How to deal with different parenting styles
Before we got children, my husband and I have agreed that we will have a united stand in front of the children, always! That we would never argue in front of them, and that we would have the patience to wait.
When we got children, our agreement gets some…khm.. but… however… I admit, I find it difficult to stick to the agreement and need a lot of exercises to learn to wait. Even when I was sure that his opinion was wrong. Over time, I realized that no matter how wrong his behavior seemed at the time, the best I can do for the benefit of my families and our children is that (somehow) calm down and wait. Although I wanted to write about this long time ago, the talk with an old friend of mine makes me do it now.
So, how to deal with different parenting styles?
As there is no two the same child, so no two the same parents. And that’s fine. There’s a reason we raise our kids in the family, and not with your best friend with which to understand everything.
Even when we say that we have the same or a similar approach, in practice, it is “a little” different. But what it does to our children?
Experts believe that it is important to reach a minimum agreement – We agree to disagree. And maintain a united front. But as much as you want to be united, it is impossible to achieve if the other party criticizes your parenting style in front of the kid or behaving contrary to your agreement. But that is a communication problem, more than parenting.
In this case you have only two solutions – to get divorce (but you don’t actually solve anything in the long run, because the “other side” still the child’s parent) or to learn to live with it. There is no the third healthy solution. Psychologists and so point out that we can influence only at our behavior.
How do different parenting styles act on a child?
As (s)he grows, the children need clear boundaries. Because kids instinctively feel which parent is the weakest link, and how to easily and quickly can achieve what they want. Even in the age of 3 children are able for various forms of manipulation, if the parents are divided.
That is why many parents fear that different parenting styles will permanently harm their children. That children will be confused and without a clear landmark. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Have you noticed how even the pickiest kids that at home will not eat a single bite, quite nice eat in kindergarten? How some toddlers get their afternoon nap without problem with their grandmothers, while their moms can’t even dream about their day’s nap? Yes, I notice it, too. And this is because children react differently to different people. The children are aware that with parents they don’t really need to eat lunch while in the kindergarten this choice almost nonexistent.
How to make that different parenting styles become an advantage for your child?
Rather than lose your temper because circumstances are such as they are, try to get the best you can out of the situation. Allow your child to discover the world in all its diversity, starting with your family. During growing up and adulthood your child will meet a different kind of people, with various ideas. Don’t you want that your child becomes tolerant towards others and different if they don’t endanger him? In this case, it is not the end of the world if Dad has different ideas related to money, a healthy diet, discipline or disagree about bedtime. Allow the child to independently build a relationship with the other parent. If you are just repeating why his ideas were inapplicable in a particular situation, you will hardly change anything, except that it will be more difficult. If it isn’t the issue of some of the life’s the most important questions, allow the partner to make a mistake. It sounds terrible, but we, ourselves, were wrong so many times and learned the lessons from these mistakes.
Another important thing is not to “rescue” the child from the other parent. The other parent is also the parent to your child and does not deserve some unfounded suspicions, or questioning of the boundlessness of his love.
It is enough that you do not rescue him and the child from the consequences of his choices. If you are the one who spend more time with the toddler, it’s quite likely that your opinion is more informed, but it still does not mean that the other parent is undoubtedly wrong.
If you are wondering why exactly you should be more reasonable, I haven’t the right answer for you. For me is quite obvious that the welfare of children has priority over my (self)assertion.
Accepting circumstances and recognizing our differences, we give the child more possibilities in the discovering of the world, and what is equally important, do not encourage him to manipulation and fake. For me, it is hard, but worth it.
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