Mental Health

How to Stop Blaming Your Partner For How They Parent

You: “You’re being too hard on them…”

Them: “Well someone has to because you’re being too soft!”

Sound familiar? There are often a lot of arguments about the different aspects of parenting. I believe that a huge number of those arguments and resulting frustration in the relationship stem from not feeling understood, and also feeling that their partner, whilst they say they love their child are not showing it in the way they are parenting. In this article, we are specifically looking at the inconsistencies between parenting techniques like the one illustrated above and things to remember to help us not blame our partner in parenting while actually working together!

We are all individuals first!

The parenting partnership is made up of two individuals. We each have our own circumstances that we come from and we each have been parented in a different way. Then you add life experiences and a myriad of other circumstances that lead us to see things in different ways. 

For example, one person I was talking to was expressing how they are feeling frustrated because their partner was laying down the law and creating arbitrary rules, often simply because those rules were forced on them as a kid. This also means that they may be upholding something they don’t even believe in anymore. 

“No, you can’t have this, you’ve done that.” kind of situation. 

We can’t change anybody, apart from ourselves!

Attempting to change a child’s behaviour by setting arbitrary limits, will only work in the short term, if at all. Ultimately though, that mode of parenting doesn’t teach the child how to form their own ideas and make decisions about what they’re doing as children and whether that is okay or not. So in the long term, you’re actually inhibiting their development.

We can’t change them, so we need to negotiate and support them in their own learning. One of the best ways of doing that is really understanding ourselves, our own learning and development styles, and how we’ve come to where we are currently. We do this by engaging in questions and conversations that promote a dialogue that is based on openness and not blame. Truly this works both ways, with both child and partner. 

Remember, it’s very easy to get locked in the feeling of “that’s not fair!” and then coming at each other like loggerheads. Particularly when we’re super busy, stressed with the children, and we need to find the solution; yet it’s all made even harder because of the inconsistencies in parenting styles (perceived or not). 

Support & Communication are the Crux of the Matter

We are all humans coming from different experiences and we can’t always automatically just switch to a new behaviour without scaffolding to support us while we are learning and growing. The crux of that scaffolding is clear and honest communication between both partners. Clear and honest communication is the result of understanding things like: who you are, what it is you’re doing on a day to day basis, why you’re doing it, why you’re making the decisions you are with your children. Then showing your partner the things you’re doing and explaining why you’ve decided to do it. 

Having the Conversation

Truly, before you can have the conversation about discipline with your partner, you need to talk about what you want for your children in terms of how you want them to be in society? Do you want them to be a useful member of society who can think for themselves? Who is able to make judgments and difficult decisions? Who is able to navigate difficult situations with resilience and able to support other people? 

Or do you want someone who does as they’re told, and fits in with what other people are doing? Basically a “yes man”, for lack of a better expression. Who is unable to resiliently navigate everything that life throws at them. 

With the answer to that question at the front of our mind, we can take the end goal and work backwards. If we’re saying we want this independent person who is able to cope with a myriad of difficulties and challenges and understand what’s going on, and support other people and support themselves… then we need to be building in opportunities in daily life for them to learn and experience and develop the understanding of how to do that.

Now you have the building blocks to have a powerful conversation with yourself and your partner about gaps in parenting styles, without falling back into the blame game.

If you want to support navigating through those tough relationship spots, please get in touch with me. I offer a programme of support around navigating relationships around getting to that place of peace and calm in relationships so that you don’t get pulled into that feeling guilty and never feeling quite like you’re in the right place.

I am Beth Hardy of Getting Back 2 U, a Parent & Life Coach, Dance fitness instructor, home educator, Podcaster and mum to three fun, interesting and wildly different kids. I work with parents who are stuck in negative cycles with their families and own lives. I help them through coaching programs and courses to give them a wide range of tools to get out of these patterns of behaviour, so that they can have more fulfilling and abundant relationships with the whole family, and start to see themselves as truly worthy of love and belonging.

Beth Hardy, Family Wellbeing & Relationship Coach

  • #1 Get the balance right ~ Join my FREE Mums: Harmonise Your Life & Business Group. Regular solidarity support as well as practical tips to support both your business and family life.
  • #2 Feel supported ~ check out my podcast Beyond Parenting for stories from incredible parents who have been through adversity, and how they made it.
  • #3 Have resources ~ Get the Emotional toolkit and support through my complete program and coaching support on an ongoing basis through my Copse membership. The coaching allows you to explore what is going on for you without drawing you into going over things again and again. Together we make manageable, achievable intentions which can fit into your life NOW, even though you are a super busy mum and business owner.
  • #4 Try out TikTok ~ If you are in business and haven’t yet tried out TikTok, because you think it’s just for young kids, or full of dancing, or simply overwhelming. I’ve got you. I have a 30 day training to get you started and avoid a load of the pitfalls, as well as having to spend ages trawling the app to understand it.
  • #5 Dance ~ Dancing can be an incredible shortcut to happiness and joy. My dance fitness membership, called HIIT The Dancefloor, gives you as many classes as you could shake a stick at, so you can shake your booty in the comfort of your own own at a time to suit you. There are even Dance flavoured HIIT classes, so we can work on bone density and muscle strength. Try out my 7 day FREE trial
  • #6 Let’s chat ~ Just fancy a chat to see how we can help each other, then book in ASAP, I can’t wait to get to know you more.

Leave a Reply