is incredibly compatible.
I hope these tips will help you and your partner see eye-to-eye with one another so that you can both become the best version of your parenting-selves. Good luck!
This is a guest post by K.C. Dreisbach. K.C. is a wife, mother of two, and a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is well-known for managing challenging parenting issues. She combines clinical research in psychology with her own knowledge and experience as a mother to help families navigate difficult issues.