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How to Deal with Parenting Style Clashes

Every family has their own set of rules and expectations regarding parenting. Whether it’s a single parent or two parents who are together, there are bound to be disagreements about how to raise children. It can lead to some pretty frustrating moments for everyone in the family. However, there are ways you can avoid these disagreements and still raise strong, healthy children. Here’s a look at five ways to deal with parenting style disagreements.

Accept that everyone is different

and have respect

You and your child’s other parents will have different opinions on how to raise their children. This is entirely normal. What’s important is you both have mutual respect and work together to develop a parenting plan that works for your family. Everyone has a different background, and we all want other things out of life. Accept this, and be respectful of your co-parenting partner. You may disagree on raising kids, but show them the same respect as you would a friend or co-worker who doesn’t share the same opinion.

Set boundaries

and stick to them

The best way to deal with disagreements in parenting styles is to set boundaries and stick to them. The parent with the most authority should have the final say, but both parents need to be on board. If you can’t agree, talk through it and explain why you disagree. This will help your child understand that there is more than one right way of doing things. It also teaches your child how to work through disagreements respectfully.

If one parent is a strict disciplinarian while the other is more lenient, the indulgent parent should take charge of discipline when necessary. This will help ensure that the rules are being enforced consistently, so your child doesn’t get mixed signals about consequences for misbehavior.

Listen and validate feelings.

The first thing you should do when you and your partner disagree about parenting is to listen to one another's point of view respectfully. It can be easy for parents to become defensive and not want to hear the other person out, but it’s imperative that both parties feel validated in their opinions. You may not agree with each other, but at least you’ve heard them out.

Communicate openly

One of the most important things you can do is to have open communication with your partner. You must have a dialogue about parenting styles and set some ground rules for yourselves. To do this, you should sit down and talk about what each person wants from the other. It would be best to discuss how each person feels about discipline, boundaries, and expectations for the kids. Having a conversation before any disagreements can help avoid conflicts in the future.


One of the easiest ways to avoid disagreements about parenting styles is to compromise. This doesn’t mean you have to agree on everything, but it does mean that you can come up with a general parenting style agreement. For example, if one parent is more lenient and the other is stricter, they can decide which style will work best in each circumstance. Some things are going to be a deal breaker for both parents. In those cases, they may want to put them under a “blocklist” of sorts so that there’s no disagreement when the occasion arises.


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