When Couples Disagree on Parenting Tactics

Parenting Issue Number 827: You just told your child he cannot have a second cookie after dinner only to find him munching happily on one in the dining room a moment later. As you stand there fuming that he disobeyed your wishes, your little cookie monster smiles cheerfully and says, “Dad let me have a cookie,” in the midst of chewing. We’ve all been there. Whether dad knew that you said no more cookies or not, it isn’t uncommon for your parenting styles to clash from time to time. Here are a few tips for dealing with parenting style conflicts with your spouse.

Openly Communicate

Handling conflict, especially when it comes to raising your kids, is easier for everyone when open communication is the norm. You’ll find it a lot easier to get your points across if you are both willing to sit down, stay calm and hear each other out. It might surprise you both to find out why you feel a certain way about a certain parenting style.

Be Respectful

Regardless whether or not your children are watching as you disagree about little Susie’s punishment for missing curfew, treat each other with respect. Part of being a good spouse and a good parent is being respected and treating others with respect.


If you simply cannot agree on different aspects of parenting, it’s time to compromise. Sit down together and make a list of all the things that are important to you in order of importance. Compare your lists and start compromising. Is your husband particularly adamant that he believes in disciplining the kids as soon as they do something wrong while you believe they should have a warning? Work together to come up with a compromise such as talking to the kids together about the rules of the house and letting them know that this discussion is their warning and from now on if they break a rule, they will be disciplined immediately without a warning.



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