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DWD: When Partners Disagree

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  • DWD: When Partners Disagree

    I was intrigued by the "Golden Rules about Parenting with a Partner" on pages 43 - 48. I think that my husband and I had been in some ways attempting the "united front" that Judy Arnall describes and proposes is unnecessary. I like the way she describes being supportive of a partner's ruling without agreeing with it, by saying, "I don't feel as strongly about the sleepover as your dad does, but his feelings are important to me, and I think you need to go and discuss this with him if you disagree with his decision. (p.45)" I had been struggling with how to defer to my husband on some issues while also being honest that I disagree, and I love this!

    How do you and your partner handle parenting disagreements?

  • #2
    I too loved this section. Well, my DH and I didn't have many disagreements about parenting until recently and really the disagreements are only in regards to him not understanding it from the AP point of view. For example, when DD is angry and DD uses words like "I hate you" or "I'm angry right now" and stomps her feet and then says "I'm out of here"... well, DH thinks that is not appropriate so he responds back to her in an angry tone of voice as well and it just escalates into this whole issue. When DH and I finally discussed it I pointed out to him that she is only knowing to use those words because he is reacting to them; she is angry and wants to let out her anger. I think he believed at the time that she needed to suppress her anger and just be happy with the decision. We finally discussed anger being an emotion just as happiness and that she is still learning how to manage it but that she is in the right to raise her voice but she does need to learn to not use hurtful words and that the she learns this by you not reacting to those hurtful words... they won't be hurtful if you have no reaction to them because they won't develop any meaning to them. DD will also then say angrily, "Well, I'm going to go outside" (while in her underwear and it's cold outside). My husband felt like she shouldn't say that and my response was, "Well, what happened when she tried to go outside?" and he was able to respond that she came back inside learning on her own that it was cold. Anyways, this is a very long story to show the example of that I found that I just needed to help discuss the matter with him. Once the discussion was made he understood.

    Now at other times, like at bedtime when he gets up to this rope in frustration he'll slowly take away the amount of books he'll read to her at bedtime. We've discussed this over and over in which I explain to him that isn't the right way to go about her enjoying bedtime... that the amount of stories is not rewarded for her good behavior at bedtime but is just part of the bedtime process. He disagrees and so when it is his turn for bedtime it is a struggle and inevitably she will come to me crying about daddy not reading X number of books. I'll then respond, "I'm sorry sweetie but that is something for you and daddy to work out. Mommy knows you love to read 3 books at night." So, I guess it's the same thing except that I don't say the part of my not agreeing in a more firm way... that will be something that will be added on as she gets a little bit older I believe and I love that Judy wrote about it in her book.

    This whole little section of hers was truly helpful and offered some wonderful tips on how to be loving as partners and yet be respectful that each part is it's own relationship. The question I came upon though is does this mean that if your husband is into spanking and he doesn't agree with trying it your way that you still remain remain supportive and just indicate that you don't agree with that punishment? How can you be supportive in that way and not feel like your not advocating for your child?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JustPeachy View Post
      The question I came upon though is does this mean that if your husband is into spanking and he doesn't agree with trying it your way that you still remain remain supportive and just indicate that you don't agree with that punishment? How can you be supportive in that way and not feel like your not advocating for your child?

      I think that would be one of the core values she talked about. I don't know what to do if the core values are different. This comes up time to time in our group. Can we make note of this question and ask Judy her thoughts when she chats with us?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JustPeachy View Post
        Now at other times, like at bedtime when he gets up to this rope in frustration he'll slowly take away the amount of books he'll read to her at bedtime. We've discussed this over and over in which I explain to him that isn't the right way to go about her enjoying bedtime... that the amount of stories is not rewarded for her good behavior at bedtime but is just part of the bedtime process. He disagrees and so when it is his turn for bedtime it is a struggle and inevitably she will come to me crying about daddy not reading X number of books. I'll then respond, "I'm sorry sweetie but that is something for you and daddy to work out. Mommy knows you love to read 3 books at night." So, I guess it's the same thing except that I don't say the part of my not agreeing in a more firm way... that will be something that will be added on as she gets a little bit older I believe and I love that Judy wrote about it in her book.
        This would really get to me. I think I would be tempted to want to just take over bedtime when he gets that frustrated. Of course, I wouldn't be able to now that I have multiple children. I just don't like using "together time" or bonding experiences as a manipulative tool either. I wonder if he could say "we have one hour for the bedtime routine... once we are done getting ready, we can read until the hour is up". Then it may be more shorter books or one longer book - it's not tied to a number of books? Maybe pick out a stack of books that will last several days, and just do as many as he can before time is up? We had to do something like this when our daughter started wanting to tell a story about every page. It was wonderfully creative, but a short book could take 30 minutes to get through. We switched to a time limit rather than a number of books. We also added a storytelling segment to the end of our routine so that the end of the books didn't mean the end of the connecting time. Just rambling thoughts!

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