When You and Your Husband Disagree about Parenting
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It can be frustrating and disheartening when you and your husband disagree on parenting style. He’s supposed to be your parenting partner! I know that not agreeing on parenting can wreak havoc in your relationship and family.
Keith and I have faced this many times since we became parents. When Emma was a baby, it didn’t matter quite as much as it does now. She has a memory like a steel trap! And the way we both treat her is starting to really affect her. These rifts between my husband and I went as deep as our marriage at their worst.
Thankfully, we’re doing our best to get on the same page and parent with the same values in mind. Do you and your husband disagree on parenting? Read on to find out my best steps for overcoming your differences peacefully!
Understand Each Other’s Backgrounds
This is an important part of marriage in general! Understanding someone’s childhood experiences, and how they were parented, can help us understand why they feel the way they do.
That applies to yourself too! Why do you feel so strongly about how you should parent? Did the way you were raised have a negative effect on you, so you want to avoid doing the same to your kids? Take a few minutes with a notebook to dive into the reasons behind your parenting beliefs.
Make an Appointment
Set aside a time to talk with each other, sans kids, about parenting only! Come into this appointment calm, and with your best coping strategies at hand. Parenting is a touchy subject, especially when you and your husband disagree already, so don’t let yourself play into any fights or arguments that may come up. You have the power to stay calm, and take a break if the conversation turns ugly!
Do your parenting research and bring evidence supporting your choices. If you can’t come up with reasons for feeling the way you do, return to step 1! Ask your husband to do the same before your appointment.
It’s important to note that scientific studies about parenting choices are few and far between, and are often contradicted. If you and your husband come to an impasse, perhaps talking about your childhood experiences might be a better idea!
Hear Him Out First
Really listen to him and fully consider his opinions. Maybe he has some research that you haven’t heard before. Or a personal story of why he isn’t comfortable using a certain method of parenting. Take this time to find out more about your husband and be an example of good listening skills!
Calmly Make Your Case
I know it’s so hard when talking about your kids, but it will help you communicate more cleary if you’re not too emotional! Present your evidence, tell your stories, and pray your husband considers your points like you did for him.
Regroup If Necessary
Come back for a second round if needed. You may also want to research each other’s evidence. Make another appointment if you need to! (And of course, celebrate that you had a civil discussion with your husband!)
Be Willing to Compromise
Just like your children are a mix of both mom and dad, so should be their parenting! Give in on the little things if you can, and be open to talking more about the big things.
As parents, agreeing on parenting style and being a united front is so helpful. It gives both parents credibility, and offers a strong foundation as your kids’ problems get more complex. Of course, you don’t have to be perfect! No parents are. But being on the same page most of the time can help your whole family, and your relationship, run much more smoothly.
Do you and your husband disagree on parenting? Let me know in the comments!
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