‘My boyfriend and I often disagree about parenting’

Raising children is sometimes accompanied by difficult situations and parental concerns. That is why Lisa van den Akker, editor-in-chief of J/M Parents and mother of four children, weekly especially for Subway a parenting question. This week a question from Rosemarijn: “My boyfriend and I often disagree about the upbringing.”

How do you solve that? Lisa comes to the rescue.

The Parenting Question: ‘My boyfriend and I often disagree about parenting’

“Hi Lisa, my boyfriend and I often disagree about parenting. For example, I want my twenty-month-old son (and three-month-old daughter) not to eat too much sugar. My boyfriend is less interested in that and likes to spoil him with something tasty. I also prefer to eat at the table and teach the children that this is normal. But my boyfriend prefers to eat on the couch and does this when he is alone at home with the kids. How do we best approach this?

– Rosemary”

The answer

Hi Rosemary,

I think what you describe is recognizable for all parents, raising together is simply difficult. You will simply not always agree with each other, while you want to be on the same page for the children.

I also think that as a parent you need to get to know each other a bit again. You both suddenly have two roles, you are not only each other’s lover, but also a parent. Gradually you get to know each other’s parenting style and then it may indeed be the case that this does not quite match.

For example, I am a lot less consistent and persistent than my husband. Then sometimes it becomes a good cop, bad copgame, which the children can now play flawlessly. Ultimately, I learned that it is important to stay close to myself, but at the same time to respect my husband.

The fact that you disagree is in itself not that harmful to your child, but arguing can be. You want to prevent that and that is why it is important, you probably guessed it, to talk. Talk to each other, but also listen. Put yourself in the position of the other person and don’t judge or judge too quickly. I find that it helps to keep in mind that in the end we both want the best for our child. on J/M Parents you will also find a good article on how to listen to each other’s feelings and how to mirror each other. This way you can prevent conflicts and escalations.

Back to your example. When you discuss this with each other, you do not have to convince each other. Instead, look for a compromise. For example, agree that something tasty every now and then is fine, but not right before dinner. And maybe you can eat on the couch for a day on the weekend and at the table for the rest of the week? By talking and especially listening together, you will probably find your way in this together.”

‘My son (4) doesn’t want anything at all’

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‘My boyfriend and I often disagree about parenting’