When Parenting Styles Differ

Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on February 22, 2022

Month 11, Week 4


If you're raising your baby with a partner, your parenting styles may differ. When you don't agree about what's best for your child, finding common ground can be a real challenge.

If you and your partner have differing parenting styles, here are some things you can try that may help you find some resolution:

  • Talk about the expectations you both have. If necessary, write them down and review them periodically.
  • Check in with each other daily about important family issues so no one is left out of the loop.
  • Clearly outline and discuss the kind of rules and discipline you each feel are important.
  • Help each other figure out when to take a stand and when to walk away. Those choices are sometimes tricky.
  • Discuss each other's fears and concerns that create worry and anxiety. 
  • Try to resolve disagreements privately so your child isn't confused, worried, or anxious. 

Your Baby's Development This Week

At this stage, imitation is a very important part of how your little one learns. Now's the time you're likely to see your baby replaying things you've said or done for Grandma or friends. So it's important to be particularly conscious of your own behavior.

Here's what they are working on now:

  • Using objects correctly, such as talking into the receiver of the telephone or brushing their hair with a hair brush
  • Learning to find and look at the correct picture when you name the image
  • Beginning to use exclamations, such as "oh-oh!"
  • Waving and saying "hi" or "bye"
  • Babbling with inflection

Month 11, Week 4 Tips

  • Clarify the points of difference between you and your partner so you both know exactly what needs to be resolved.
  • Try to avoid arguing about your differences in front of your child. If it happens anyway, be sure to resolve the conflict in front of them, too.
  • Work to find a compromise in areas where you differ. Make sure it's something that both of you can not only live with but also follow consistently.
  • Divide responsibilities. If you and your partner have a plan for who does what, that may help prevent conflict.
  • Be a united front when setting rules for your child. If you're unclear or inconsistent, that can confuse your child about what's expected.
  • Work together to create solutions. Remember that your child learns to manage disagreement by the way you handle conflict.
  • If your differences are seriously affecting your relationship, get help. The better your relationship with your partner, the smoother your family will operate.

Show Sources


American Academy of Pediatrics: "Cognitive Development One Year Old."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Developmental Milestones: 12 Months."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Parenting Conflicts." "Becoming Parents: What It Means for Couples."

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