How should we handle group situations where we have different parenting styles? When our particular rules around bedtimes, screens, curfews, or sugar are up against more lax rules (or none at all)? Here’s how to talk it out with everyone beforehand.
How should we handle group situations where we have different parenting styles? When our particular rules around bedtimes, screens, curfews, or sugar are up against more lax rules (or none at all)?
This topic was suggested by our listener Jessica:
How do you deal with group situations where you parent differently without it causing friendship or family strain? Especially once your kids are old enough to ask why there are different expectations?
Being in close proximity with people who parent differently can make us question how we do it. When other parents have other, looser rules, those of us who are more strict can feel judged. When other parents have firmer rules and tighter structures, those of us who don’t also feel judged.
Meanwhile, our kids are standing there watching us, wondering if we’ll cave and let them stay up until 12:30 just this once or not.
In this episode we discuss:
matters of preference versus matters of philosophy- and how to tell the difference
the importance of offline discussions
the role that “spaces and places” play (things might be a little looser at Nana’s house)
when to default to the rules of the household you are in
what happens when you have different rules from your co-parent
why saying “because I said so” is a missed parenting opportunity
Here’s links to articles discussed in this episode:
Lisa Belkin for The New York Times: Different Families, Different Rules
Wendy Bradford for On Parenting: When One Child’s Rules Are Different Than The Other’s
Pete Wells for the New York Times: Happy-Meal Me
Here’s our takeaway: It’s okay to reconsider your own rules in these situations… just not in real time, and no matter what you do, not in front of your kid.
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