Do you and your partner have different parenting styles? If so, you’re in good company.
It comes up all the time and I mean all the time:
“How do my partner and I get onto the same parenting page?”
One parent is too kind and the other too firm, and they push each other, ever farther to extremes, by compensating for the other’s “weakness.”
I’ll share some Do’s and Don’ts below but I admit that the VERY best way to get closer to the same parenting page is to take a class together.
Some of you have done this . . . Congratulations! I bet you’ll say it was well worth the investment.
If you haven’t, consider enrolling together in Parenting with Positive Discipline class.
2nd Caregivers (partners, babysitters, grandparents, etc.) qualify for a wildly discounted rate. And I mean WILDLY discounted!
How do you increase the odds that your partner will accept the invitation to take a class? Here are a few ideas:
- Just ask. For example, “It would mean a lot to me if you’d consider attending a parenting class with me. Will you?” Remember that “no” is a valid answer to a request. It’s OK! You’ve done your part and you can feel good about that.
- Put a flyer on the toilet seat or their pillow ( ;
- Negotiate a compromise. For example, “If you’d do this for me, I’d be willing to do something meaningful for you. What would you like in exchange?”
- Remind your partner that they can attend from the comfort of their own home or office (if enrolled in the Virtual version of the class), and can watch the recordings if they miss a class.
Can’t take a class? Here are some tips to get closer to the same parenting page.
- Model, as much as you can, the kind of parenting behavior you hope for (this is HUGELY powerful!)
- When one parent is in charge, let them take the wheel, and address it privately later.
- Listen to your partner’s perspective and validate their feelings.
- Let the little stuff go.
- Ask if your partner is open to suggestions before offering them.
- Ask if your partner would like to pass the baton / take a break in a heated parenting moment.
- Ask your partner (or nanny, etc.) if they’d be willing to read an article or chapter of a book.
- Share an audio recording or podcast that they can listen to while driving or exercising (got some good ones below.)
- Put an article on their pillow with a note asking them to read it.
- Undermine your partner publicly.
- Preach to or criticize your partner.
- Try to resolve the problem when you’re angry. Do take time to calm down first.
- Argue about discipline methods in front of your children.
- Quote the book / tell partner about all the research you’ve read.
- Allow children to pit you against each other.
What other Do’s and Don’ts would you add? I’d love to hear them – please leave a comment below!
Audio/Video Resources to share with your partner (or yourself)
Here are few terrific interviews that I’ve given recently. Great to listen to while driving or exercising!
THE MAMA TRUTH SHOW with Amy Ahlers – an interview where I share how Positive Discipline is so much more than “behavior management.”
POSITIVE DISCIPLINE BOOK STUDY with Kelly Pfeiffer – a Q&A where Kelly and I share answers to common parenting questions.
JOYFUL COURAGE PARENTING PODCAST with Casey O’Roarty — I’m interviewed about how modern research and neuroscience are backing up the principles behind Positive Discipline.
5 CRITERIA FOR POSITIVE DISCIPLINE – a free introductory Positive Discipline Teleclass I facilitated a few years ago.
I hope you enjoy these recordings! Please feel free to share with friends, too.
I’m on your side! (And your side, too!)
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