Conflicts Over Parenting Styles

Madison Elizabeth Baylis

How to keep your differences from hurting your kids

At some point most couples are going to differ on how to approach parenting.

“I think in almost every family you’re going to find some disagreements,” says Dr. Alan Ravitz, a child and adolescent psychiatrist. “In my own family I know there were times when I thought my wife was too harsh and there were times when she thought I was too easy.” The important thing is to present a united front. “You shouldn’t disagree in front of the child,” he says. “You should disagree behind closed doors.”

This becomes especially challenging when parents develop extreme differences in their approaches to parenting-particularly when the child or children are struggling with a psychiatric diagnosis or a learning disability and treatment decisions need to be made. In these situations, the parents’ ability—or inability—to reach an agreement can mean the difference between successful treatment…

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