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do you have to merge parenting styles or can you each do your own thing?

(5 Posts)
makipuppy Sat 15-Aug-09 13:28:16

Our baby is due next week. It's our first, and of we've been talking a lot about parenting. We always knew we agreed on the fundamentals, but after having taken DP's nieces and nephews on holiday for the past 3 years, I'm pretty sure we'll come to blows on some behavioural issues.

During his entire childhood, he cannot remember ever being told off shock. I, on the other hand, remember little else..

For example, the nieces and nephews see DP as the cool uncle, and they happily swear and say quite rude things in front of him. DP finds this normal. I can cope with swearing for comedic effect but not when directed at other people - the 16 year old nephew said 'stupid bitch' about a woman in the street when we were in the car and DP didn't say anything although he did back me up when I said I didn't want to hear things like that.

I realise I'm not going to give birth to a teenager (although we might adopt nephew aged 11) and I've had a very traditional childhood, but how does this work?

He would be the first to admit his boundary-less childhood made life very difficult for him - he succeeded because he made himself work hard, the remainder of his family didn't fare as well, so it's kind of an issue...

LynetteScavo Sat 15-Aug-09 13:32:22

As long as your DH is backing you up, you should be OK.

My DH has always followed my lead,(he was over told off as a child IMO) and has backed me up, although after 10 years he does seemed to have found his "parneting feet"

I always say go with your gut instinct when parenting

Tortington Sat 15-Aug-09 13:33:31

fro my experience - i set the parenting standard.

my standard is followed by dh - he goes from practically horizontal stoned parenting to victorian workhouse parenting - its like two different ends of a scale

i favour a more steady approach - laying out the rules and boundries for the children that we both use

we have also had numerous chats over the years regarding punishemtns

he has EASILY doled out 'you're grounded for 3 weeks' for something imo didn't deserve 3 weeks

and who has then got a kid round them for three bloody weeks? me!

its trail and error.

we also like to apologise as parents.

so if we go overboard with the shouting

or hysteria (me) we say sorry

we also say sorry if we are wrong. and i think that it is uber important

Miggsie Sat 15-Aug-09 17:08:20

I'm a parent now but from my nanny days I learned that: you have to back each other up!
You MUST be consistent. The biggest problems are caused when the child realsies one parent will say "no" to something, but if they run to the other, they will say "yes". Then they play you off against one another.

Also, if your partner (or the mother when I was a nanny) makes a decision and tells the child something, even if you disagree with them, you do not say so in front of the child. All discussions of this type must happen away from the child. So DH did soemthing the other day and I thought it was too harsh, but I spoke to him after DD was in bed and we agreed the next time we would deal with it a bit differently.

The other big one is the parents should not undermine one another. If one parent (like me) is rabidly anit-lollipops for example (I hate the things) then the other parent has to respect this and NOT buy such an item (or allow a certain behaviour) saying "don't tell mummy" or "don't tell daddy". This effectively says to the child "mummy's views don't count, lets do soemthing she doesn't like behind her back."

As to the swearing thing, if you don't like it or the lack of respect for other people then say to your DH "I don't want my child being rude and unkind" and he will probably see your point.

I expect your DH, like an awful lot of men, will follow your lead in the parenting styles. I know a couple where the father disagrees quite a bit with his wife's style but never says anything (to her, to me he says quite a bit).

Your DH also might be very different when it is his OWN child!

makipuppy Sun 16-Aug-09 12:48:30

Thanks! Yes, I think DP will be different with his own child - I'm basing my post on looking after other people's children for a couple of weeks - not much point trying to change them!

Miggsie, I've seen the playing off thing going on with friend's kids - so so naughty!

I suppose we have a long while ahead of us to learn our style..

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