What Parenting Styles Will Work in Your Marriage?
Raising children is no easy task. There are peaks and valleys… times when things are going great, and times when you wish you could run away and hide from it all… (But of course, my daughter will find me). I often look to my upbringing as a basis for how my daughter should be raised. However, my husband does not share those same values. Our upbringings are like day and night, and many times, this causes conflict in how our child should be brought up. Learning to compromise took years, a lot of gray hairs, and a few drinks… but in the end, it was all worth it.
Identifying Parenting Styles
So the first thing we had to do was really evaluate our parenting styles. While there were only three main styles of parenting, by identifying which style we most closely related to, we were able to find common ground. The main, three parenting styles are authoritarian, permissive and democratic.
This type of parent is said to have a lot of control over their children. They have strict rules that must be followed at all times. This parenting style believes in punishments as opposed to positive reinforcement.
A permissive parent is one who allows their child a bit more freedom in the control department. Children have fewer boundaries and are allowed to make decisions on their own.
The democratic parent is a balance between the two parenting styles above. They have rules that they expect their children to follow. However, instead of punishment, they believe in positive reinforcement. Punishments are only used in instances where the children must be taught a lesson about undesirable behaviors.
The Big Difference
As it turns out, my husband was the authoritarian parent and I was the democratic parent. I grew up in a home where we were given rules and rewarded for following them, whereas he grew up in a household where what his parents said was the law and failure to comply meant… well getting a whopping.
So while I thought my husband was the warden of some prison, he thought I was a push-over allowing our daughter to get away with everything. We’d argue all the time, until we talked with our counselor. You see, as it turns out, a couple doesn’t have to have the same parenting style. As long as we can find ways to compromise, we can raise our daughter appropriately.
Alright, now we knew where our differences lied and simply needed to learn how to mesh the two together. We sat down and wrote down our beliefs on paper. I believed in rules, rewards and punishments when necessary. He believed in rules and punishments when rules were broken. After reviewing our beliefs, we found that we both had one thing in common…Rules.
After finding our common beliefs, we decided to create the house rules together. If our daughter broke these rules, we would essentially punish her by taking away a privilege. If she followed the rules for a week, we would reward her. We took my husband’s old school beliefs of getting a whopping off the table and agreed that with our daughter, she didn’t push us to those limits.
Fast-forward about a year, and we are doing pretty well. Sure there are times where the “warden” or the “pushover” comes out, but essentially, we are on the same page and doing a great job raising our daughter.
If you and your spouse or fiancé are dealing with parenting issues, it is best to work them out. When it comes down to it, the only person that should really matter is your child and how it’s affecting them.