View Full Version : When you and DP differ on child-rearing philosophies...

10-10-2006, 09:54 PM
...what do you do? The "Stop Saying Good Job" thread got me thinking about this one. I am a SAHM and take my job very seriously. DH tends to defer to my judgement on most parenting issues and takes my seeminly constant "corrections" to his parenting strategies pretty well. But we really do differ on some child-rearing philosophies.

For instance, I have taken issue with him saying "bad DS" to our toddler. It doesn't happen often but I've always asked him not to say that when it does (to which he rolls his eyes...whole lot of childish stuff in this household.) I can just imagine if I told him to stop praising DS so much.

There are lots of other things I do as a parent that I know, if DH was a SAHD, would do differently (mostly AP/natural living things.) It has not been a big issue for us, since as I said, he tends to just let me run the show. But I do wish we could be more a unified front and that I could get a little more support from him in my parenting choices.

So, I'm wondering, do you and DP tend to agree on parenting philosophies/strategies and if not, how do you handle that?

10-10-2006, 10:17 PM
We actually do agree on most things. The things that we differ on, we talk about. If I feel extremely strong about something, and can put up a good arguement we reconsider. Same goes for him. Sometimes we end up in a stalemate and will research it to decide what is best.

Our jobs as parents is to do it a little better than our parents did...and go from there!

10-10-2006, 11:03 PM
For now we generally do. I think we disagree on spanking. I want to avoid it if at all possible, Dh thinks there are times when it can be used effectively without negatives. But I think our disagreement comes from our very different experiences with spanking in our childhood. And for now it simply isn't an issue because Dora's not at the point where the question of spanking has come up. Other than that I think Dh defers to me simply by default because I'm a SAHM.

10-11-2006, 12:05 AM
DH and I disagree on things like that, too. I try to not nag DH, but I do. But note that these are small differences of parenting strategies. Differences in bigger issues (spanking, allowance, paying for college, ect) would warrent a real conversation about values and importance. Does that make sense?

mommy to Kaylin 6/5/04


and one on the way, due 2/26/07

10-11-2006, 12:10 AM
We really went through the DH defers to me and still do in alot of ways, but we recently went though the "bad girl" thing... I didn't say anything at the time of course and then later talked to him about it... I try really hard not to be the "I am right, you are wrong" mother and usually we discuss it and he usually sees where he is wrong...
I think "we" parent like "I" parent, make sense? For now I am fine with that... When they get older, we will see... I usually feel like I am flying by the seat of my pants...

Madeline and Emily's Mom
1/20/03 11/29/05

10-11-2006, 09:31 AM
We agree on all the biggies. He is the SAHP and has great parenting instincts. I, however, do the research. If we do disagree on something, we talk about it until he realizes I'm right, LOL. (Actually, I'm not kidding.)
mama to my cutie pie, Avery

10-11-2006, 09:36 AM
I've come to accept the fact that DH and I parent differently. Matt knows it too. If DH does something I don't approve of, we talk it over and he rethinks his position.

Our big issue has been with spanking. He spanked Matt once and I told him if he ever did it again, Matt and I were leaving and wouldn't be back. I don't care what the reason is, there's no excuse for striking another human being.

10-11-2006, 09:43 AM
Honestly, I don't think I'd deal well if we didn't agree on parenting philosophies. But, luckily, DH and I are in sync. We both attend AP meetings, he's a SAHD, and we both read a lot. We also talk a lot about how to approach something when DD exhibits a new behavior or change.

I know many, many people can be married to people with whom they do not share fundamental beliefs (spiritual, political, parenting, etc.) but I fully admit I am not one of them. DH and I are so fundamentally alike even though we view and react to the world very differently. We often joke that we share a brain.


10-11-2006, 09:46 AM
Not in philosophies as such, but on practical stuff we do. How/where DS will spend next summer is the big disagreement of the day, for example.

10-11-2006, 11:04 AM
We mostly agree on philosophy. He's not always sure about the strategies, and when he is sure he often has trouble actually doing it.

I don't correct him in the moment if I can help it. (i.e., there was one 5 am incident where he yelled at the top of his voice, she burst into tears, and I said "I agree with her completely", and she and I tearily left the room -- nobody's best moment-- but mostly I leave it be until later unless I can think of a non-confrontational way that won't be evident to DD). It's hard, because he actually learns best from seeing something work, but maybe, just maybe, eventually he'll learn that I give him slack when he's too upset to hear something and he needs to do the same for DD. His conscious mind is completely, entirely opposed to parenting the way he was parented, but the unconscious voices are very strong, and they say the stupidest things. (Like "Crying because you didn't get what you want is inappropriate". Well, yeah. But she's 2.5 -- that's not a reasonable place to draw that line. I'm good with crying, as long as we avoid shrieking, throwing things, and hitting or biting anything animate, which, frankly, she's only about 90% on.)

I try to present arguments he understands -- analogies with how he'd feel, for instance. Mostly it works, in that he agrees with me, but some things he just has immense trouble *doing*.

10-11-2006, 11:14 AM
We disagree a LOT. DH is very old school and thinks that's okay. I disagree with many of the things he says and does. Usually, if I explain why, he changes. However, sometimes he doesn't. That used ot bother me a lot, but not as much any more. The long and short of it is that my children know they are intensely loved. If we screw up and make some bad parenting choices, well, that's a given. As long as we make our choices out of love for our child, I'm willing to gamble that things will turn out okay in the end.

