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I feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall - Different parenting styles, how do YOU do it.?

(36 Posts)
VictorianSqualor Tue 29-Jul-08 11:38:12

DP and I have obviously got different styles of parenting, he thinks I'm a 'hippy' I think he is too tough.

Some of the things he does I think are counter productive but he thinks they're a good idea.

Like telling DS he has to wear a nappy today because he wet himself yesterday. IMO, it's not going to help at all but just make DS even lazier (he has been using the toilet for a bout a year but if he is 'busy' he'll wet himself rather than use the toilet) in his opinion it will make DS realise that he needs to make sure he goes to the toilet because he hates wearing nappies.hmm

If I try to tell him I think his ideas aren't going to work then he gets offended and thinks I'm basically saying 'You're shit', which I'm not, not really, just erm, I'm my methods are better.

I don't want to argue over parenting styles FGS, he is great in so many ways and this is the only thing we don't see eye-to-eye on. Ideally I'd make him agree with me, but I'm sure he feels the same!

How do others cope with differing views on parenting?

TattooedGrrrl Tue 29-Jul-08 11:43:24

I was thinking about this this morning- DH is 'softer' than me. I got up this morning to find DS1 who is 2yrs old eating chocolate biscuits at 6am. It's not the first time i've found him eating inappropriate food at an inappropriate time...he gives into him 'because he was asking' HE IS 2YRS OLD, FARKING SAY NO!

Fairly minor at the moment, but i wonder how it'll pan out as the kids get older.

mrsbabookaloo Tue 29-Jul-08 11:45:36

We just had this out last night... it's a tricky one. I feel like dh just uses terrible cliches that his parents used and uses an agressive, threatening tone with her (though he would never hit her)and doesn't have any idea that parenting styles have moved on since the 70s, that you use positive reinforcement and try to ignore bad behaviour, especially if it's clearly aimed to wind you up. And that she's only 2 and you have to make allowances sometimes.

When we disagree, I try to turn to another's opinion, so I've asked him to read some parenting books.

VictorianSqualor Tue 29-Jul-08 11:45:36

LOL tattooedgrrl. Neither of us would do that but it is really farking annoying when the other parent does something you wouldn't do.

If it was the inlaws or something I'd be on AIBU!

Pinkjenny Tue 29-Jul-08 11:46:16

Same in my house, Dh is much stricter than me. Especially around bedtime.

I often think about this, as my parents always stood united, and never ever allowed me to play one off against the other, even now with the benefit of hindsight I can now see how difficult that must have been at times.

I generally overrule dh. I'm not sure that is a good habit to get in to moving forward!

VictorianSqualor Tue 29-Jul-08 11:51:23

Thing is, I am quite strict, we agree completely on rules and boundaries, it's just how we get them to adhere.
Well, not even 'them' really, mainly DS1(3.8)

cestlavie Tue 29-Jul-08 11:58:27

Myself and DW have slightly different parenting styles. I'm more strict and DW less so, although not at absurdly different ends of the spectrum. Cue conversations (for example) with child making noise upstairs along these lines:

Me: "Let's try to give her five minutes and then just go in, reassure her and then leave again."

DW: "It's been five minutes already."

Me (checking watch)" No, it's been thirty eight seconds."

DW: "Your stupid watch is wrong. Listen to the poor child screaming... she's getting really upset because of you. She'll never settle now."

Me: "She's whimpering, not howling. And if we go in now we'll spend the rest of our lives going in every night whenever she so much as farts."

DW: "No we won't. And she'll make herself sick in a minute. Just let me go in quickly and make sure she's okay."

Me: "Of course she's okay. We only saw her fifty three seconds ago. What do you think has happened to her in a locked room several feet away in less than a minute?"

DW: "Stop being a twat"

We usually resolve this situation for example by me trying to wrestle DW back down stairs whilst she tries to claw her way up the stairs during which we have an angry (but hushed) conversation along very similar lines to the one above. At some point the child stops crying, we get a large glass of wine each and agree that we'll try to leave her for a bit longer the next evening. It seems to work for us and, hey, DD sleeps through perfectly now!

