Ask Bracha

  • Question:

    Dear Bracha, My spouse and I don't see eye to eye on parenting. He is strict and heavy handed and I would rather keep the peace. What do we do?

  • Answer:

    I give you a lot of credit for asking this question. It is imperative that you are both on the same page with regards to parenting. We are not talking about minor differences, but about presenting a unified front to your children and not undermining each other. You must understand that your children can accept that one parent's style is stricter than another. It is when they play you off each other or when one parent is upset over the actions of another that problems arise.

    It is impossible for me to know what you mean by keep the peace, or heavy handed. Corporal punishment is a poor way to parent and if keeping the peace means giving in, that is a damaging scenario as well.

    So let's talk specifics. You would like to keep the peace and you are correct. The home MUST be a place of peace and a safe haven where you and your children can lay back relax and regenerate. But at what cost? Yet, if you are constantly telling your children that they are doing something wrong, when can they relax? All parents have to decide what is important to them, not every thing can be a priority, or they will drive their children crazy. You must decide what you will turn a blind eye to, as something as got to give!

    Children need some limits. The buck does have to stop at some point and there does have to be consequences to their actions. You and your husband have some serious discussion to do. I will leave you with one more point which I hope will help you both put into focus the type of parenting you want to do together.

    Remember your job as parents is to help your children to become the adults you hope they will be. You should be aiming your parenting towards this task. There is no difference in the behavior you should expect from a young child or older child, just bring things down to an age appropriate level. In other words you would not accept a 15 year old stealing candy from a store (or hitting another person), neither should you accept it from an 8 or 5 or even 2 year old. The consequences would be different for every age group of course. Children learn how to act and what is acceptable by you teaching them, no other way exists. Be consistent, wise and benevolent, but your word is the law.

    I'm hoping you will find the journey in creating your own parenting program, one that brings you and your husband closer together as you unite for the most important task of your life, raising your beautiful children. Wishing you all the best, - Bracha


    Bracha Mirsky is expressing personal and professional opinions and views. These opinions or views are not intended to treat or diagnose; nor are they meant to replace the treatment and care that you may be receiving from a licensed physician, counselor or mental health professional. Bracha Mirsky is not responsible for the outcome or results of following her advice in any given situation. You are completely responsible for your actions and Bracha Mirsky accepts no liability for any situation in your life past, present or future.