You may not think of it this way, but there are different styles of parenting. What’s your style? What are the advantages of your approach? Are there any disadvantages? Is your parenting style complementary or compatible with your parenting partner? A parenting partner may be a spouse, a step-parent, or an ex who shares custody. Differences in parenting styles are frequent sources of conflict between parents and in blended families.

How did you choose your parenting approach—was it automatic or planned? What other factors influence your approach? Sometimes in an effort to balance out the other parent, one or both parents end up with a parenting approach that doesn’t fit.

Which of the styles here is most like yours? Print out this handout and see where your parenting style fits. You can use this information to consider parenting preferences and have discussions with your partner-in-parenting about any differences you may have. Family counseling or co-parenting sessions can help bridge the gap, if there is one, and improve family harmony.