Have you ever found yourself the recipient of your spouse saying...
"You are just like your Father, you get so angry so quickly!"... or
"You are just like your Mom, you baby her too much..." Yikes..
Something to keep in mind before you say things like the above is, was the way I was parented the best way? Do I have different expectations than my spouse? Why are we always on different pages!?
This is a very common scenario in your typical household, but why? Because our parents all raised us differently. Chances are, if you are a Male you were taught to be tough, not to be coddled or doted on too much and to not cry too much for fear of your weakness. If you are a Female, chances are you were given more patience and understanding or attention when sad.
When you are facing differences in Parent Styles it can create quite a barrier between you and your partner. The first thing you need to do is DISCUSS IT!
And when I say "discuss it" I don't mean have a conversation about why your parenting style is better because of...
I mean, actually discuss it, talk about your differences. Express why you feel the way you do about how you parent and think about how it affects your children. Having an open dialogue is important to feel like you are being heard and understood as well as let your guard down and really listen to what your partner is telling you to better understand them! Give them your full attention with no distractions as much as possible.
After you discuss, come up with an action plan. Talk together about how you can blend your parenting styles to create harmony. Also, talk about how you will hold each other accountable for change or improvement in the most productive and positive way. If your partner is coming across as too demanding or harsh when talking with your children you don't want to blurt out, "Hey! Remember what we talked about!" (cue condescending voice...) You want to talk about how you personally want to be given a cue or reminder when in the moment to bring you back to your conversation of change.
I learned this the hard way after having a conversation, feeling like real progress was made with my Husband and then my moment of truth came. In the heat of the moment with my Husband and child I found him resorting to his routine of getting a bit too loud and not having quite enough patience and I responded in a way that he felt was threatening and undermining. Keep practicing, apologize to one another and try again. It is so important for your children to see this as well. Our kiddos need to know that in life there are differences and compromises, and most importantly, no one is too big to say, "I messed up."
Clear some space in your calendar this week or weekend to really work on this together, you will be amazed at what a difference it makes!
I have put together a PDF for you and your partner to work on to see if you can work together to create harmony and understanding. I suggest printing a copy for each person, fill it out individually and then discuss it with each other. The important thing to keep in mind is this is a discussion, not an attack on each other regarding what you are doing wrong or why you are not a good parent. Keep it positive, take breaks if you need but keep the conversation going. Be honest and you will see what a difference in your life this will make!