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How To Compromise as Parents + Worksheet

Parenting can be hard as it is. When you and your partner disagree on how to parent your child, things can get even more complicated. Instead of confusing your child with two different parenting styles or approaches, try finding a happy medium and compromising on issues that you disagree on. Here are our favorite tips on how to compromise as parents.

Step 1: Talk about it

Talk to your partner about the parenting styles you grew up with. Share with each other what you liked and what you disliked. Learning where your partner is coming from can help you feel more connected with them and help you understand why they parent the way they do.

Step 2: Ask questions

Once both sides have shared their stories, ask open-ended questions about the things you want to learn more about. Here are a few examples of questions you can ask your partner about how they were parented and how they want to parent your kids:
  • What did the consequences look like for you growing up?
  • What kind of consequences do you think will work for our kids?
  • How do you feel about a reward system for good behavior?
  • What is most important to you when it comes to raising our kids?
  • What would you consider spoiling our children?
  • What role do you want our parents to play in raising our children?

Gaining a deeper understanding of your partner's values and opinions will be helpful in defining a parenting style that works for both of you.

Step 3: Write down your negotiables

If there are fundamental differences that prevent you from coming to an agreement on how to parent your kids, take some time for yourselves to write down your negotiables and non-negotiables. For example, a non-negotiable could be grounding your kids, a negotiable could be homeschooling.

You can download the printable below for this exercise.

Step 4: Share your lists

Take all the time you need to complete your lists. This exercise shouldn’t be rushed and as parents you may need a couple of weeks to complete this task. At the end of the day, it’s important that you’ve written down everything that matters to you so you can have a calm and collected discussion with your partner.

Sit down together and share your negotiables and non-negotiables. Since you know each other better already, you may understand why certain parenting aspects are more important to your partner than to you. If you feel indifferent about homeschooling but your partner feels strongly that it’s the right thing to do for your kids, this could be a great opportunity to give in.

Step 5: Brainstorm alternatives ideas

Now that you know each other's points of view and may already have compromised on some of the negotiables on your lists, you’re in a great position to work together as parents. If there are still a few non-negotiable things that you disagree on, brainstorm alternatives!

If you believe grounding your kids is absolutely necessary when they misbehave but your partner is against it, maybe you can find a compromise that looks like this: Instead of grounding them for a designated time, your child gets a list of things they need to do before they get to go out again. These things can be cleaning chores, writing a note reflecting on their behavior, or delivering a genuine apology.

Step 6: Make a compromise or negotiate a trade

Congratulations—you’ve made some great compromises!

How To Compromise

Keep in mind that a compromise leaves both sides feeling good about the solution. That being said, you may not always be able to find a successful compromise. In those cases, negotiate a trade. This way, both parties get to win something and feel fairly treated.