My Partner Doesn’t like My Parenting: Now What?

by on November 4th, 2010
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Clearly, being that I write parenting advice articles for a living, I feel I’m a good parent. I was rather shocked then when at one point in our relationship my husband implied otherwise. He didn’t, of course, come right on out and say, “You’re a bad mom,” but he did convey that he felt our children walked all over me and I let them get away with anything they wanted– to me that equated to being called a bad parent. Naturally, what ensued was a rather emotional and heated argument which could have been avoided. In your own relationship if you have kids, chances are there are going to be parental ideas and views that just don’t match up. I’ve always held strong to the motto that there is no right or wrong way to parent, but I recognize that there are lots of right ways. Sometimes my right way differs from my husband’s right way. The question is, what do you do when one partner feels the other partner’s parenting right is wrong?

Hear what’s being said, not what you feel is being said.

First, I know all too well that when your parenting is being called into question it is easy to quickly become offended and not hear a single word of what’s being said. It’s important that you try to ignore your emotional response enough to really listen to what is being said and why. You need to know the problem if you want to work through it, and you may even find there is no problem after all, just a misunderstanding.

Keep your eye on the child.

Second, recognize that parenting is about raising kids, not ideals. Parents fighting constantly or harboring resentment over the way their children are being raised by the other parent, isn’t any good for the kids being raised. No matter how much you and your mate’s views differ, or how insulted you feel, you need to work past this and find a solid compromise for your kids.

Try not to be insulted.

I felt hypocritical just typing that, because the first thing I always do when someone even sniffs at my parenting skills in disapproval is get offended and defensive. You’re partner loves you, and chances are they are legitimately concerned about their children for one reason or another and not just taking jabs at a particularly soft spot for parents. Whether you feel that reason is valid or not, you should hear it out, and address it. It’s far better for you to communicate with your partner, than to let those feelings about inadequate parenting simmer.

You may also enjoy:

4 Tips to Handle Power Struggles in a Relationship with Kids

Balancing Time in a Relationship with Kids

Why Arguing in Front of Kids is OK


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