Couple Conflict About Parenting
Donna Kimmel, PhD, 2-17-2017
With so many possibilities for parenting education, it’s amazing to me that parents will complain about each other’s approach to child rearing. Each will describe his or her approach as if they were experts in the subject. However, when asked where they learned what they believe is right, I either hear they read a few books or it’s how they were brought up.
Why aren’t they on the same page with how they’re parenting? Because one or the other (rarely both) doesn’t believe they have anything to learn. This partner takes a dominant role in the relationship, while the other submits – to the detriment of the children. The dominant partner clearly lacks complete respect for the other. Their children are likely to learn to be either dominant or submissive, depending on their personalities.
That’s not the best training for children these days. To become able adults in a democratic society, children should learn within a democratic style of parenting. Their training should develop courage, cooperation, personal responsibility, respect for others and compassion.
A parenting style and strategies that bring the result described above may not come easily to many people –especially those raised by authoritarian parents. But, assuming both parents want what’s best for their children, they should learn about democratic, positive parenting. Many communities have classes in the method and rationale. Books on positive parenting are available in libraries and for sale. Both parents should “be on the same page” when it comes to child-rearing practices these days.