Guide When Parents Disagree and What You Can Do About It

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Instead of answering, your child looks at you for help. In this situation, the focus goes to the wrong place.

How to Find Harmony When Parents Disagree - Expert Tips & Advice . PBS Parents | PBS

Take a time-out if you need one. Try taking a walk, go do something else, or take a drive. When you come back later, set up a time to talk. It helps couples to give each other a few minutes and just talk about why a certain issue is important. Everyone has their own wishes, their own yearnings, their own traditions, their own visions of the future.

Now I understand why this is so important to you. Believe it or not, natural differences between spouses can be treated as strengths, not as causes for arguments. Differences can help us expand our own perspective and understand one another better. No two people are going to come together with the exact same opinions and values percent of the time.

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The important thing is to find a way to come together so your kid is not pulled into the middle of your differences. You must log in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Create one for free! Responses to questions posted on EmpoweringParents. We cannot diagnose disorders or offer recommendations on which treatment plan is best for your family. Please seek the support of local resources as needed. If you need immediate assistance, or if you and your family are in crisis, please contact a qualified mental health provider in your area, or contact your statewide crisis hotline.

We value your opinions and encourage you to add your comments to this discussion. We ask that you refrain from discussing topics of a political or religious nature. Unfortunately, it's not possible for us to respond to every question posted on our website. For more than 25 years, Debbie has offered compassionate and effective therapy and coaching, helping individuals, couples and parents to heal themselves and their relationships. Recognize whether your parent team divides tasks ineffectively — and what to do about it. Create a united front — — even as kids and time make this seem impossible.

Divide and conquer — sibling rivalry and the parenting team.

How to Find Harmony When Parents Disagree

Create greater intimacy — what to do to connect when everyday stressors pull us apart. While it's important to be respectful of their input, make it clear your life and your relationships are yours, not theirs. Parents often want to give advice to prevent the same mistakes that they may have made. Hear them out, but make it clear that ultimately your romantic decisions are your own. For example, say, "I know that you want to provide advice, and I understand what you're saying. I hope that you can respect my decision and support who I'm dating.

Staying grounded can help you to navigate disagreements with your parents. Listen to your body and pay attention if you find yourself getting anxious or upset. The more aware you are of these physical and behavioral symptoms, the better you can control them with time. Practice stopping yourself before getting too upset with them. Avoid getting defensive or reacting quickly when they make an accusation. Learn to express yourself through patience rather than frustration. For example, if your mother makes a negative comment about what you're doing that makes you upset, stop yourself before reacting.

Can we try to talk this through in a respectful way? Listen attentively before reacting to what they say. Stop and think before you start to attack what they said or did. If they're trying to seemingly give advice, give them a chance to speak.


Be open-minded about why they may be saying or acting a certain way. Give them a chance in the same way you would want them to give you a chance.

Express your feelings calmly. Avoid yelling, screaming, or bad-mouthing them as a way to make your point.

While getting upset will happen from time to time, avoid making it the common way of communicating with your parents. What if my parents are immature in the decisions they make and this frustrates you? Not Helpful 0 Helpful 0.

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