Are different parenting styles challenging your relationship?

Are different parenting styles challenging your relationship?
Find therapists best matched to your needs. Always free and confidential.
Find therapists best matched to your needs. Always free and confidential.

It’s exhausting to be a parent! There is just not enough of you to go around. And having different parenting styles can be challenging for your relationship with your partner.

You’ve lost your identity. (Just how did you go from an elegant sophisticated adult to an expert in the best cream for diaper rash, or flashcard training for the multiplication tables?) There’s less time and privacy for sex, intimacy, and passion. Finding a balance between work, career, socializing, and family life is hard.

If you have children with learning difficulties or emotional challenges, you have entered a parenting challenge of a whole different magnitude than you might have expected with their specific needs or challenges with their behavior.

If you have different parenting styles that are challenging your relationship, conflict and tension with your partner may make everyday challenges harder than they need to be.

If child-rearing is troubling your relationship, you are not alone. Ironically, the love and care you provide your children can diminish your connection, especially when you and your partner just don’t see eye to eye on parenting.  Counseling can help you address your conflicts, enabling you to be consistent parents while enabling your relationship to thrive.

Do you recognize your parenting style? Your spouse’s parenting style?

Each of the four basic parenting styles strikes a different mix of two basic elements: parental control on one hand, and warmth and affection on the other.

  1. Authoritarian parents are strict, exercise a lot of power over their children, and may not be particularly warm. When a child throws a tantrum, an authoritarian parent is unlikely to want to know why or to understand what the child is feeling.
  2. Authoritative parents are strict and stick to the rules they set. They also show love for their children. When a child throws a tantrum, an authoritative parent may respond by establishing clear limits about what is and is not appropriate. Authoritative parents are more likely to want to understand what their child is feeling.
  3. Permissive parents show a lot of love and attention, but they don’t set many limits. A lenient parent may not react at all to a tantrum, or may even try and appease the child with a present or some other bribe.
  4. Uninvolved parents do not set boundaries and tend to seem disinterested. They may miss a tantrum or just ignore a tantrum.

Even two partners with similar parenting styles may clash. We all come from different homes and different experiences. Even when you agree that clear boundaries should be set you might disagree over where those boundaries should be. If a child steps out of line, should they be sent to their room for a time-out?

Marriage therapy can help you manage different parenting styles

When your parenting styles clash, all of the strains of parenting are multiplied. Counseling for couples might be beneficial in helping you work together as parents with less conflict. We will work together to find solutions that work for you and help you reconnect as a couple while managing the challenges of parenting.

In therapy, we will work on building tools to manage the situations and conflicts that may be straining your relationship. You can learn to better understand each other and how to better communicate. Each session will work on practical skills that you can apply at home. After just a few sessions, many couples report experiencing less conflict, less tension, and more confidence as parents.

We will learn how your parenting styles complement one another. We may work together to compose a list of family rules that everyone can agree on. You will get help learning to work together without undermining each other. When you broadcast a united front your child can more easily understand the boundaries and feel more secure. 

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