When Parenting Styles Clash

When Parenting Styles Clash

Are you a couple with different viewpoints and wondering what to do when parenting styles clash? It is a known fact that our personal experiences define our traits and thoughts. After all, as humans, we learn from what we experienced with our parents and others around us.

All of these events define our approach towards what perfect parenting should be. Other factors include culture, religion, family lives, social settings, financial conditions, and norms in our surroundings.

Consequences When Parenting Styles Clash  

Whatever the reason you may have to justify your parenting approach, you must always remember that your child is at the receiving end of it. When parenting styles clash, it creates an environment of confusion and contradiction for the young ones.

You have to remember to be a role model for your children as a parent. Your behavior, words, and actions are going to define the behavioral guidelines for them. Send a mixed message, and you will end up putting your children through a mental conflict, i.e., which one of you to listen to and whom to ignore.

Constant clashes of parenting approach, decision making, and establishing house rules can sometimes result in children suffering from aggression, anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses.

Therefore, you must always aim to send consistent signals to your young ones as parents. Even when you may not see eye-to-eye on certain affairs, there is no need to create a hostile or unpleasant event out of it in front of children. That is a big no-no. 

Source:   Scattered Quotes

Does it affect You and Your Partner? 

Of course, it does – when parenting styles clash, it can lead to a full-blown argument. It has nothing to do with how much you love your partner or whether you disagree with their point of view. You have to come to a mutual agreement on some ground rules for your children, i.e., acceptable behavior, manners, rewards, and consequences.

Suppose one of you has an authoritative parenting style, and the other has an "anything goes" kind of attitude. This can create a massive conflict in how you approach the discipline in your kids' life.

For example, you believe in discipline and wish to establish strict ground rules, but your partner continues to give children leniency when you are not around.

This will undermine your position in front of the kids. And they may develop certain social, educational, and behavioral problems, including defiance, selfishness, unstable and violent actions, etc. Moreover, you may even develop certain discontentment towards how your partner is treating you in this relationship.

After all, you are a parent trying to do what is best for your kids, but this kind of behavior can make you come across as a villain in the entire story, right?

Therefore, you need to sit down with your partner and establish some ground rules amongst yourself on what kind of parenting approach you will both follow. Moreover, it would help if you also discuss a strategy about how you will handle a situation when parenting styles clash.

A disagreement between both parents can lead to several behavioral problems in your children. There are three basic types of parenting styles authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved. Being an uninvolved parent in your child's grooming and upbringing is the worst thing you can do. It may also make your other half feel abandoned to handle everything on their own.

Authoritative and permissive parenting styles have a clash. The former is all about rules, rewards, and punishment, and the latter enforces the importance of love, care, and affection.

Whichever combination you and your partner have, you need to make each other see the other's point of view. The permissive partner may see an authoritative approach as abusive, whereas the authoritative partner may see the permissive parent as a bad influence.

Let these conflicts fly, and you have a psychologically stressful and confusing environment for the children. 

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How to Handle Clashing Parenting Style

Communication is the key to resolving every conceptual clash, whether parenting or other issues in a relationship. You must try to explain why you have a certain take on how to parent the kids. Chances are, your parents' style of parenting defined your take on how to raise your kids.

Discuss your past experiences with your partner; try to convince them. Similarly, please encourage them to talk about their upbringing and what contributed towards creating their parenting perspective. Listen to each other, understand, and empathize.

You do not have to agree on everything, but be civil about it and agree to disagree on specific points. After all, it is all about finding the right balance and middle-ground for the betterment of your kids.

When parenting styles clash, you must always remember that you are a team. Plus, it would be best to keep your children's wishes and thoughts under consideration, especially as they grow up. It would be wiser to improvise and adapt your parenting rules as your children grow up. 

The Right Balance is the Key  

Let us agree to one thing when parenting styles clash; your child will be at the receiving end of consequences without any wrongdoing. Do you think it is fair on that little soul?

Remember, it is always about finding the right balance between how strict and lenient you must be in your parenting style. You can maintain a certain authority without alienating your child. And for that, you must display certain bonding and ease not only with your children but also with your partner.

Therefore, both of you can neither be completely authoritarian, not entire lenient; both extremes are not going to help. Moreover, when parenting styles clash, you have to agree to disagree with each other at times.

This will help you convey a positive message to your children that you are on the same page and what one parent says has 100 percent consent of the other one as well. 


In case you are struggling with situations when parenting styles clash in your household, always seek professional help. Undermining each other's authority in front of your kids is not only bad for your relationship, but it may mentally scar your child for life. Seek a counselor or therapist to help you and your partner bridge that communication and understanding gap in your children's best interest.  

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April 17th, 2024

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