No two people parent in the same way. Each of us grew up in different environments and experienced things differently. While we may secretly wish our spouse parented more as we do, this is impossible. Even though it may be challenging when two people differ on how to raise their children and how to discipline them, we must be mindful that God places us together, as couples, for a purpose. Our parenting styles may be different, but we can work harmoniously.
Each parent has their own strengths and weaknesses. God knew this when He placed us together. While we may have many similarities and values as our spouse does, there may be some key areas in which we differ. These differences aren’t necessarily a bad thing, though. Looked at in its proper context, it is an opportunity for parents to capitalize on each other’s strengths, co-parent together, and an opportunity to create a unified front.
How does parenting together work when we seem so different?
Differences don’t have to be seen as opposition. They aren’t when you recognize that your spouse may have more insight into a situation or experience. Often, we want to do things on our own or we want to feel empowered in raising our children. However, sometimes we inadvertently leave our spouses out of the equation.
God gave us this person for a reason. They often have characteristics we don’t have. This isn’t a bad thing if you can figure out how to rely on the other person and operate in harmony. Yet, this is the biggest challenge that couples face – how to work cohesively.
Capitalizing on Different Parenting Styles
When it comes to parenting styles, couples need to identify what style each of them uses. While we may be a combination of styles, we tend to have a dominant one. Each style comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.
When you examine yours and contrast them objectively with your spouse, you may find areas that they are stronger in. You may need to recognize this and use this advantageously in your parenting styles. God never intended for just one person to parent their children. It was designed to be a group effort because children benefit and thrive in an environment of male/female influences.
If you are a single parent, you can learn your own unique style. Perhaps there isn’t another person in the equation and you are raising kids alone. This isn’t a bad thing. It is realizing what areas you are not necessarily strong in and creating a well-rounded balance in a parenting style. It may also be finding a positive influence in your child’s life that balances it out like a mentor.
For co-parenting situations, you will need to work together for the benefit of the children. A Disney parent style cannot exist as all it will do is create drama. No one benefits in this situation. There needs to be clear communications and expectations. You are joined together- whether you like it or not – by the children. You may as well learn to work together the best way you can for their advantage.
What is my Style?
Our August issues will discuss various parenting styles. It will go over the advantages and disadvantages of each informing you about how to capitalize on each. Learn your strengths and use them for the harmony of the home. When you learn how to lean on your spouse’s wisdom, it will also grow you stronger as a team – whether you are together or not. Your kids need a unified front as they need it for security, and eventually, they will be parents themselves.
Show them the best, godliest example no matter what your situation. A firm foundation will always put them ahead.