Ep #85: What to Do When Someone Doesn’t Agree with Your Parenting

Real World Peaceful Parenting | What to Do When Someone Doesn’t Agree with Your Parenting

Real World Peaceful Parenting | What to Do When Someone Doesn’t Agree with Your ParentingAs you practice the peaceful parenting tools that create deep connection and cooperation with your kids, you will undoubtedly encounter people who do not agree with your parenting style. They might pull you into conversations about your parenting practices, and challenge you on the way you deal with your kids’ behavior.

Maybe it’s someone you are close to having an opinion on your parenting, and telling you what you should or should not be doing. Maybe they feel you are handling your child’s storms, tantrums, or meltdowns in the wrong way. Whatever it is, they can quickly trigger you to become defensive about your parenting choices.

In this episode, I’m showing you how to handle it when somebody close to you tells you that you’re parenting the wrong way. Discover the reasons other people may become triggered by your parenting, how to move away from people who want to argue their point with you, and some thoughts you can try to help you stay regulated when these conversations arise.

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why you will never change someone’s limiting beliefs, and how to stop trying to.
  • How to use these conversations to teach your children that other people have different thoughts and beliefs.
  • Why freedom is in our thoughts, not in our circumstances.
  • How to deal with people who insist their parenting techniques are more effective than yours.
  • Why you need to let go of the rope and stop power struggling with people who don’t believe in peaceful parenting.
  • The reason people will try to drag you into an argument over your parenting choices.


Listen to the Full Episode:


Featured on the Show:

  • Click here to sign up for my free Peaceful Parenting mini-course! You’ll find everything you need to continue on the path to peaceful parenting over there just waiting for you. 
  • If you have a suggestion for a future episode or a question you’d like me to answer on the show, email us or message us on Instagram
  • Ep #59: How to Deal with The Parenting Police



Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to Real World Peaceful Parenting, a podcast for parents that are tired of yelling, threatening, and punishing their kids. Join mom and master certified parent coach Lisa Smith as she gives you actionable step-by-step strategies that’ll help you transform your household from chaos to cooperation. Let’s dive in.

Welcome, welcome, welcome. Welcome to today’s episode. Before we jump in today, I would like to give a real world peaceful parenting shout out to suedeshoes who left this beautiful review on Apple podcast. Suedeshoes said, “Lisa’s teachings are so relatable and real. You’ll get new takeaways and lessons to shift your perspective in every episode.”

Thank you so much suedeshoes. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to rate and review the podcast. I love hearing your feedback, but more importantly when you take a moment to rate and review the podcast on whatever service you’re listening, you pay it forward to other families that need this information. The more reviews there are, the more likely that service is to recommend this podcast to other people.

So, again, from the bottom of my heart to every one of you that have taken the time to rate and review the podcast, including suedeshoes, I’m eternally grateful. In addition to that you’re doing good work in the world by paying it forward to other families that need to hear these messages. So well done. Thank you. I really love you very much.

Now, I’m curious. Have you been practicing the peaceful parenting tools that build connection and cooperation with your children? While doing it, have you been pulled into conversations about your parenting practices? I hear about this a lot from you guys, a lot. Maybe you’re pulled into conversations about what you should do or what you should not be doing.

Particularly when your child is expressing his or her needs in the form of a storm, tantrum, or meltdown. I’m talking about those conversations that quickly trigger you to be defensive about your choice to build connection and cooperation with your children instead of dominating and demanding compliance from them. If not, be forewarned one of these conversations might be around the corner as you create deep connection and cooperation with your kids.

I’ve spoken on a previous episode about the parenting police, and how we can manage our thoughts when we get stares and nasty comments from strangers as their children express their thoughts and feelings loudly and uncomfortably in aisle six of Target or in the candy aisle at the grocery store.

Today, I want to add a twist to a similar situation. But this time, I want to talk about the conversations that come up when the people that were closest to have an opinion about our parenting. Your mother, your sister, your close friend might tell you that you need to shut your child down by any means necessary when he or she gets dysregulated because your child is being fill in the blank, inappropriate, disrespectful, unruly, shameful, et cetera.

My response to this might surprise you. I’m here to tell you that there is no point in engaging with someone who tells you that you’re parenting the wrong way. Yes, I said that. There’s no point in engaging with someone who tells you that you’re parenting the wrong way. If they come at you in a way that is telling you you’re doing it wrong, they are stuck in their limiting belief. They are not going to change just because you explained it to them.

