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Conflict of different parenting styles for couples

It can be incredibly confusing to children when parents do not present a unified front - especially in terms of discipline. In addition to causing uncertainty to the child it also causes friction between parents because you can guarantee that children can and will find out how to work parents to get what they desire.....that is what children do!

Furthermore, there are significant implications for children living in a household where parents frequently argue. Research has shown that children who are in conflict-ridden homes experience decreased school performance and increases in delinquency, behavior problems and depressive feelings (Boyd & Bee, 2008).

What advice would you give to a couple that has two different parenting styles?

Solution Preview

This is something that, as a therapist, I run across often. What I do with my parents is give them research (in terms they can understand) about what research is showing is the most effective way to parent a child. If I were to start my conversation with them saying, "It can be incredibly confusing to children when parents do not present a unified front........" Then, we would do the following:

1. ANTICIPATION: Anticipate the problems the parent is likely to run across with the child. Doing this allows the parents to prepare. For example, if you are going to a restaurant and you know your child gets bored and restless, be ...

Solution Summary

More often than not, parents don't take the time to discuss with each other how each would parent their child(ren) when they become parents. This causes much conflict in the family. What should parents do when they have differing parenting styles and expectations?