Do You Argue More Now That You're Parents?

8 July 2015

It struck me recently...

Couples arguing

Parenting isn't easy (understatement of the century...) and it's definitely the case that my partner and I argue more now than we ever did before we had kids. Indeed, a recent study by Care.com found that the average parent will argue with their other half EIGHT TIMES A MONTH over the kids.

The topic most likely to cause couples to argue? Can you guess? How to discipline their child.

Giving in to tantrums and one parent saying 'yes' to a child when the other just said 'no' are also among the top things parents are most likely to disagree over. Other common disagreements between parents stem from not following through on a threat of punishment, and one parent being too strict or shouting.  (Oh, these sound woefully familiar).

What really surprised me, though, was that more than three quarters of parents admit to disagreeing or rowing with each other over the upbringing of their child - I've always been inclined to assume that everyone else's families were just sort of sailing along harmoniously, so it's weirdly reassuring to know that that's not necessarily the case.

These are the top ten things that parents are most likely to disagree on, according to the study:

  1. How to discipline their child
  2. Giving in to tantrums
  3. One parent saying yes to a child when the other had just said no
  4. One not following through on a threat of punishment
  5. One parent shouting or being too strict
  6. Whether to let a baby cry or self-settle
  7. How much to spend on children at birthdays and Christmas
  8. Immediately seeing to a crying baby
  9. Letting a child sleep in parents’ bed
  10. How to reward children

How much to spend on kids for birthdays or Christmas and how to reward children for good behaviour or work also made the list of row-worthy issues for mums and dads.

And on the topic of how such domestic disputes get resolved, would it surprise you to learn that 51 per cent of parents say they are willing to compromise, while 38 per cent of respondents say Mum is most likely to have the last word?

Interestingly, more than half of the parents polled say their own upbringing is a factor in why they argue with their other half.

“Don’t sweat every battle," advised Liz Fraser from Care.com. "Let some stuff go. But stick to the things you really believe in, and try to find a way to work together on them, not apart.”

Easier said than done, in the heat of the moment. Does any of this ring true for you? What's the number one kid-related issue you're likely to end up having words with your other half over? And has what you row about as a couple changed since you became parents? We'd love to hear your views over on our Facebook page.

TOPICS:   Parents

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