Let me say that again. You are not going to change anyone’s limiting belief when they are stuck in their middle brain and coming at you with all the reasons their limiting beliefs and their way of parenting are better than yours, or would serve you, your child, or the community at large better.

Now, some may ask you questions because they’re curious like I hear you’re taking a parenting class, and I see you doing things differently than our parents did raising us. Could you explain it to me? Now that is a signal that they’re open and honestly wanting to know more about what you’re doing. Anything less than that or anything that doesn’t inch close to that indicates that they’re getting triggered because you’re doing things differently, and they need to justify how they’re doing it. Chew on that for a moment. Yeah.

So when they’re getting triggered, they’re getting triggered because they’re doing things differently than you, and they need to justify what they’re doing. So they’re either going to tell you that you’re doing something wrong, or they’re going to drag you into an argument. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve had one of these. They’re going to drag you into an argument where they can stay true to their beliefs. This happens in other topics as well religion, politics, jobs, goals, workout type, et cetera.

This is the distinction I would make. I would not power struggle with someone who wants to tell you you’re parenting the wrong way. If I find myself in a conversation like that, I kindly say something like those are your thoughts, and you’re entitled to them. Thank you for sharing. Duly noted. I hear you. I can see how you see it that way. Let’s agree to disagree. Then I would redirect them, like you would a two year old from the cookie or the red truck, onto a different topic.

Now, I’ve been doing this peaceful parenting thing long enough to tell you that you are not going to change the person’s mind about peaceful parenting, about allowing your children to feel and express their feelings, about the connection being more important and more valuable than compliance, about valuing the relationship over the behavior. You are not going to change their mind. You’re not. It’s unfortunate, but you’re not.

I’ve even seen this with couples that come to me to do one on one work. One person, typically the wife, will sort of drag the other person, typically the husband, to a coaching call. What she sometimes wants to do is use the hour to try to convince the other parent about peaceful parenting, or help him or her find evidence that what she is doing is correct. It rarely works out.

Conversations about trying to prove that peaceful parenting works, conversations that try to prove that connection and cooperation are the way to go often goes something like this. Let’s say I say to Jennifer one valuable tool in peaceful parenting is to always or as much as you can give your kids a choice.

Then Bob would say to me, “Well, Lisa, there was this one time that I gave my kid a choice, and he picked the banana instead of the apple, and then he melted down because he really wanted the apple.” This is what people do. They scan their brain for the one extreme exception to whatever is said. Then they hone in on it as their defense for remaining a dominant parent or for staying married to their belief.

Let’s say you say to your defensive sister well in my peaceful parenting work, I’m convinced that letting my kids feel their feelings works the cortisol out of their bodies, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You keep going. You’re explaining this to your defensive sister. You’re excited. You really want her to understand where you’re coming from. She says, “Well, I let my oldest do that one time. He talked about his feelings for a month, nonstop the whole time, and nothing changed.”

Again, this is what the brain does. It looks for one extreme example when something proved something to be a mistake, and it uses that to justify not shifting to a new belief. This is the basis of cognitive dissonance. This is what we do as humans. We all do this, particularly when we feel defensive about one of our beliefs. We look at the one time that whatever you’re proposing didn’t work. Then we use it to justify staying stuck in our current belief. Let me say that again, we look at the one time that whatever you’re proposing didn’t work. Then we use it to justify staying stuck in our current belief.

This is exactly why I would not power struggle with someone about your parenting style, approach, or choices. Because all it is their thoughts about what you’re doing. Their thoughts are created from their lens of what they believe.

Now, let me give you a real world example that actually happened to one of my clients. So as an example say you and your family go visit your sister. You’re staying at your sister’s house with you, your co-parent, and all of your children. Your sister does not like loud noises. They trigger her deeply, and you know this. She expresses this often to as many people as she can. It’s a known thing in your family. My sister doesn’t like loud noises. They trigger her.

Now for your children, part of feeling their feelings is that it’s noisy and messy and loud. Sometimes it goes on longer than any of us want to, but you’re committed to this. You understand it’s part of the process of them working through their feelings and needs. So for your sister, she struggles with this. She struggles with the noise. Truth be told, she really can’t handle it.

So while your goal is to let your kids storm, your sister’s goal is to get all of that dysregulation, the storming, the meltdowns, the working through the cortisol in the body. Her goal is to get all of that shut down as quickly as possible. That’s the lens she looks through. Your sister’s goal one is to shut it all down and get everything quieted down. Your goal one, on the other hand, is to get it all out, to build cooperation and connection because it helps your kids feel seen, heard, and valued. When they feel connection, they’re more likely to cooperate, and you know this.

