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Different parenting styles

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
What do you do when you and your dh have very different parenting styles? I classify myself that I can be a great mom and a horrible mom but I at least try to be a good mom. I realize that as a parent we are shaping our children for better or worse. Dh can be a good Dad, he will throw the ball around with the kids from time to time and he came from a good family so he remembers some traditions they had and tries to implement them (I came from a crummy family and am trying to figure out how to parent effectively). But I hate that most of the time dh talks down to the kids, is frustrated with them easily and just gets through the moment without realizing what he's teaching the kids. He uses a really bad tone with them and now they talk that way to each other and to me and I hate it.

We have *lots* of emotional/physiological issues with our oldest son (9)...he has Sensory Processing Disorder and ADHD and possibly some other stuff but we haven't figured out what exactly is going on yet, he soaks up a tremendous amount of emotional energy each day but he's been impatient with him from day 1. I'm impatient enough myself so it's really hard to try to be around my dh who I would like to be a support and example and have to navigate all this stuff by myself. I bought The Total Transformation program a few weeks ago to see if it would help but I'm going to call and send it back tomorrow. I've tried to get dh to listen to it. He listened to 1 CD and called it good. He seemed genuinely surprised when I told him my frustration that he wasn't participating and he said he had "listened to the one CD." Really?! There are 8 and a booklet, you couldn't listen to a few more on your commute to work? ARrrrrggggggh. This has been an issue for years and it's just getting magnified with ds#1's issues as he grows older. There's nothing that's more important to me than to have a good family after coming out of a very bad one and I'm so disappointed that I picked a partner who cares so little about his role as a father beyond providing for his family financially.
post #2 of 5
Perhaps your dh would be open to counseling where he can learn a variety of parenting options.It sounds like it is needed when it comes to your sons issues. Really though all of us as parents need to learn new skills when it comes to raising children.It is not a bad thing.In the least he should consider reading some parenting books.

If that is not an option then I would probably try to limit their contact with dad as much as possible,so he does not have as much time to expose the kids to his poor parenting skills.

Your dh could also be in need of some *me* time.Sometimes when we don't have time for our own needs the kids take the brunt of it.
post #3 of 5
My husband and I have different parenting styles, too. It can be very frustrating for both parents! I think he is way too autoritarian, he thinks I am a complete push-over.

We tried books and books on CD, too. The books layed around and only got read by me, and just as in your case, the first CD in the set was listened to, declared helpful, and then the rest just sat.

I ended up signing us up for a Love and Logic parenting class through our school district. Best thing I ever did. I'll be honest - I went into it thinking he needed to change everything he did, and I was perfect. We both came out of it very different parents. We both still fall back on the parenting 'skills' (or lack there-of ) that we had before, but now we have a handful of techniques in common, and that makes all the difference. If one of us takes charge of a situation and uses a technique we learned in the class, the other can say, "Ohhhhh, I see where he/she is going with that..." - it makes it easier to trust that the other parent is handling the situation. Love and Logic gets mixed reviews around here, but it is all about boundary setting and treating children with respect, so it sounds like it might be an option for you. And maybe your husband would find a class easier to keep up with than a book.
post #4 of 5
One advantage to having a crummy family is it can drive you to be considered in your own parenting; if someone thinks their family did it just right, there isn't much incentive for examining the way they parent. My and dh's situation is much as you describe and dh (a) didn't realize how gruff, authoritarian, etc his behavior was and (b) didn't really think it mattered if it was because as long as you love them and eat dinner together every night, all would be ok (seriously). Through therapy we've found dh's family isn't as perfect everyone thought and we both have work to do. For us the therapy was really key in putting us on the same page.
post #5 of 5
A few thoughts, if you can call them that. I'm sure I'll think this through later when I have time and wish I hadn't posted in a hurry. Sending hugs, even if none of the rest of this is worth anything...

1. I could have written most of your OP. Except that I'm the one with the great upbringing and DH is the one with the crummy parents. Who he emulates, even though he not only doesn't want to, but jokes about it. And then still acts like them and doesn't even realize it. And I'm still impatient. And DS is only a toddler, and both of us have (at times) pretty unrealistic expectations of him and don't realize it til later....
2. Does your DH think that playing ball and working to support you all financially is the extent of his "job" as a father? Some men do, and don't realize just how big their job really is, especially b/c they don't realize what kids really need.
3. Would he go to a class, or read a short book? Maybe if you put it like, "Something's not working, and I'd like for us to be on the same page..."?
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