How to Work out Parenting Disagreements between Spouses

Parenting disagreements between spouses can put a real strain on a marriage. Both parents love their children, and each is convinced that their view of how to handle a particular problem or issue is the correct one.

Parenting disagreements can even lead to divorce. If spouses don’t take the time to constructively work toward resolving parenting disagreements, the positions of both spouses can become entrenched. Bitterness ensues, with each spouse blaming the other, and because each one loves their children, one or the other is likely to feel at some point, that the children need protection from the other spouse.

The spouses, in these cases, will often become primarily bonded, not to the other spouse, as they should be, but to their children. They then can wind up villainizing the other spouse, blaming them for everything that’s wrong with the marriage, or the children’s well-being.

Here’s how you can work out parenting disagreements with your spouse before they lead to irreconcilable ones.

First, remember that, compared with losing a loving unified home, the damage that may be caused to your children by your spouse’s different idea of what’s best for them is likely trivial; even assuming you’re right, and your spouse is wrong. Placing things in perspective this way often leads you to discover that you’ve been fighting over nothing, and resolves things right there.

But, if you do see the issue as truly important, focus on the issue not on your spouse. Say, you want your children to attend summer camp – they want to go, they’ll learn outdoor activities, and you, quite frankly, could use a week’s break – but your husband had a bad experience at a summer camp and doesn’t want to send them.

Instead of arguing with your spouse about whether to send the kids or not, stick to talking about summer camp only, and the costs, activities, and so on associated with it. Don’t discuss whether or not the kids should go, just discuss the issue generally.

You’ll discover one of two things invariably happens when you try this strategy to resolve parenting disagreements with your spouse. Either one of you changes your mind, and the difference is accordingly resolved, or you both decide that the other one is right, and you have the same problem from a different perspective, but with none of the tension of your earlier disagreement. You’ll likely both see the humor in it.

By doing this every time you have a parenting disagreement with your spouse you’ll be changing your disagreements into discussions. And by doing that you’ll find that you can work out pretty much any parenting problem with your spouse, and often have a good time doing it too.