Different Parenting Styles

Opposites attract, and that is probably why my very masculine husband is a great fit for girly, nurturing me. We have a son who knows exactly who to turn to when he wants specific things, because we are so different in our parenting styles. For example, bath time is quite an adventure. Little man knows I’m more of a push over, so he’ll ham it up and pretend to cry to get out of a bath, and I have to snuggle him and coddle him and bribe him with toys to get him into the bath tub. My husband picks him up and basically tosses him in, washes him, dries him, and is done- all without giving little man’s protestations a second thought.

Bedtime is another sfasdf. I couldn’t get our son to sleep without nursing him, and when I finally weaned him I could only get him to sleep by driving him around in my car until he dozed off. My husband holds him and walks around, ignores his crying, and within 5-10 minutes our son is fast asleep. I could never get away with this. I’m the one my son reaches for when he wants to get away from people who won’t put him down, because he knows I’m an easy mark and won’t be able to resist his pouting when he asks to be free to run around. As a result, my husband now bathes our son and puts him to sleep each night, while I take care of feeding him and reading to him. We split our parenting duties based on our strengths.

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I often hear it’s good for children to have parents with different styles, especially if one is more nurturing (because babies need their boo boos kissed) and one is better about discipline (because who wants to raise out-of-control, spoiled brats?). My husband and I are a team and are a united front, but our adventures in parenting, combined with our totally different approaches to handling things, certainly has our smart little guy already plotting how to get his way. I admire my husband’s methods (and could learn a lot from him) and have a feeling we had a lot of excitement to look forward to over the years with our son.

Penelope Guzman is a freelance writer and pharmacist who strongly believes in living a healthy lifestyle. As a mom and wife, she also takes care of her family’s health by eating well and being active together. Penelope is the owner and editor of Penelope’s Oasis, a site dedicated to helping women living great lives by building happy marriages, strong families, living a healthy lifestyle, and more. She enjoys traveling, reading, cooking and hosting home parties.

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  • maryanne @ mama smiles , October 21, 2011

    It IS nice having someone whose strengths are different to balance out parenting needs!

  • katlupe , October 21, 2011

    My son's father and I were complete opposites also. I don't know if that was good or not as we ended up divorced. But it did help in the parenting area.

  • Cascia Talbert , October 21, 2011

    I think I am in between permissive and authoritative parenting. I try to be fair with my kids and follow through with appropriate consequences for bad behavior.

  • Ebone , October 22, 2011

    My husband and I are the same….very different! I am very strict and expect a lot out of everyone, and he is the playful less strict one.

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  • Vicky , October 24, 2011

    My husband and I have similar parenting styles, but there is definitely a good cop, bad cop thing going on. Thanks for the info. I am a new GFC and Twitter follower from the Blog Frog forums.

  • Belinda Long , October 26, 2011

    I have found that if you can parent as a team and try to meet each other in a balanced parenting zone, your parenting will become easier. If your parenting partner have parenting styles that clash, try to back them up by modeling a tool that is more effective for handling the situation. They will feel supported and see an approach that works.

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