When parents have different parenting styles

parents have different parenting styles

I am not a huge fan of the term “parenting style”…I don’t really like giving any sort of parenting any kind of label, however that may be….it’s unavoidable that as parents we all have our own style of parenting, whatever that may be and that some parents have very different parenting styles.

One of the things me and my partner have struggled with in our four years as parents is that the way we parent is very different. I parent in a very structured, orderly way….and he parents in a very relaxed, freestyle way. So, polar opposites and something we have learnt do deal with as we have both shuffled a little into the middle of those two poles to compromise in our life as a family unit.

But it did make me think… what happens with other families when parents have different parenting styles? I called on some fab fellow parenting bloggers to share their experiences of what happens when parents have different parenting styles:

The Incidental Parents says…..We are very different, I’m more towards gentle parenting but my partner is French and is less so! With our first we clashed more but I think we’ve met somewhere in the middle now.

Jaki Jellz says….We definitely clash! I prefer trying to get down to Little Man’s level and talk to him – very much the Hand In Hand parenting technique. Where as hubby is quite old fashioned in his approach.  It’s caused may disagreements but we have to try and find a happy medium and a compromise which can be really hard. We’re doing okay though!

The Parenting Trials says….I would say me and my partner have different parenting styles. It can sometimes be a good thing but also a bad too, as can cause friction sometimes if we don’t always agree on how things should be dealt with. I would say he’s the one that they go to for a bit of rough and tumble play etc and he’s also the stricter one of of us. I’m the one they go to for cuddles and quite time.. I’m probably the softer one.

Absolutely Prabulous says….We’re both ridiculously strict with our kids. We both grew up in very traditional Indian households but whilst my father ruled with an iron rod and we were never allowed to do anything/go anywhere (it shows why I’m the way I am as a mum myself). Where we differ though id that my husband has a total inability to sympathise with or understand the basic needs of children on an emotional level so this makes it doubly difficult. I truly believe there ought to be some sort of test couples can do before they have kids to see if they’re actually compatible as a parenting unit!

Katy Kicker says…. When we disagree on an aspect of parenting then we both present our ‘argument’. We talk over why we feel about it. If one of us feels strongly about it then the other one will usually give in and trial it out. Basically we work together and sometimes try two ways, before deciding what works best! 

Pink Pear Bear says….My husband and I have worked out a happy compromise. He is far far softer then me. Because he sees them less due to work, he likes to be ‘fun dad’ who doesn’t tell them off and buys them stuff. Over the years he has realised it’s not fair for me to always be ‘the bad guy’ and while he’s still a total softy, he backs me up more and will tell them off too. If we disagree about something, we try and talk about it that evening when they have gone to bed. It’s best not to let them see when we have different ideas as they are brilliant at manipulating a situation where we don’t agree to get what they want!

Pack the PJs says…I’m a bit of a taskmaster concerning the kids – no really does mean no as I don’t want them to think they can get rewarded for not doing anything. My husband however is very much one looking for a quiet life, so he’s quite easily persuaded – if only to keep the peace. He says yes straight after I’ve said no – BUT, I overrule him! He understands and now I hear a lot of ‘go ask your mother’.

Devon Mama says….My husband is a lot more laid back than I am about things. I believe there should be boundaries and my husband often laughs if our son pushes those. It makes it confusing for him because he then thinks it’s a funny game and can’t understand why I’m not loving it. It’s been the source of many arguments in our house already and he’s only small, I believe you need to offer your child a united front so that they know they can’t get round one of you and know where they stand. When my husband acts like that it makes me feel undermined and that I’m the ‘strict’ one.

This Woman’s World says…We both have similar styles of parenting but I naturally lean towards the gentle/attachment parenting approach. My extended breastfeeding and bedsharing with my 14 month old Son is something he does not agree with (he fears it will hinder his independence) so as a comprise I’ve agree to night wean and reduce random feeds during the day whilst also gently transferring him into his own cot (still in our bedroom). It’s about respecting each others way of thinking and not completely dismissing their point of view.

Amy & Tots says…My partner and I have very different parenting techniques and we have had many arguments over which approach to take. Most of time we agree to parent the way I choose because I’m the one that’s with the 80% of time whilst he’s at work.  –

Rainbows Are Too Beautiful says…I’m more authoritative and he’s more authoritarian. But these have a cross over in that we both explain and set rules – I’m far more a negotiator. It’s perhaps not surprising we have these styles given the needs of our autistic ADHD kids, who benefit from them. Ultimately we are both mostly concerned about helping them and we agree on more than we disagree.

Confessions of a Working Mum….I’m really passionate about healthy eating, especially in children. I don’t let my 17 month old have sugar except on very special occasions like Easter (and only a tiny bit then). I’m determined to carry this approach on as she gets older. I believe sweets are a treat and not an everyday thing. My fiancé says I’m too strict that I should ease up as she gets older. We kind of agree to disagree and he calls me the ‘sugar police’ which I secretly like! I expect we will butt heads about this in the future! 

