Sunday, April 12, 2015

One Simple Thought to Help Solve Your Parenting Disputes

Dr. Juli Slattery spoke in March at the Hearts at Home conference about how to parent as a team. She shared three paradigm shifts she has made in her thinking as a mother and wife that have helped smooth out the parenting struggles between her and her husband.

One of them really hit home with me, and I want to share it in case it helps you too. Are you ready, moms? Here it is: My Kids Need a Dad, Not Two Moms. 
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / dobled

Whew. That really woke me up. When I heard that, I realized I often try to get Paul to parent the same way I do -- calmly and in a nurturing, motherly manner.

He tends to handle delicate situations more abrasively. It often makes me uncomfortable, and I feel compelled to smooth it over. But I have come to learn through experience and from hearing Dr. Slattery talk, that I need to be more open to Paul's ways.

For instance, there have been a few times when my "nurturing" way of handling an upset child actually made the situation worse -- the child cried harder.

Paul gets so frustrated with me in those instances and takes over in his "manly" way. Somehow it works. He manages to calm the situation down -- usually with his personal style of humor. 

His approach is much different than my approach, but it isn't wrong. And thank God for it, because it works better than mine sometimes! 

I mention God here on purpose. I think He has everything to do with this. He designed men and women to be different on purpose. We compliment each other. Kids need their moms and dads to parent differently for their healthy development.

Dr. Slattery shared research with us that indicates having both a mom and dad is one of the most critical factors to a child's academic, emotional, behavioral, spiritual, and physical well-being.

I know it's not rocket science, but I think it is profound, and we moms need to remember to allow our husbands to do what they do best -- parent as a dad! It's not to say they don't need some guidance along the way, but they might not need as much as we are accustomed to giving them. It's certainly something to ponder.

The expression on Paul's face when I shared this with him was priceless. I think it was a look of relief and excitement and feeling validated. I dare you to try this at home.

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