Different parenting styles

Janis Keyser, MA Early Childhood Specialist and Author, shares advice for parents on how to resolve problems that arise from you and your partner having different parenting styles
When You And Your Partner Have Different Parenting Styles
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Different parenting styles

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Most parents come to parenting with a partner who is very different than they are. Sometimes you don't discover that until you become parents together. The question arises: How can we do this together when we have such different ideas about how it should be done. The good news is that children can deal with diversity. They can deal with when I'm with daddy, it goes this way; and when I'm with mommy, it goes this way. When children are very young, it's useful to have those conversations and to see where you can bring your practices together. It doesn't have to be identical. What does have to happen is parents have to have a strong, mutual respect for each other's way of parenting. My husband and I had really different ideas about the television. When he was home with the kids, the television was on and they watched a lot of different things. When I came home, the TV went off. We stopped watching TV. I didn't come home and say, "Your dad's a jerk. He doesn't care what you watch on TV." I just said, "Now I'm home, we're going to have the TV off." The children didn't have to have that push and pull about mommy and daddy being in conflict about this. It's just that we do it differently when mommy's here. We do it differently when daddy's here. Children learn what to expect with each of those parents. I think the most important thing is for parents to be in dialog with each other. When there is a conflict, it feels like it needs to be resolved because it feels like such a different way of being with children. It's important for parents to go back to: What is it you want to teach your child in this situation? What are your goals? Sometimes parents find that they have very similar goals, but different ways of implementing it. They may be able to bring their implementation more in line if they have an agreement on their basic goals about what they are trying to do.

Janis Keyser, MA Early Childhood Specialist and Author, shares advice for parents on how to resolve problems that arise from you and your partner having different parenting styles

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Janis Keyser, MA

Early Childhood Education Specialist & Author

Janis Keyser currently works as a site director for a child development program in Mountain View, California. She was a full-time faculty member in the Early Childhood Education Department at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California for 30 years, teaching children, teachers and parents and coordinating a state demonstration infant toddler program. She has written a resource book for parents and one for teachers; and is a nationally recognized speaker at parenting, family and child development conferences, and has conducted workshops nationally and internationally for parents and teachers for over 35 years. She enjoys swimming, kayaking, photography, family games and cooking with friends of all ages.

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