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How To Gentle Parent When Your Partner’s Approach Isn’t Gentle

Parenting is already tough enough as it is, but when your spouse throws in occasional moments of cluelessness, it’s like navigating uncharted waters. As a gentle parent, you are determined to avoid temptation to go full-on Hulk mode and smash everything in sight. But how do you stay calm and collected when your partner does something that doesn’t align with your gentle parenting approach? Stay on board as we explore the different yet effective strategies for maintaining a gentle parenting approach, even when faced with disagreements with your partner.

Gentle Parenting As A Process

Having grown up with traditional parenting methods, you’ve witnessed firsthand their limitations and the urgent need for a new and different approach. Now, you’re determined to break free from the cycle of yelling, spanking and punishments when it comes to raising your child. Being a gentle parent has become your guiding hand, but there are times when it doesn’t go as smoothly as you would’ve hoped, especially when your partner’s actions or words clash with your beliefs. 

Suppose you are trying your best and hardest everyday into practicing being a gentle parent, hoping to be the best parent you can be. Yet, your partner may not be fully onboard. They might have agreed with your parenting philosophy in theory, only to not follow through when it comes to putting it into practice. Here’s a common scenario: you and your partner are trying really hard to do your best, but you encounter hardships along the way. And when your baby or toddler misbehaves, it makes it all too easy to fall back into old habits you swore you would never do or say.

Breaking away from old habits when it comes to parenting patterns is not an easy fix, especially when you do not have a partner who is supporting your efforts, or even putting in the same amount of effort as you are. Whether it is attachment parenting, gentle parenting, or another, it’s important to acknowledge that transitioning from old ways of parenting is challenging and requires hard work and perseverance. It’s a journey filled with challenges, but one that is absolutely worth it once you start seeing changes in your child’s well-being!

Finding That Balance Between Traditional Parenting And Modern Practices

Parenting is already a struggle, and striving to do it right by incorporating scientific knowledge and new practices can be overwhelming. When the pressure hits too high, it’s a natural reaction to go back to the parenting techniques that were used during your upbringing. Especially if you haven’t if you haven’t consciously worked on changing them. 

But here’s the truth: You can change. It’s not going to be an overnight change; it’s a journey- a journey of growth and self-discovery. Be proud of yourself for every step you take towards becoming the parent you aspire to be. And remember, your partner is on this journey too. They may be fighting with their own thoughts of whether they want to follow in their parents’ footsteps when it comes to parenting techniques, or create their own path. 

It’s important to remember that you and your partner are both in this together. Yes, there will be moments when you feel frustrated when your partner’s actions contradict with your goals of raising a mentally and physically  healthy and happy child. But in these moments, all you have to do is remember the process that you have made, together as a couple and the strength you both have for navigating the journey of parenthood together. 

Dealing with a Partner’s Missteps

When your partner uses a parenting approach that upsets you, it can feel frustrating, especially if they’re unaware of why their response was unhelpful. It’s important to approach this situation with honesty and compassion with your partner. It could make you feel like you’re having trouble being consistent in your gentle parenting approach.

In these moments, it’s important to remember some key points. Having open and honest communication with your partner is very crucial. It’s important to express your feelings, while also being mindful and respectful of your partner’s perspective. Remember, you both are a team. Despite your differences in parenting approaches, you both want a healthy, happy, and well adjusted child. 

Take the time to reflect on your own motivations for choosing gentle parenting and share these insights with your partner. Explore questions such as: Why do you feel drawn to this parenting approach? What made you realize you want to steer away from traditional parenting? How do you imagine yourself reacting to challenging situations in a gentle manner?

Is Traditional Parenting better?

It’s important to recognize that many traditional parenting methods, such as yelling punishment, timeouts, may provide quick and short term fixes but they ultimately have harmful effects on your child’s development. Research is consistently showing us that these approaches can lead to long term negative consequences and fail to teach your child the values and skills you are aiming to teach them. 

However, it’s unfair to assume that your partner is aware of these fundings. They may not have been exposed to the same information that you have been exposed to, in which they didn’t get the chance to reflect on their own parenting techniques. Take the time to educate them about the findings that you found; the harmful effects of traditional parenting and discuss alternative approaches.

When You Are Not On The Same Page

When you and your partner find yourselves having different opinions about parenting decisions, it’s important to approach the situation with respect and a willingness to compromise. Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all, and that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and it’s okay to have different perspectives. 

As someone who is a dedicated professional in helping families, I understand the struggle of wanting your partner to be on the same page; I’ve been there too. But I have learned that by giving my partner the space to share his thoughts, I actually found that some things that he does, align with my values and beliefs.

There’s No One Way Of Doing Things.

If you notice your partner doing things differently that don’t seem really significant, it’s important to pick your battles wisely. Take a moment to reflect on what really matters to you in your parenting approach. 

It’s not always about the specific words you and partner use, focus more on the tone, message and treatment of your child with respect and compassion that makes the biggest impact. Try narrowing it down to one or two things that align with your values, and bring your partner’s focus back to those couple of things that are most important to you and what is in your control. 

Unless your partner’s actions are seriously violating your most important values or pose a risk to your child’s well-being, try not to dwell too much on their parenting. The good news is that your actions will have a positive impact on your child, even if your partner does things differently.

Every Action That You Do Is Adding To Your Child’s Buffer

Even in situations where your child ends up with a teacher or caregiver who is not as gentle as you are, or their techniques don’t align with your gentle parenting approach, remember that your influence as a parent remains dominant. Your constant love, support and connection with your child serves as a powerful buffer against any external influences. At the end, it’s the quality of your relationship with your child that will shape their future resilience. 

It’s important to find common ground with your partner and come up with a parenting plan that incorporates both you and your partner’s beliefs and values. You don’t need to have all the answers right away, you can try things out and see whether they align and work for you both. But, it’s essential to remain open to experimentation and compromise. Embrace the idea that different parenting techniques bring different strengths to the table. Diversity in parenting styles can enrich your child’s upbringing and provide them with a support system. so , embrace the difference! 

It’s Okay To Make Mistakes.

One last thing that I want you to remember is one sentence; one moment, even multiple moments will not define or ruin your child. It’s important to note that we, as parents, can’t foresee every potential negative impact on our children. However, what really matters is how you handle and learn from those mistakes. While you try your best to protect your children and treat them with kindness and respect, you must also recognize that you’re a human who makes mistakes. Your relationship with your child is built on numerous interactions, not a single misstep. Don’t sweat the small stuff, focus on building a supportive environment where you and your partner can discover and develop your own parenting styles. 

Navigating parenting differences with your partner can be challenging, but by maintaining open communication, respecting different perspectives, and focusing on your shared goals, you can overcome these challenges. Remember that parenting is an ongoing journey, and your willingness to learn, adapt, and support each other will create a loving and nurturing environment for your child. 

Now It’s Your Turn!

Let me know in the comments down below, have you ever experienced a situation where you and your partner differed in parenting styles? How did you approach the situation? We always love hearing from you all! As always, you can reach out if you have any questions or feedback; hello@talkinsleep.com

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