< 1 min read
I have a much younger friend who has two busy toddlers. She is quite relaxed but firm in her parenting style and has told me that she is trying to model an authoritative parenting style rather than being an authoritarian parent. I am aware that her husband had a very strict upbringing and is adamant that as parents they should discipline their own children similarly to how he was disciplined as a child.
My young friend is quite distraught as her husband has previously confided in her that his childhood was not very happy. They did not think to discuss things like their beliefs around child raising and discipline before they were married and she is concerned that this issue might affect their relationship and their children’s well-being.
Do you have any suggestion about how she can approach this emotive subject with her husband?
Marked as spam
This is a tricky space to be in as parents. Unfortunately the children will be most affected if there are two very different styles of parenting used in the home. It might be worth suggesting to your friend that if she and her husband are unable to agree on a consistent parenting approach with their kids, that they may need to seek a third party such as a counsellor to assist in coming to an agreement on how to approach discipline. Prior to that step, it might be worthwhile that both parents sit together and agree on a list of house 'rules' for the family and then discuss how they both would respond if these rules are not followed. It might be a worthwhile task to help both sides start discussion around what they both need and expect as parents. Once both parties feel heard by each other, this might then pave the way to agreements on how to approach their childrens' behaviour collaboratively.
I have had to deal with the same. It is challenging to walk the tight rope of 2 different parenting styles when it comes to discipline.
Since my husband judges our kids more harshly than me, I tend to want to "protect" them from his temper. I know that is not right, but it is a mother's natural instinct. I often tell my husband that I will handle the problem, so he does not have to be involved.
We are considering family therapy which I think is a good idea. Maybe your husband would also if the counseling was not about "him" but instead the family as a unit.
I try to always talk to him away from the kids and not in the heat of the moment. That is more effective than a direct confrontation.
I hope that things work out for you in this challenging situation.