coParenting and Conflicting Parenting Styles
When a divorced mother of three remarried a man with three children of his own, parenting styles clashed. Luckily, she was able to keep an attitude of appreciation and patience as they figured out and compromised on parenting their blended family. She was a single parent but her new husband was coParenting with the mother of his children. She had a more laid-back parenting style and since she did not have to deal with a coParent, it was a new experience to have to parent with someone that has a more structured and strict parenting style.
“When I married him, I learned that his parenting style was much more authoritative than mine, which was more relaxed,” she admitted. “Yet, after speaking with him in depth, I learned that his parenting style had a lot of benefits. I would encourage more coParents to be more authoritative and not to allow yourself to feel guilty about the end of your marriage to their father. Being entirely honest, his children are better listeners and more respectful than mine. I felt empathy for my children because they went through a rough parental divorce and that empathy made me give in to their demands, becoming more of a friend than a parent.”
You can feel empathy towards your children but it is important to set boundaries so that your children can continue to grow into adulthood with the proper tools to succeed. When you come together with a new spouse, you have the chance to share parental responsibilities and mesh your styles of parenting. Open communication will allow you both to come together and find what works best for your new blended family and taking into consideration the coParenting relationships involved as well. The key take away is COMMUNICATION. Every family is different and understand that if it does not harm your child mentally or physically, any parenting style or approach is a good one so long as it is in the best interest of your children!