“Hey Business Athlete, I have an issue. My partner's parenting style is driving me crazy. We have two little ones, both under the age of ten, and overall they are amazing kids. But I feel like when they do something that they know they shouldn’t or they are just acting out of pocket, my partner always wants to play good cop leaving me to play bad cop. He is very much into gentle parenting but he takes it too far because he doesn’t even discipline. What should I do? I’m tired of being the bad guy in these situations and I want him to have more of a role in disciplining the children”.
One of our readers sent us this dilemma and let me tell you, this is not the first time you and your partner will have differing parenting styles and it won’t be the last. One of the biggest things I tell people before having children is DISCUSS parenting styles, so that you are on the same page. This is important because it impacts your partnership, your family dynamic and your relationship with your children. You don’t want a scenario where you’re known as the bad cop and your children grow-up to see you as that. You also don’t want a scenario where your child is only going to one parent because they know they will get their way. But if you and your partner didn’t have this opportunity before having children, there is still time.
For one, you need to communicate. Communication is key and sitting him down and letting him know your expectations of him as your partner is important. You don’t want to harbor resentment towards your partner because you expect them to do something that you never made them aware of. It’s unfair to your partner and will only leave you feeling negatively towards them.
Secondly, you need to find middle ground. If you think the kids need a time out, or better yet, toys taken away from them, but your partner thinks they need reflection time for their wrongdoings, you need to think of a solution that works best for both of you. Maybe that looks like taking away tablet privileges so they can write about their actions, or help you with a chore so they know that they have consequences.
And lastly, if you both can’t find middle ground on your own, visit a couples therapist who can help you navigate this. It’s important you both are content with how you’ve decided to raise your children because this will play a huge partner in your overall family dynamic. So, let us know how this conversation goes and we hope this helps!