Mental Health Issues

Mental health issues can affect any family, at any time. Buts stigmas around these issues can prevent parents from reaching out for help, for fear that they or their child will be judged.

Fortunately, there’s hope. People are breaking down barriers and talking more openly about mental illness and mental health issues. And with increased awareness and visibility comes greater access to resources for parents who struggle with these challenges.

These videos offer parental support and information on topics such as depression, self-harm, and how to obtain the help your child needs.

My Partner and I Disagree About Parenting. What Can I Do?

Kathleen S. Powell, LCSW
Counseling for Individuals, Couples, Families
1717 N. Naper Blvd., STE 200
Naperville, IL 60563

My Partner and I Disagree About Parenting. What Can I Do?

A frequent conflict between spouses has to do with differing parenting styles. A good place to start in resolving this conflict is to set aside time for an in-depth conversation where each partner has the opportunity to share his or her perspective. It is important for the speaker to speak openly and share deeply and for the listener to be fully present, curious and nonjudgmental. It is also helpful for the listener to periodically provide a brief summary of the speaker’s perspective to ensure that you understand it.
The following questions can be helpful to guide and help deepen the discussion:

Please tell me all about your approach to parenting. (When the speaker pauses, you can ask: “Is there more about that?”)
What do you hope to accomplish with your parenting a style? (Positive outcomes.)
What do you hope to prevent? (Negative outcomes.)
How is your parenting approach related to your experiences as a child in your own family of origin?
What was your mother’s parenting style? Your father’s? Other caretakers?
Did your parents agree or disagree about parenting?
What were the positive effects of their parenting for you? The negative effects?
How did your parents’ style(s) affect each of your siblings?
What do you wish you had gotten more of from your parents in terms of guidance and care?
What do you wish you had gotten less of? What was missing in their parenting of you?
How does your parenting style accommodate the differences among our own children?
What is your greatest fear/concern in parenting our children?
What is your greatest desire in parenting our children?
Is there more about that?
When your spouse has finished their sharing, then switch so that you can share.

When both of you are done, take a moment to identify the following:
One thing I learned about myself in this discussion. One thing I learned about you. Share with each other.

Hopefully, this will open up the possibility for further conversations about how to join your parenting styles or co-create a joint parenting approach that works for both of you and your children.