5 Ways to Deal with Parenting Style Disagreements

Every family has their own set of rules and expectations when it comes to 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 5 ways to deal with parenting style disagreements.

Accept that everyone is different

and have respect

You and your child’s other parent are going to have different opinions on how to raise their children. This is completely normal. What’s important is you both have mutual respect for each other and work together to come up with a parenting plan that works for your family. Everyone has a different background, and we all want different things out of life. Accept this, and be respectful of your co-parenting partner. You may not agree on everything when it comes to raising kids, but show them the same respect as you would a friend or co-worker who doesn’t share the same opinion as you do.

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 who has the most authority should have the final say, but both parents need to be on board for this one. If you can’t agree on something, talk through it and explain why you disagree. This will help your child understand that there is more than just 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, then the lenient parent should take charge with discipline when necessary. This will help make sure that the rules are being enforced consistently so that 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 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. It’s important that you have a dialogue about parenting styles and set some ground rules for yourselves. In order to do this, you should sit down and talk about what each person wants from the other. You also need to discuss how each person feels about discipline, boundaries, and expectations for the kids. By having a conversation before any disagreements happen, it 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 every single thing, 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. There are some things that are going to be a deal breaker for both parents. In those cases, they may want to put them under a “black list” of sorts so that there’s no disagreement when the occasion arises.