Even if parents don’t wind up divorcing, they often end up ensnared in arguments about whose parenting style is “Right,” arguments they never could have anticipated when they first got together.
The father ended up parenting his son the same way; the mother, on the other hand, wanted to move away from that kind of behavior.
When Carl Pickhardt, a psychologist in Austin, Texas who has published multiple books about parenting, first sees a couple who are struggling to reconcile their different parenting styles, he starts off with a single piece of advice: “Accept the differences between you.” Couples, he added, are “Not in the business to change each other’s characteristics, values, or habits.”
Understanding that you can’t fundamentally change your partner isn’t something that has to do with parenting per se, so much as with relationships in general.
Differences between parenting styles aren’t the only source of this decrease – there’s also the fact that new parents don’t have time to sleep, eat, or even spend time together with the way they used to.
The Bump, a website for expecting parents, outlines the six most common issues new parents fight about, first of which is “Whose sleep is more important?” Others include screen time during family time and lack of sex.
“The main thing,” Pickhardt said, “Is that parenting style differences are not a problem to do away with. They are a reality to accept, and part of the richness and diversity in any relationship.”