Permission to Breed - If You Can Agree

Dear Relationshipper,

If you and your partner tend to have a different point of view when talking about raising children, does that mean you are not well suited to be parents together? For example, I would lay down a firm line with my children regarding drinking, smoking, and sex being absolutely unacceptable while they're minors under my roof (as was done for me), while my boyfriend feels that it's naive to believe that they won't do these things (sneaking around behind our backs, etc) and thinks it's more important to maintain open lines of communication to make sure they are being safe. I don't like assuming that my kids will be irresponsible and operating from a "damage control" point of view and sometimes wonder if it would be best to not have children together. What are your thoughts?


Dear Erica,

When a couple has differing opinions on childrearing, it can be either a blessing or a curse – the result is entirely up to you.  Let me explain.

If a child is raised by two parents with very different viewpoints, this can actually be an asset to the child.  The world is full of varying perspectives, and the child who becomes the most likely to succeed is the one who is able to accept all points of view.  He or she can learn to compromise by following your example.

If you and your partner continually battle to get your own way (or no way at all), your child will learn that you should always fight, not negotiate, in life.

If you can learn to cooperate, you can take the best of both of your worlds.  Meet in the middle.  Instead of telling your children they are not strictly forbidden to drink, smoke or have sex while under your roof as minors, advise them about the dangers of doing these things.  Phrase it as such that they will be punished if you find out they have been partaking in these activities, instead of saying that these activities are strictly banned.  Make sense?

Of course it’s not just you who will have to compromise.  He will have to become a little more rigid in his thinking.  There must be a reason you are with him to begin with.  I do believe that couples should share similar morals and beliefs about life, for that makes it a lot easier to get through the inevitable troubles that will pop up.  If he shares the same basic beliefs about life as you, you two will be fine – just as long as you both compromise.  And of course if you do decide to have children together, work out your game plan on how to raise your children before you get pregnant.

Hope that helps.  Come on back tomorrow for more questions.  In the meantime, email me at:  And leave a comment – do you agree with my opinion?



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