The Parenting Post: Disagreeing With Your Partner

Do you have a parenting hurdle you’re working through? If so, “The Parenting Post” is for you! One of our writers, Albiona, has been answering all of YOUR parenting questions over on IG, and we’ve turned her series into blog posts on our website as well. We just can’t get enough of her helpful advice, and we thought you’d appreciate it, too!

Her videos cover a wide variety of parenting questions–honestly, anything and everything! If it’s something you’re wondering, there’s a really good chance that another parent in our community is struggling with it, too. And Albiona is here to help!

This week, she’s focusing on the idea of not always agreeing with your partner on parenting issues. It’s only normal that two different people may have two different ways of thinking about the same topic. So, how do you move forward when there’s a difference in opinion? We’re sharing three simple steps you can use the next time you find yourself needing to connect–and not convince.

How do my partner and I work through an issue we do not agree on?

This is so common, so know you aren’t alone in this! Albiona runs coaching sessions for parents, and these are the steps that she recommends to parents in a coaching session with her when it comes to disagreeing with your partner.

1. Ask yourself: is my intention to connect or to convince?

Before you even sit down to talk about disagreeing with your partner (because yes, it does need to be talked about!), figure out what your intention is. Do you want to connect with them? Or do you want to convince them to see things your way?

If you intend to connect: make sure your guard is down, and that you are open, available, and curious! You’re not looking to defend your point of view. You are truly invested in wanting to know where they’re coming from, and what their rationale is. You are recognizing their good intentions and you know where they’re coming from.

If you intend to convince: well, the conversation will go absolutely nowhere. And, you’ll find yourself on the hamster wheel of arguments all the time because you will be steadfast in wanting to convince your partner of how right YOU are. Your partner is probably going to do the exact same thing back to you–and their guard will go up. You and your partner are BOTH trying to defend your own point, and neither of you will come to any kind of compromise or middle ground.

2. Recognize the strengths in your partner that they have, and you do not.

When you feel yourself disagreeing with your partner on something, it’s really, really valuable to do this. Sometimes it all comes down to our strong suits. When you can recognize who is the better person to respond in different scenarios, you can really lean on each other more.

For example, one person might be better at setting boundaries and recognizing that their child needs to go through hard things. The other person might really struggle with this, and it could even be triggering for them. So, having that first parent handle a situation involving these specific circumstances would be the way to go in that moment. And the second parent can support from the sidelines as needed, while feeling supported in the moment, too.

Think about it: what strengths do you bring to the table? What strengths does your partner bring to the table? And how do you find that commonplace where you both are a team, where you recognize that you’re the person who needs to handle ____ situations, and you recognize that your partner is the one who needs to handle ____ situations?

It can be tricky, but if you can have a nice, honest conversation about your strengths, it really does help!

3. Set aside a time to come back to the topic and discuss it later on, out of the moment.

When you find yourself disagreeing with your partner on something, you might want to talk to them immediately about where they’re coming from, what their rationale is, or why they think their way is the best way. But, you need to find a time outside of the emotion to do this. Don’t have these discussions in the midst of the parenting challenge.

A lot of times, when disagreeing with your partner, emotions are high, and we say things we don’t mean. We’re not viewing the situation through a clear lens. We haven’t had time to ground and reflect on the situation and what came up for us specifically. We’re coming from a really defensive place and what we say in the moment isn’t going to be helpful. And, it’s not going to get you what you want–which is, what’s best for your child.

Think about planning out a separate time to chat with your partner about it. Decide to let calmer heads prevail, recognize that you’re not agreeing with one another, take a couple minutes to yourselves . . . whatever you need to do. Recognize that it is really incredibly important to go through that process.

And when you’re back, feet on the ground, calm, and able to really connect (and not convince!)–that’s the BEST time to have those conversations. This is where you’ll be able to gain those insights, make those connections, and you’ll be able to be there for your child in a way that is really helpful and positive.

Do you have more parenting questions for Albiona? Leave them below so she can possibly answer them for you. To learn more, you can follow Albiona on Instagram. Or, subscribe to her weekly newsletter and download her free guide for teaching parents how to get their kids to listen.

Looking for more parenting advice? Our previous Parenting Post blog post covered child fears + helping our kids to feel brave!


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