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What to Do When Your Parenting Styles Don't Mesh

Kelly Bos

 PHOTO CREDIT: Creative Common

PHOTO CREDIT: Creative Common


Lately there has been more popularity in using animal metaphors to describe the modern day parenting styles. Tiger parents are known to be the ones in control, like helicopter parents, and are often keen for their child's success. Dolphin parents want to nurture and guide their children with a nice balance of expectations and some flexibility. You might see yourself in one or more of these categories, depending on the situation, your comfort level, culture and how you were raised. 

When the two parents have different approaches, arguments about parenting styles can be intense. Why? Because it is more than an argument about best parenting practices, it is an argument about identity and everything you are. 

When your styles aren't lining up there are things you can do. 

Focus on the positive

Two people with two different ideas can come together and find excellent and well informed ideas that work for them. Think of ways to harvest the best from two practices. What is some good that can be created here? Your laid back approach might compliment their loving intensity and you can learn and grow! It is a chance to look at the many skills, knowledge and parenting ideas, bring them to the table and discuss best practices for your family.

We often slip in and out of roles and aren't always a tiger about all things or a dolphin in all areas. Also, keep the end goal in mind for what you want for your children. What do you want them to learn from the style, discipline tactic or schedule you are choosing?

Start Talking Early

The earlier you have these conversations the better...