We have different parenting philosophies, what do we do?

It is common for parents, partners, or caregivers to have different parenting philosophies.  Our value systems and beliefs about child-rearing come from our own families of origin.  Even then, siblings can have very differing viewpoints on raising children.  It is likely no two (or more) people are going to hold the exact same beliefs about all parenting decisions.  This could cause a disruption in your relationship if you have disagreements on fundamental issues.  The first thing to do is to understand that you both want what is best for the child, you just disagree on the best way to get there.  When you view each other with compassion instead of combativeness, it makes it more likely that you will hear each other and understand each other’s viewpoint.  It is not a competition, and even if it were, the winner should always be the child.

If you are finding that your parenting philosophies are coming to a head in front of your child or children, it is best to take a united stand in front of your children and hash out the details when they are not listening.  If your co-parent does something that you believe to be less than ideal, undermining the other parent may make the situation worse.  Coming together as a united front and a cohesive team is even more important than choosing the “best” philosophy.

When compromise is not possible and you are having a hard time communicating, asking a third party to weigh in may be useful.  If there is a member of your community, a doctor, a spiritual leader, or a parental figure that you trust, you can check in with them and ask for help.  These communication issues may cause relationship problems, and it may be helpful to reach out to a relationship or sex therapist.  Beginning relationship or sex therapy does not mean that your relationship is in shambles, it does not mean that you are inadequate, it may simply mean that you need a little boost getting back to where you once were, or even better in some cases.  If you find yourself in tireless arguments about the same issues, it may be time to ask for some help.

 

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