VictorianSqualor Tue 29-Jul-08 12:02:35

LOL! Something like that he'd take my lead and therte would be no problem. It's just with DS2 he is convinced that his way will stop him being a little shit disobedient, my answer is normally, "It's because he is threeeeeeee"

Acinonyx Tue 29-Jul-08 12:12:39

Tattoo - it has taken a VERY long time to get dh to stop giving dd biscuits (or anything really...) just because she asks. I'm hardly a tough parent - but I'm Attila the Hunette compared to dh [hmmm]

Acinonyx Tue 29-Jul-08 12:17:12

Back to op - just friequently talking through why we want to do things the way we do. Eventually we either compromise, one person changes is persuaded to chnage their parenting, or we just decide that sometimes we will do things differently and she wil just have to deal with it - after all - people are different in real life (she says trying to justify the possible ensuing confusion....).

My long-term battle has been regulating the food she is given. But I have turned the corner and I'm winning wink

Mhamai Tue 29-Jul-08 12:20:38

Don't intentionally mean to be a depressing old bint but as a single parent I'd actually love to have a dp to fight with over parenting styles. Ds age 7 is a lovely lovely spirited little boy but sometimes the strain of being judge jury etc is bloody hard.

Sorry just really having a hard time of it, ds has just pulled bar off back of the bathroom door by swinging on it. Yesterday it was paint all over the back garden.

He really is a good little boy, I'm probably just a crap mum. Give me a dp to fight with over parenting styles. sad Sorry about the slight hi jack.

scattyspice Tue 29-Jul-08 12:24:22

I think all parents struggle with this and there is no answer really except keep discussing things and try to ask yourself 'is this really important?'.
As DCs get older it seems to matter less and they accept that Mum and Dad are different (this is the value of having 2 parents).
We are quite good at stepping in when the other parent has clearly reached the end of their tether,which is important.

OverMyDeadBody Tue 29-Jul-08 12:32:45

Mhamai sorry you are having a tough time of it at the moment.

Funnily enough, as another single parent, I read this thread and thought thank god I don't have to argue over parenting styles with anyone.

OverMyDeadBody Tue 29-Jul-08 12:35:56

and to reply to the op, I agree with scattyspice, as children get older I think they understand that mum and dad have different ways of dealing with things and adapt accordingly, so as long as the differences aren't too extreme it probably doesn't matter much in the long run.

Bink Tue 29-Jul-08 12:44:19

Type of child comes into it too: easy positive likes-to-please child = no parenting squabbles; tricky hard-to-get-through-to child = battleground (unfortunately).

I have one of each of these: dh & I just do not disagree over dd (and if we get near it, dd says "Mummy and Daddy, stop arguing OF COURSE I am going to do my teeth now."), while the dealing-with of ds creates some quite bad tension.

ruddynorah Tue 29-Jul-08 12:45:57

it doesn't bother me that dh and i have different ideas. as long as we don't bicker etc it shows dd that 2 people can think differently but still get on, give and take and all that.

dh is too quick to say no all the time whereas i try to think why she's doing something. i disract whereas he tends to just tell her off. he can't seem to see when she's tired or hungry or bored or whatever and how much this affects behaviour.

OrmIrian Tue 29-Jul-08 12:50:14

Dh is much harder than me. Generally he is a great dad but he can be too strict at times. Usually when too tired which he is most of the time atm. I can also be very shouty and cross but it's rare. And the main difference is that I apologise - DH doesn't see the need.

MumRum Tue 29-Jul-08 12:51:58

my children are 10 and 12.. it doesn't get any easier IMO....
Yesterday I heard DH telling our 10 year old that if he didn't behave he wouldn't be coming on holiday with us... hmm

Flum Tue 29-Jul-08 13:03:52

My DH is a bit softer and supplies sweets and biscuits more readily and often just before a meal.

He has FAB child psychology though as always resolves differences of opinion with young ones so well. I learn alot from that and try to take more time to understand what is wrong than do my usual 'If you continue to do ...... then no stories at bed time' routine.

He always changes his method or cedes to my view though if I bring it up because he says I am the main carer so I get the final vote.

He is very good about it and understands that when you are dealing with kids on a daily basis it can be harder.

All the grandparents are totally soft and let them do whatever they want. I think that is nice for the kids though as it is such a treat to go to Grannies.

