Parenting differently

The Hubs and I have been talking about parenting and I’ve been thinking about how our styles are similar and different.  Mostly, I wanted to make sure he was okay with the differences, as I am aware that my style may be perceived as more passive and I wondered if he saw it that way.  In fact, when I’m holding back, I’m doing it quite intentionally.  The thing is, when we are together, he will step in long before I will.  I am aware of how this may look to others, which I don’t really care about, but I do care how it is for him.  Did he feel like a more active parent – the one always dealing with BB’s “stuff”? 

When BB has a tantrum, I can be quiet.  I let her do her thing, as it’s my opinion that she isn’t rational and she can’t understand me.  So, I don’t bother talking much.  I do sometimes separate her from me, walk ahead of her, hold her, whatever… keep her safe.  But rarely do I talk to her, except to give her a specific direction (go to your room, I’m picking you up, I’m putting you down…).  I do wait, watch, always looking for signs of change in the tantrum.  Recently, she surprised me by, after a long while of fury, starting to yell in the same agonized voice, “I’m having trouble,” at which time I knew she was ready for my help and I asked her, “do you want to calm down?”, as I wanted her commitment to try before I helped, not magical thinking.  She said she did, so then we started working.  When she calmed, and it took awhile, then I started the rational talk about what had happened.  This was such a cool sign of maturity… her asking for this help, which we talked about too.

Hubs style is more active, right from the start.  It’s just who he is.  It’s not better; it’s not worse.  However, when we are together, he is the more active parent.  My activity is quiet.  Hubs and I  also have a hands-off each others'” stuff” policy.  If I’ve started something, he’s to stay out of it.  If he starts something, I stay out.  Given that my parenting, early in an issue, is often internal, thinking, quiet or just a few words, he’s going to beat me to it and I’m out.  Happily, he says he doesn’t  mind.  He doesn’t see me as a passive parent.  Although, there are times, especially in a BB crisis, that I am a parent of few words.  This may change if she is ever more rational in crisis.

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One Response

  1. Interesting, I think that I’ll get some ear plugs (to protect my ears from the screaming) for the next Jammer tantrum and try your method.

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