In fact, I'm willing to venture that the number of mistakes we make are pretty darn equal to everyone else. It's just that the choices, and mistakes, are different ones.

Mom to Truman 11/01 and Eleanor 4/04

10-11-2006, 11:54 AM
We disagree a lot too...mostly because I'm out researching the latest stuff an DH is all about 'well it worked for our parents'...but I've come to the thinking (personally, for our situation) that child-rearing is not all about the latest research and sometimes you just go with the flow based on your kids and their personalities and yours('stop saying good job thread' for example). Also in our situation, since we are not originally from here a lot of stuff that I read or may think interesting to implement does not necessarily go with our cultural background. DH and I tend to do a lot better when pick my battles on what I consider REALLY important.

10-11-2006, 01:06 PM
With an exeption of couple article that I e-mailed to him DH has not read about parenting but most of the time he either knows intuitively what to do or agrees with my researched approach. It's becoming harder as 1) DS got older and is exposed to more things that I oppose, and 2) I went back to work. I am having more trouble explaining to DH whose parents used to put him in front of TV every Saturday morning why a certain cartoon (Disney's Jungle, 1+ hr long) is not OK for DS to watch, while another one (Karlson, 20 mins) is fine. Explaining things like that works but we are having real disagreement over some other issues such as use of babysitters (DH is pushing for more 'couple time' than I am comfortable with) that are seriously effecting our relationship.

10-11-2006, 01:44 PM
We had a discussion about this ages ago, when we moved in with the ILs the first time and I was having huge issues being the SAHM with absolutely no authority over squat when anyone else was home...

What worked was for me to emphasize that as SAHM, it is my job to figure out how best to deal with parenting things, from eating to discipline right on down the line, and whether he (or the ILs) agree with me makes no difference - for DS's sake, we all have to be on the same page.

We still have a lot of disagreements on discipline, especially as DS gets older and craftier, but for the most part DH defers to me on the assumption I've dealt with whatever behavior before, and might know something that works.

10-11-2006, 01:51 PM
We're very much in sync. When I was pg and first got interested in attachment parenting, etc. I figured DH would think I was nuts ;) because he was raised very, very differently than that type of approach. We talked a lot about parenting before DS was born, and we quickly found ourselves in agreement on the important stuff.

I get a chance to read more about psychology, child development, etc. than he does and I also have a professional background that encompasses some of that. We talk over things regularly and he shows a genuine interest in what we talk about. If it is something particularly interesting, he asks me to send him links, information, etc. and he'll read it on his own or we'll take time and talk about it. I really enjoy that aspect of things.

I think it would be hard for me if my spouse and I differed on the big stuff. Very hard. I think kids are adaptable and can handle differing approaches though, within reason.

Our overall parenting philosophy is very much the same, but sometimes we execute the practical aspect a bit differently. If either of us struggles with how to handle a specific behavior, etc. we often talk about it afterward and try to come up w/ an approach to use next time.

10-11-2006, 09:01 PM
Honestly, this is a huge issue for us as we have very different philosophies. I had no idea how different they were until DS was born. DH thought DS should sleep through the night from day one and wanted me to just let him cry it out from the beginning. I fought him so much just to be able to go in and comfort and feed a crying newborn. That kind of set the stage for how things have gone since. I'm rubbing off on DH, but often the things he does drive me crazy.

I recently tried to get him to read a book that really sums up my parenting philosophy. He started reading it but declared that he just couldn't get into it and returned it to the library. Now I'm really not sure where to go from here. If he does something that I don't agree with, I try to wait until DS is out of earshot and talk to him about it. I don't have advice, as I have a very difficult time with the situation.

10-11-2006, 10:24 PM
We generally agree about most things as far as what is and is not okay. We are not spankers (truth be told, if either one of us was to spank it would probably be me even though I am against it. He just has much more patience than I do--but then again I am with DD 24 7 and he gets to leave!), we set up our house so it is a toddler-friendly as possible, and take a developmental approach to parenting. (meaning we think about things in a developmental context--what is she trying to accomplish, how can we create an opportunity to do that in an acceptable way, etc) I've read more, but that is how we are--I read about everything and he just flies by the seat of his pants. It is a wonder how we end up in the same place.

Still, I think there will be disagreements as time goes on since we are both pretty opinionated. The good thing is that neither of us feels totally correct about anything parenting-wise, so we are not afraid to try new things or swich the plan midstream. If DH wanted to handle a situation a certain way, I'd probably go for it, at least for a while, to see what happens. To be fair, DD is still pretty young, so we haven't come to any huge crossroads yet.

10-12-2006, 12:34 PM
"How To Listen So Kids Will Talk and Talk So Kids Will Listen" (or maybe it's the other way around, I always forget) is short, practical, and has cartoons. And has more to do with general parenting philosophy than you'd think.

The other one I think I'm about to succeed in getting DH to read is "Time Out for Parents". Again, it's short and it has pictures.

If I say to DH "I think you'll like this one, it's short and it has pictures", he sulks for days. If I say "try this" and hand him something short with pictures, he says "Hey, I think I can cope with this one. It's not so heavy."

As DD gets older, it's gotten a bit easier, because he can see that I'm not making it up when I claim that things are developmental and they will get better.

10-13-2006, 07:42 PM
Thanks for the suggestions! I'm writing those down.