When Parents Disagree on Parenting Choices: 7 Things To Consider
Do you and your partner ever disagree on parenting choices?
I may be going out on a limb here. But I am going to guess the answer is yes.
My husband and I are not always on the same page when it comes to our daughter and the decisions we make regarding her.
So what do we do? Well, let me be honest here.
More often than not, I really wish he would just do what I want. I can remember quite a few times when I did not understand how in the heck he couldn’t see things my way. Which in my eyes is the right way!
And this does not just have to do with the decisions we consider “big”. This could be about bedtime, snacks or what to buy as a birthday gift. Any and every choice parents are faced with opens the door to disagreements.
When it comes to our kids, we are all passionate. This makes it even more difficult to listen to another opinion when we are 99% sure our idea is the way to go.
In my house, disagreements happen. But we try our best to handle them in a way that is beneficial to our daughter and beneficial for us.
Here Are Some Ways We Handle Disagreements on Parenting Choices
1) Not in front of the kids
This is a big one. And one I used to not be very good at.
If a disagreement happened to come up, I would want to hash it out right then and there. Waiting is not my specialty.
But a discussion about kids should not always happen in front of kids. The adult stuff should stay between adults. At least until you have come to a decision on how to handle a certain situation.
This way you can talk to your child as a united front.
Your child should not be in a state of confusion because mom and dad are saying two different things.
2) Talk about your own childhoods
There is no one way to raise a child. My husband and I were raised in homes that had very different dynamics.
This, of course, means we look at things from completely different perspectives. When an issue arises, we usually resort back to something our parents did.
I love talking about the past. It always gives me a better understanding of where my husband is coming from. Then even if I do not completely agree with his idea of what we should do, I understand his reasoning a little more.
This usually takes a discussion in a more positive direction.
Just because it was the way your parents did it does not mean it is automatically the right way. This is an exact sentence I say to my husband.
This is not to say the way his parents did things was wrong. You know what? When it comes to parenting, right and wrong should not be used at all. Wait. Unless we are talking about how to install a car seat. There is a right way for that.
I believe that you have to have solid reasons for your parenting choices. Have a why.
And “because” is not a reason.
4) Is it working?
This is a question we ask a lot at my house.
Make a decision. Check. But then comes the important part.
Is it working?
Maybe your parents did it a certain way. Maybe that way worked and that is the way you think it should be done. Go ahead and give it a try. But you have to ask yourself if it is actually making a difference.
5) Not a competition
Parenting is a team sport. You need each other to make it through.
Does this mean you always have to agree? Heck to the no.
But it does mean that you need to work together. Talk together. Make decisions together.
6) It’s not about you
Who is the person that is being impacted by your decisions? The kids!
The little people you are making the decision about.
Try not to get hung up on something just to get your way. I repeat this to myself quite often. Come on, who doesn’t love to get their way?
Make sure to remind yourself that your child is the one who is front and center here.
7) Find common ground
Throughout every disagreement, one thing is true. You want what is best for your kids.
Your end goal is most likely similar. The way you want to get there is the part you are having trouble with.
But it truly helps to find some common ground. State some truths. You love your kids. You want to do what is best for them.
With parenting, disagreements are going to pop up. Make sure you focus on the simple ideas you will always agree on.
My husband and I can always agree that we have the coolest kid on the block. And that she gets her feisty attitude from her mama!
Make sure to check out these parenting books that can be perfect for providing some little nuggets of practical advice. I have read all of these multiple times and they are the absolute best!
Have any tips on what to do when parents disagree on parenting choices? Let’s chat!
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