Parenting styles are different for every family. And that’s okay! But if you and your spouse have different parenting styles, it can really divide your marriage. In this blog post, we’re going to talk about how to find common ground when the different parenting styles in your home are ruining your marriage.
What are the Parenting Styles?
Most experts agree there are 4 major parenting styles. They are:
Authoritative: This style is for parents who want to be authoritative but not authoritarian. They are warm and nurturing, have high expectations of their children’s behavior, encourage independence in their kids, and promote healthy self-esteem.
Authoritarian: domineering parents like being the boss, preferring things done on THEIR terms with as little input from the child as possible. They often have high expectations of their children’s behavior and promote healthy self-esteem in them, but they may not be very warm or nurturing.
Permissive: these parents are overly concerned with pleasing their kids to avoid conflict at all costs. This means that rules don’t exist, there is little discipline and children don’t have much independence. A well-known type of permissive parenting that you may have heard of is Free-Range Parenting.
Uninvolved: these parents are low on warmth and high on negativity. They may not be around a lot, they might neglect to enforce rules or discipline their children with anything but criticism. They’re sometimes referred to as “free-range” parents
If you and your spouse fall into different categories, you can bet you’ll experience conflict about child-rearing. Each parenting style has very different ways of raising and disciplining children.
5 Steps to Maintaining Your Marriage
Your relationship with each other needs to be the first priority for both of you. Without this basic understanding, it will be difficult to overcome your parenting challenges. Do what you need to in order to prioritize each other.
Determine Your Parenting Goals
Define your parenting goals. What does success look like for each of you? What traits do you want to instill in your kids? What values do you want them to carry into adulthood? What skills do you want them to have before they leave your nest?
Once you write out your parenting goals, you will more than likely realize that you both want the same things for your children, you just have different ideas on how to get there. This can go a long way in helping you find common ground and motivating you to work together.
If there is a major difference in your parenting goals, this could be indicative of different levels of commitment to parenting. The best course of action would be to speak with a coach, mentor, or therapist to work through this issue.
Find Common Ground
Once you see your parenting goals on paper, highlight the commonalities. Even when you’re comparing two very different parenting styles, you’re likely to find some common goals. These are the low-hanging fruit that you can easily agree on. It will give you confidence and motivation to move forward.
Strike a Balance
Identify the areas where you have big differences, especially when it comes to discipline. Discuss each issue to determine if there’s a middle ground. Try to strike a balance on any issues you can.
Get a Coach or Mentor
Get a parenting coach or a mentor. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a little help! A parenting coach can educate you both on science-backed parenting strategies and offer suggestions on things to try that might satisfy you both.
If getting a parenting coach isn’t something you’re interested in, then join a parenting community and follow popular parenting blogs. Both online and offline parenting communities can be valuable in helping parents find solutions to their parenting problems.
The Bottom Line
It’s important to prioritize your relationship with your spouse over anything else, especially if you have different ideas about how to raise children. Figure out what success looks like for both of you and figure out where there is common ground between the two of you. And finally, if you truly feel like different parenting styles are ruining your marriage, seek help from a professional or parenting community.
What You Should Do Next…
Are you ready for more activities to build a rock-solid bond with your kids? Try our Connected Parent Challenge! It’s 15 Days of 15 Minute activities that are sure to improve your connection, diminish bad behavior, and create lasting memories. Plus, I’ll deliver more amazing parenting strategies to your inbox weekly (don’t worry, unsubscribe any time!).
Connect with like-minded moms (and dads!) in our free online community. You’ll find a plethora of resources to help you through your parenting challenges. Plus, you’ll find me there! And I’d love to connect.
Do you need actionable strategies right now? Register for this free 60-minute webinar titled How to Get Kids to Listen, Without Nagging, Yelling or Losing Control. You’ll walk away with parent-tested tactics to get your kids to listen starting today.