When Parenting Styles Clash

Ask the Experts by Marla Ruhana

Q: My husband and I were so compatible while dating and through our early years of marriage. Now that we are parents, we clash and seem to be drifting apart. We don't see eye to eye on parenting choices. What can we do to work together as parents and spouses? 

A: I empathize with your current struggle but I am confident it is a bump in the road. Many couples differ initially as they enter relationships with varying learned behaviors from their childhood. People can also be quite stubborn and rigid in their thinking as it relates to their children.

My advice to couples in this situation is to examine their parenting styles from other perspectives, almost like viewing grandmother's recipe "take what you like and leave the rest."

It is hard when we want to keep tradition and emulate our parents' styles - if it worked for us it should work for our kids. But understand that your spouse is also coming from that perspective. 

With communication, shared goals and a good parenting plan that blends your two perspectives, you can work together to find a compromise and make parenting together a joy instead of a chore. If anger and resentment become prevalent it may be time to find outside help to work through the issues.

Learn more about parenting together at two upcoming events:

Save the Dates

When Parenting Styles Clash
Presented by The Family Center Wednesday, September 21, 7pm

A Mindfulness Approach to Parenting
Presented by The Family Center Wednesday, October 5, 7pm Miller Hall at Christ Church of Grosse Pointe, 61 Grosse Pointe Blvd, Grosse Pointe Farms

Register in advance for complimentary dinner at 6pm and childcare.

FREE, Register online at the familycenterweb.org calendar or call 313.432.3832

Marla K Ruhana, LMSW, is a psychotherapist in private practice. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Wayne State University where she has taught classes on grief and loss. Ruhana can be reached at 586-891-4701. She is a member of The Family Center's Association of Professionals.

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