An Easy Way To Address Parenting Differences With Spouses

Bodie farts, Dan laughs.  Bodie laughs. And then we wonder why boys have the grossest humor.

Every time I see this exchange, I shoot Dan a look and quip about cultivating Bodie's politeness and self-image and then go on to talk about a lot of things that go over Dan's and my head but it sounds very good in the moment.  

Then, Bodie laughed this weekend after a little toot, and I couldn't help but snicker and Dan looked at me with total bewilderment.  And it occurred to me that I just don't really care if at 18 months old Bodie thinks his farts are funny - I just love hearing him happy.   But for Dan, who defers to me on most things in regard to Bodie's day to day care, it is confusing not only in regards to if he can now laugh but all the other little things that come up - cursing, screen time, etc. 

The key I've found is for neither of us to assume I have all the answers, just because I'm currently more involved in the day to day.  For most parents, where one is more involved, I sense we start creating a pattern of defaulting to one to set the rules.  Which works with early issues like bed time and feeding but as they get a little older - especially as it relates to discipline - actively aligning together is more of a two way street to create consistency.  

For us, keeping our conversations specific to an exact scenario and what worked and what didn't helps.  If there's a way or tone one of us wants to use to address things, the most successful approach in appealing to the other has been, "I liked the way we do X, but I want to try Y, could you try that with me?"  

Question asking as opposed to asserting helps Dan and I feel like we're on the same team and the upfront observation and reassurance helps protect either of us from feeling critiqued.  Ultimately, it gives us both space to weigh in and while it feels good to have it my way once in a while, parenting feels a whole lot easier when it's hand in hand.  

What are some of the big or small parenting style differences you've run into?  Or what helps you and your partner to have a good conversation?  Would love to learn from you xo

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