When mom and dad disagree on discipline
Our partners from Focus on the Family share tips for when mom and dad have different views on discipline.
Every individual is unique, but fathers and mothers do tend to display two distinct styles of parenting – the male and the female. This can sometimes lead to conflicts and disagreements between husband and wife, especially when it comes to the topic of discipline.
Many parents struggle with this issue. Most of us naturally see our way as the right way. Every husband and wife must realize that both the mom way of parenting and the dad way of parenting are good. By working together, you can arrive at the healthy and proper balance your children need.
Generally speaking, men are more black¬-and-white and rule-oriented in the way they handle discipline. More often than not, they adopt the modus operandi of a policeman in dealing with misbehavior. Mothers, on the other hand, are more likely to take extenuating circumstances into consideration and adapt their correctional measures to the situation at hand – to say, for instance, “Johnny’s over-tired tonight, so we can overlook his crankiness this time around.”
Moms have a tendency to coddle and protect their youngsters. They see the rest of the world in terms of their children. Dads, by way of contrast, see their children in the context of the world and try to prepare them to face the challenges of real life. They are more inclined to let a child fail or fall down in hopes that he’ll learn something useful from the experience.
The fact of the matter is that kids need both a mother’s and a father’s input. Both are right and necessary. At the same time, both can lead to negative excesses if each isn’t tempered by the other. There’s a time for Mom to let her child suffer the consequences of bad behavior no matter how much it hurts. There’s also a time for Dad to “give the kid a break” no matter how unjust it may seem. Having said this, there are exceptions and certain fathers and mothers play the roles in reverse.
The important thing to remember is that when you have differences of opinion concerning discipline or about things your kids should or should not be allowed to do, take some time to discuss your concerns and give reasons for your respective convictions. Be open to the possibility that your spouse may have something to teach you in this area. Your assignment is to respect one another and work in tandem to complement each other in the application of discipline and correction.
With that in mind, it is best mothers and fathers work together, consult with one another, respect their differences, and do everything they can to fashion a balanced approach to child discipline.
Do you have other suggestions on handling differences of opinion regarding discipline? Do share them with us!
Used with permission from Focus on the Family Singapore. For more information on family life resources and workshops, visit www.family.org.sg.
© 2015 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.