I quite like that he gives them sweets and treats and stuff and lets them stay up later etc because it means they don't hassle me for it as they know it won't be forthcoming.

I think its fine to have different parenting styles as long as you back the other one up if something happens to cause an issue. Even if you don't agree, ALWAYS back them up in a crisis! Then discuss it later in private if you really think they were wrong.

VictorianSqualor Tue 29-Jul-08 13:06:56

LOL Mumrum, that's the kind of thing DP would say!

Shannaratiger Tue 29-Jul-08 13:07:13

I'm soo glad I'm not the only one. Dp is stricter than me IMO shouts too loud too quickly.

AIBU to think that a 4 yr old is old enough to go into a kitchen, when cooker is off, to put some rubbish in the bin. Just because his mum ran around after him until he left home adn moved in with me, doesn't mean that I am going to do everything for DD adn DS.

He's also got no concept on what to expect from each age of development. I'm sure he forgets that DS is only one and doesn't delibrately for example press a button on the remote control that happens to change channell. DD 4 si quite capable of getting herself dressed and taking herself to the toilet without me having to 'supervise'

Chooster Tue 29-Jul-08 13:54:08

Victorian - Could have written this myself! Except mid argument I shout at DH "He's only 4 FFS!!!!". DH is lovely really and has fun with the DS's but his method of 'discipline' is to shout, and loudly!! I'm sure he thinks the louder he shouts at DS1 to stop pulling on the door handles as an example, then the more likely he is to stop doing it hmm..... Mmmm, not seen that parenting book on the shelf.

The ironic thing is that DS1 is actually a real angel! of course, he's a 4 year old boy so he has a bundle of energy, but he's really as good as gold. I think the problem is that I see a lot of other 4 yr old kids who are rude and agressive, and by comparison DS1 is a gem but DH doesn't, so I think his expectations are just too high.

Any way I'm not really helping, but just saying that I sympathise... We tend to go in cycles at our house. If DH is tired, stressed then his relationship with DS1 gets worse, so then DS1 mis-behaves with DH more, then DH and I have a massive screaming row about it, we then calm down and talk and I ask DH to read one of my many parenting books. DH agrees.... He's never read a page yet but one day he will grin.

By the way, although DH thinks I am too soft, I know I'm not. I think I am strict about the things that matter (but tell DS1 'no' in a calm non-shouting way), and let him off the things that I dont think are worth getting in a dispute about. DH and I have different standards about these things though, so I guess thats a clashing point. As an example, I wouldn't even consider telling DS1 off about accidently spilling his moonsand on the floor when it could easily be swept up - DH would tell him (in an annoyed tone) that it would get taken away if he spilt any more...

MUMRUM - LOL at your post, DH also threatens the oddest things too with no intention or ability to carry any of it out.

The one thing I do agree with is that, as other posters have said, it does teach them that people handle things in different ways and later in life it will hopefully make them more versatile at dealing with adults who may not always be as gentle as mum.

Sorry for waffling on, but its a topic close to my heart!! smile

Iklboo Tue 29-Jul-08 13:55:25

DH is Captain Cave-in - he gives into DS just for a 'quiet life'.

gingerninja Tue 29-Jul-08 14:07:16

Me and DH have different parenting styles with me being much stricter and more likely to tell DD off.

However, I'm not sure it's necessarily a bad thing to have a different style. So his approach may not win in the end but he's happy because he's dealt with it in the way he feels confident and if he doesn't get the results he wants maybe he'll think before applying that style again. I do try and adopt the good parts of DH's style but sometimes they're too wishy washy for me. I won't negotiate for 10 mins with DD to put her trousers on for example.

If my DH told me to read a parenting book, I'd probably throw it at him. We've all got different personalities and the way we approach challenges are bound to be different but that doesn't make it wrong.

Chooster Tue 29-Jul-08 15:31:08

Understand what you are saying gingerninja, and basically I do agree that there is nothing wrong with different paretning styles, but I think its wrong to shout at a child as much as my DH does - so do I just sit back? Not sure what the answer is, but I take your point that you would be pissed off if your DP asked you to read a parenting book grin. I guess I dont look at things from DH's point of view and I probably do under-mine him (not in front of the kids, but by critising his style in private).

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