Boss Like A Mum says….I share childcare responsibilities pretty much 50/50 with my partner and it’s certainly led to lots of friction. Ultimately I’ve had to let go of the idea that I automatically know best because I’m the mum and give him space to be the father that he wants to be.

Do any of the above experiences sound like yours? I know that some are strikingly similar to mine. Do you lock heads over different parenting styles? Do share in a comment below.

Parenting truths: When parents have different parenting styles

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  1. We have different parenting styles at home and I think that’s natural because each of you will have had different upbringings which will shape how you parent.

  2. I’m so glad I took part in this because clearly I’m not the only one with a rather divided parenting approach to that of my partner. I find the whole not disagreeing in front of the kids impossible! Lovely logical understandable idea which for me just doesn’t work in practise. If I strongly disagree with how my husband is handling something, I’m not going to let my kid suffer (in my eyes) and then leave it to a conversation later on that night with my husband! The moment’s gone and more importantly that child is then upset and affected anyway. Ugh. Parenting. Thanks for the feature xx

  3. I don’t like labels either and like you, believe that all children, as parents are different. I don’t think one style would automatically fit most. We like to believe my husband and I are strict when we need to be. For example, gadgets are only allowed over the weekend, that sort of thing. But our daughter doesn’t have a limited amount of tv screen time unlike some parents I know. Perhaps, it’s because she doesn’t really watch that much tv, if she did, that’s the only time I’d worry. x

  4. I guess there will always be some differences, because a) mums and dads are two individual personalities themselves and b) because the stay-at-home parent is around the child a lot more and hence has to have a routine/ enforce rules/ discipline while the working parent who has less time with the child doesn’t want to spend that little time shouting and correcting. Herein lies the biggest problem I feel – good cop versus bad cop.
    However, as long as both parents are on the same page about the bigger issues and make important decisions together, it’s ok.

  5. Great post and one to think about. I am probably more strict than my husband but as the stay at home parent I am the one who does most of the disciplining! Husband is the one who sneaks Josh a bit of chocolate and is all fun and games! #coolmumclub

  6. This is a brilliant post so interesting to see what others have said. I alwas houggt me and hubby had similar styles until we came across a change in attitude to my sons recent behaviour. Ita so difficult trying to compromise and see that two people can have a different way of doing things hat are equally useful. #coolmumclub

  7. Yep we are totally opposite. My husband is in the “just see how it goes”, no planning involved school of thinking. I like to have structure. I must admit I’ve had to let go of this a lot with my second as it’s hard to have a proper routine with two. We try not to clash over it too much but it’s tough! X #coolmumclub

  8. So great to read the range of experiences people have!! Amazing insight. I count myself VERY lucky that my other half and I seem to be aligned on all the big things and we back each other. I’ll never take that for granted. Amazing to be hanging out with the oh-so-#coolmumclub again!!! XXxx

  9. I’m similar to Pink Pear Bear situation my husband has a much softer parenting approach then me, I’m a firm believer of routine for our son but hubby is more easy going #coolmumclub

  10. Absol-friggin lutely. My hubby and I differ in one major element – the fact that I’m right and he is most definitely wrong 😉

    Thanks for being such a fab co-host #coolmumclub lovely!

  11. Thanks for this post. As a single parent in a coparenting relationship with my ex I am always very conscious of our vastly different parenting styles. I have rules and structure all of the time. My ex struggles between creating an environment where Cygnet wants to be there (lollipops, loads of toys, iPads, no rules) and then turns into a really strict disciplinarian when he can’t cope with Cygnets behaviour any more or when his mother is around.

    It is nice to be reminded that parenting as a couple isn’t paradise either.

    Pen x. #coolmumclub

  12. Oh I love this post, was so reassuring to get an insight into how other parents tackle their differences and to see there are many people in a similar situation to me. My husband is much more strict than me but is also fun dad. I try to reason more than shout but it is hard as I know my 4year old tries to wrap me around his little finger xx #coolmumclub

  13. It’s really comforting to know that most families have these differences. My fiancé’s parenting infuriates me sometimes, and half the time I feel like I have to parent him in parenting haha! love this post #coolmumclub

  14. I’m so glad it isn’t just us! I often find that I have to be the bad guy, being strict about things like sweeties, screen time and eating vegetables as my husband likes to take the path of least resistance. I think he’s realising, now that our son is five and a bit of a spoilt brat, that his approach hasn’t exactly been ideal!

  15. This is really interesting. Our little one is only 9 months so our ‘styles’ haven’t fully emerged yet. I like to think we’ll be fairly similar – I’ve always thought I’d be the strict one, but since having her, I seem to have melted into a puddle of mush so perhaps not! #coolmumclub

  16. I would say that because I’m the one at home all the time I give in more easily “for an easy life” because it’s just SO exhausting. My husband sometimes tells me off for it. But on the whole we are pretty much the same. Although he’s definitely the fun one, he properly backs me up and is quite firm when he has to be. Phew! #coolmumclub

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