I’m sure we all remember when we were kids and wanted our parents to say “yes” to something. Whether it was buying something we wanted at the store, or going to a friend’s house for a sleepover, the routine was almost always the same. If one parent said no, we could always try to ask the other, and hope their answer was different!
It is in situations like these that I often get asked, “can parents disagree?”. The short answer is yes! It is perfectly normal for parents to have ideological differences when it comes to the best ways to raise their kids. Over my years of working with thousands of parents, I have come to realize the importance of becoming an awesome parenting partner in addition to being a conscious parent.
Imagine a scenario like this:
Child: “Can I go to a friend’s house this weekend?”
Parents: (In unison) “Yes!”
Child: “Can I eat this block of chocolate for dinner?”
Parents: (United) “No!”
Child: “Can you teach me to square dance?”
Parents: (At the same time) “Maybe later.”
While amusing, these scenarios highlight the impracticality of expecting parents to always present a united front. The truth is, there are many things parents are most likely to disagree on, and several ways to cope with parenting differences. As conscious parents, we must recognize that we are distinct beings, with our own beliefs and ways of approaching situations.
How to Work Through Parenting Disagreements:
Attempting to constantly align our thoughts and reactions with our parenting partners is not only exhausting, but also lacks authenticity. That’s why it’s essential to be transparent with them about your feelings.
Acknowledging our differences and being honest with our partners is crucial. If you find yourself disagreeing on certain parenting matters, discuss your own childhoods and how your experiences have shaped you to react differently. Show your support and have a different opinion than your partner without undermining them. If you are in a disagreement, use it as an opportunity to model collaboration for your kids!
It is also important to leave behind the notion of “good cop, bad cop”, instead, try embracing the beauty of your individuality as parents. This way, you can navigate the parenting journey authentically and transparently, while fostering a loving and respectful environment for our children.
Love and Blessings,
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A 3xTEDx speaker, media contributor, parenting coach, and a mom of two - helping families thrive by using the Guidance Approach to Parenting.