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Raising Children Topics..

You are here : home > Raising Children > Parental Relationships > When Parents Disagree

When Parents Disagree

When Parents Disagree

Each parent has his or her own ideas about what is good for the child. When these beliefs clash, disagreements arise, and these disagreements lead to arguments which indirectly affect the wellbeing of the child.

This often happens when two people come from different family backgrounds. Each parent may have been raised in a particular manner, and although these differences don't matter before children are born, when children come into the picture and parents try to impose their values and beliefs on the children, the differences suddenly come into the forefront.

When are Disagreements Minimal?

In some cases child rearing is left to the mother, and she makes all the major decisions with regard to whether a child should be allowed to go somewhere or do something. In such cases the other parent doesn't interfere, and there are no clashes.

This may not, however, be the best situation. If every time a child asks one parent for permission to do something, and the other parent constantly replies "Ask your mother," the parent unconsciously distances himself from the child at some level.

Effects of Disagreement between Parents

When parents disagree about how they should raise their children, they add to marital stress. In fact, often one of the reasons many marriages break up is because couples have strong disagreements with regard to child rearing. These differences escalate into arguments and fights, and gradually partners drift apart which is not good for the wellbeing of the child.

How can Parents Avoid Disagreements?

The best thing to do would be to come to a compromise. Ideally you should have already established and negotiated a set of rules applicable in various situations - and, do it in writing! First, make a list of the aspects on which you DO agree. Perhaps both of you agree that children should be punished for wrong behaviour, and that grounding a child is good punishment. Write it down. Are both of you against beating your child? Write this down too, so if either parent hits a child, the other parent is justified in telling him not to do so.

1. Dealing with Disagreements on Small Issues

How many extra classes would you want your child to join? Perhaps one parent feels that it is unfair to burden a child, while the other is keen to expose him to more activities. Decide what you would do in such a situation. Would you give your child the choice? Or, will you fix a mutually agreeable limit as to how many extra-curricular activities your child will participate in?

2. Finding Solution Mutually

Thus, so also list the aspects on which you disagree. Voice your disagreements with respect, and give reasons as to why you feel a particular way. Discuss your own childhood, and talk about how you felt when parents acted in a certain manner. Realise also that just because you felt a certain way doesn't mean everyone will do so, so do pay attention to the opinions and feelings of your partner as well.

Naturally these rules can easily be changed over time if both parents believe that the change is for the best.

Couples often quarrel over little things, and these little issues escalate into major arguments. Child rearing is just one of those issues, but if you can work out something, it will mean one less issue to argue about!

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Jessica Novak
Jessica Novak.6 years ago
me and my husband are having hard time agree on discipline yesterday and i decided to set some rule so put them on a paper in our bed room with conditions of being punished for whoever breaks the rule :)
Hazael.6 years ago
I am having trouble in parenting with my husband. he invalidates our toddler by telling her she will be ok, before listening to her. When I told him about this, he became defensive and upset. we didn’t solve anything in the end. I feel we have different ideas of parenting. I do not know how to handle the situation?
lisa.10 years ago
no comment
Marty.10 years ago
my husband and i are disagreeing all of the time on parenting our teens and adults. part of the problem is me. i let him make decisions earlier in our marriage even though i often disagreed. i did not want to fight all of the time. result: 23 y.o. without a job and we are supporting her outside the home but supporting her. i think she should work harder to get a job but my husband does not want to put any pressure on her. he says yes to everything the kids want. he tells me not to spend money but then spends money on them/ trips/ restaurants etc.
2nd child is a college student. he is getting fair grades. all of our kids are very intelligent and scored very high on all standarized tests but grades showed some under achievement. it does not bother my husband at all that they do not work harder. third child is in high school and up to this year was a fantastic student. junior year of high school is when my kids start to get somewhat lazy and the grades reflect this. all three kids have behaved in this way. ok i vented to all of you but i am so frustrated on what to do. my husband just walks away if i bring anything up about the kids that is negative. he does not see any problem at all. the event which led me to write at this time follows: we were planning a summer vacation. we told our daughter she could bring a friend. next thing i know she says that she is invited to brazil with a friend that is from there. she is not that friendly with this girl so i was surprised about the invitation. she would travel to the country with the famiy for a week but would return to the us on her own. it would require a transfer within brazil.
after reading so much about brazil in regards to crime rate, murders, rape, theft i do not feel comfortable sending her with people i do not even know. my husband disagreed and went ahead and made the plane reservation without even speaking to me about the plans. i have been so angry about this. i am having a hard time getting past this. i have made my opinion known and have said i do not want her to go to brazil....period. any suggestions?
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