But if I’m operating from the place of my number one goal is to keep the volume down as low as possible as often as possible then the idea of you feeling your feelings out loud over and over and over again would probably put me into fight or flight because I think I’m going to die. I can’t handle this noise. It totally triggers me.

So for you and your sister, as you can see, it would be almost impossible for the two of you to have a constructive conversation about whether to let your kids yell or not because you’re each coming at it from a different lens. Unless your sister has an epiphany, and she’s motivated to let the noise in and to work through that and to heal, then this will not be a constructive conversation.

Can you see this? I love this example. The truth is that you and your sister are just looking through different lenses and have different goals and have different interpretations. So this is why it would not be a constructive conversation to talk about your peaceful parenting methods with your sister.

For those of you that are divorced, this is why a lot of times co-parenting can be a challenge. Or if you’re co-parenting with someone that you were never married to, if you’re co-parenting with someone who thinks yeah, I like what you’re doing, but when the kid crosses the line, I’m justified going into dominant parenting. That could be a very triggering conversation for you as the peaceful parent to have with the co-parent who feels justified in sometimes bringing out the dominant parenting.

Because to the dominant parent, the idea of letting anyone “cross the line with me” is completely intolerable, and I’m not going to have it. This is why sometimes it can be very, very, very hard to have a constructive conversation about co-parenting. We all approach it with a different set of lenses and beliefs. You with me? Okay.

To help you manage your own thoughts when you are approached or find yourself stuck in one of these defensive conversations, consider these thoughts to stay regulated yourself. Number one, peaceful parenting has given me access to more love and acceptance of my child. Number two, remember that we find freedom in the way we choose to structure or framework thoughts and the lens we look through. It’s the only place we can experience true freedom is in our thoughts and the thoughts we choose to give energy to.

Number three, freedom is in your thoughts, not the circumstances. For example, the freedom is in your thoughts about your kids storming, not the fact that your kids are storming. Okay. Lastly, let me conclude with this. If your children are hearing these conversations you have with people who want to debate your way of parenting, you have an awesome opportunity to teach your children conflict resolution instead of confrontation.

Let me say that again. If your children hear you having these conversations with your mother-in-law, your sister-in-law, your neighbor, someone at school, your co-parent, you have an awesome opportunity to teach your children conflict resolution instead of confrontation. Think about how powerful it is to teach our children that the goal is to practice accepting that other people have different thoughts, beliefs, and lenses they look through than us. We don’t have to be defensive, and we don’t have to fight to our death until the other person sees our side.

What a beautiful opportunity to show our kids that they can have an opinion and conviction that is different from someone else’s without backing down and without throwing proverbial or literal punches. In other words, we can agree to disagree and still have relationships with people who don’t see the same thing we see. Who don’t look through our lens, who don’t share the same beliefs that we have. Talk about connection. Teaching our children how to help others feel seen, heard, and valued without having to agree with our thoughts or beliefs. Oh my goodness.

Can you imagine a world full of children raised this way? I sure can. I love thinking about it. I love it. I believe in it. I believe in you. So in closing, remember move away from the people that want to argue their point, their lens, in the conversation about peaceful parenting. Remember, you’re not going to change anyone’s belief when they’re stuck in their thoughts, when they’re coming at you with all the reasons their beliefs and their ways of parenting are better than yours.

Instead, simply share with them duly noted. Thank you for sharing. I hear you. Let’s agree to disagree. Then redirect them away from the conversation like you would redirect a two year old from a cookie or red truck. Freedom is in our thoughts not in the circumstances. Freedom is letting go of the rope and no longer power struggling with people that don’t see it your way and that don’t want to jump on the peaceful parenting train. I want this for you. I want this for your kids. Until we meet again, I’m wishing you peaceful parenting.

Thank you so much for listening today. I want to personally invite you to head over to thepeacefulparent.com/welcome and sign up for my free peaceful parenting minicourse. You’ll find everything you need to get started on the path to peaceful parenting just waiting for you over there at www.thepeacefulparent.com/welcome. I can’t wait for you to get started.

Thanks for listening to Real World Peaceful Parenting. If you want more info on how you can transform your parenting, visit thepeacefulparent.com. See you soon.


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Lisa Smith

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