How to get both parents on the same page with discipline?

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz  January 30, 2012 06:00 AM

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My husband and I are not on the same page when it comes to parenting styles and our approaches to dealing with everyday situations. We have two children, 5 and 6. Are there therapists that deal strictly with helping parents work through parenting issues and provide advice on how best to handle typical parent/child situations?

From: AMH, Metro West, MA


Dear AMH,

Researchers say parents fall into one of four distinct styles of parenting, authoritarian, authoritative, permissive and neglectful. (Read this for my fuller interpretation of each.)

It's not necessary for parents to have the same styles, in fact, different styles can complement each other. What is important is that parents are respectful of each other's style, not actively undermining each other and, in fact, working toward compromise. Good for you for recognizing that you need help to get to a better place. When parents disagree in these basic ways, it obviously can be bad for the marriage and also for the kids. Good for you for recognizing that you need help to get to a better place.

The Successful Parent is a good resource. The Children's Trust Fund, Families First Parenting Programs both offer parenting workshops in your area.

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1 comments so far...
  1. Great response. Studies by Philip Cowan out of University of California, Berkley affirms your point about how disagreeing parents can be detrimental to kids. One Cowan study emphasized a good martial relationship will foster a father’s involvement with his children. As a family counselor I also applaud this couple for seeking a way to parent harmoniously. Their children are fortunate. Gary M Unruh MSW, Author

    Posted by Gary M Unruh (@CounselorGary) January 31, 12 09:50 PM
 
1 comments so far...
  1. Great response. Studies by Philip Cowan out of University of California, Berkley affirms your point about how disagreeing parents can be detrimental to kids. One Cowan study emphasized a good martial relationship will foster a father’s involvement with his children. As a family counselor I also applaud this couple for seeking a way to parent harmoniously. Their children are fortunate. Gary M Unruh MSW, Author

    Posted by Gary M Unruh (@CounselorGary) January 31, 12 09:50 PM
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About the author

Barbara F. Meltz is a freelance writer, parenting consultant, and author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World." She won several awards for her weekly "Child Caring" column in the Globe, including the 2008 American Psychological Association Print Excellence award. Barbara is available as a speaker for parent groups.

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Barbara answers questions on a wide range of topics, including autism, breastfeeding, bullying, discipline, divorce, kindergarten, potty training, sleep, tantrums, and much, much more.

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