Mom's Talk: What Do You Do When You and Your Spouse Disagree on How to Discipline Your Child?

We ask. You answer. Participate in this online discussion.

During spring break, it's possible both parents will be at home and the dynamics change when it comes to discipline. Or do they?

What if your child does something wrong, but there is disagreement between you and your spouse on whether to discipline the child or not? What do you do?

Is it a matter or who is right and who is wrong, or is there common ground here?

Share your thoughts on the question.

QUESTION: What do you do when you and your spouse disagree on how to discipline your child?

ANSWER: You tell us. Login in the upper right hand corner. It's free and only takes about 20 seconds. Then comment on this article. Share your views and get some advice. Suggest future questions for discussion.

Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Patch invites you and your circle of friends to help build a community of support for mothers and their families right here in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff.

Every Wednesday in Moms Talk, our Moms Council of experts and smart moms take your questions, give advice and share solutions.

Moms, dads, grandparents and the diverse families who make up our communities will have a new resource for the thousands of issues that arise while raising children.

So grab a cup of coffee and settle in as we start the conversation today with a question from the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Patch's Mom's Council.

The Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Moms Council will share their insights along with you.

Angela Morrey March 30, 2011 at 07:50 PM
My husband and I generally agree about discipline, but there have been a few situations where we didn't. Mostly when that has happened we have agreed to let the punisher (whoever witnesses what happened - usually a fight between the kids) have the say on what the punishment should be. We learned early on to back each other up, because the kids will play the parents to get what they want. I may not agree about a time-out or a toy taken away, but I think it's important to show the kids that I stand by their father, or that he stands by me. Granted my kids are only 3 right now, so the punishments are pretty basic. I hope that when they are teenagers and we're talking about grounding or taking phones or video games away, that we still sit this equally on punishments.
marcy kowalski March 30, 2011 at 10:18 PM
I agree, backing each other up is important and showing a united front. For our older kids, 10 and 8, we often discuss the punishment and incident with them. The ground rules are set as a family early on, so they know the deal before heading down that path. We talk openly with them before, during and after to make sure they learn from their experiences, see how adults handle things and as a family how we work together. Really, what we have found, is that raising them through these experiences is the part where they learn and the results in adulthood are what they become vs. just a punishment.
Jim Powers March 31, 2011 at 01:52 AM
Thanks for your comment, Angela.
Nina Vallone March 31, 2011 at 02:50 AM
Thank goodness we're on the same page when it comes to disciplining the kids. When we have disagreed about consequences for various actions, we discuss it privately so the kids don't try to play us against each other. They know if one of us says no, we both say no. I will say, having my husband home for spring break has been great so far. I'm not the only one in charge all day - so it's actually a break for me as well!
shelley April 02, 2011 at 09:11 PM
If one of us disagrees, we never say so in front of our teens. We always take it behind closed doors. We will listen to each other's opinions and usually come up with a compromise. If we still have conflicting ideas in the end, the one who is bothered most by the behavior, doles out the punishment. We really try to ensure that they never know there was controversy surrounding an incident. We will just agree to disagree and try to move on as quickly as possible.
Samina April 06, 2011 at 03:46 PM
It's been a very rare instant that my husband and I have disagreed on discipline issues. We also, like many of those commenting above, never disagree about the 'consequence' one of us has chosen, in front of the children. That being said, the 'disagreement' is usually not a disagreement per se, but rather we're just talking through our choices later on and realize there was probably a better approach to the situation. Fortunately, have always agreed upon a solution for future issues.


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