“You have to get along with people, but you also have to recognize that the strength of a team is different people with different perspectives and different personalities.” Steve Case
My client and her husband are very different people, which means that their parenting styles also differ pretty significantly from one another.
She believes strongly that her teenage son needs boundaries and explicit rules. She carries high expectations of him and expects her husband to do the same.
Her husband, on the other hand, is more laid back. He’s the one that plays basketball with their son, is actively involved with his sports, and carries fewer rules and expectations than Mom does.
One approach is not right or wrong.
But she deeply believes that her way is the “right” way and that he should uphold the same parenting style.
As a result, my client is suffering – both endlessly and needlessly.
I helped her to see how it actually serves their son to have the two different parenting styles.
She brings the things she does well to her parenting style, and so does her husband. In that way, their son gets the best of each of them.
- He gets the boundaries to keep him safe and high expectations that help him reach for more in his life.
- He also gets the support that helps him to feel cared for and the connection that helps him feel understood.
When we can let go of the idea that OUR way is the RIGHT way, and start seeing how both parents are doing the best they can with the gifts they each bring, the suffering lessens.
Do you and your spouse argue about different parenting styles?
Do you get frustrated feeling like you’re doing everything on your own? Or that you’re doing all the most difficult things? Yes? I hear you.
If you don’t deal with these challenges sooner rather than later, the frustrations and resentments will mount to the point that the marriage itself may become irrecoverable.
If you’ve been struggling for a while and the relationship hasn’t gotten better, maybe it’s time we explore whether or not there’s a fit for you and I to work together.