How partners can avoid parenting conflicts

Parenting children is difficult, especially when parents have different forms of discipline. Parenting style is rarely talked about prior to marriage, and a couple that doesn’t experience conflict often can become distraught or frustrated when their partner has a completely different discipline approach. Marriage is a process and so is parenting. From the time your children are born your relationship with your partner changes.

Although conflict between parenting styles will happen, you can minimize the damage to your relationship with these five helpful recommendations:

  1. Know that parenting style disagreements are normal no matter how much you see eye-to-eye with your partner. Stay calm and don’t over-react.
  2. Don’t play good cop - bad cop with your kids. Kids need to understand both parents are respectful and mean business. Consistency is everything in discipline.
  3. Never argue with your partner about what you should do in front of your child. Studies show kids who experience excessive parental conflict score higher on anxiety and depression assessments.
  4. Be respectful of your partner’s views. Hold your tongue and be willing to hear your partner out.
  5. Discipline is focused on the child’s behavior – not your partner’s. Whatever you decide to do should be in your child’s best interest.

Discipline is a process; families that work the best together have family meetings where everyone takes an active role. Parents who each other respect demonstrate a united front and willingness to grow together.