Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bad Parenting Confessional : We are so inconsistent

I swear to God, sometimes I think somebody is gonna lose a limb!

We have reached a serious phase of the parenting that we are entirely unqualified for, that being, the part where we must deliver only consistent messages. Now me, despite what I say, I do read the parenting "literature". I am a parenting pragmatist but not completely without theory. I feel it is my responsibility, and good sport, to try to decode what the hell is going on with the kid. I go for the following: belief in the right of the child to a range of emotions; clear communication; redirecting incorrect behaviour; and, parental fortitude to get stuff done.

Papa-man's style is *under construction*. Let's just say it does take a lot from the shit shared between siring dads in the workplace.

When things go wrong 8 times out of 10 we offer different responses. I understand if we keep this up the child will eat us alive by the age of four. When we try to discuss the matters in front of our talkative child she is now prone to say "stop it".

What frustrates us most is our complete uncertainty that the divergent choices will ever become complimentary.



Blogger Granny said...

Too tired to try for clever. Just saying hi. I keep sneezing.

9:49 p.m.  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

We're starting to run into the same problem in my house, but we have a little bit more time before it really becomes an issue. Although, if she gets used to eating chocolate cake for breakfast then the Hubby and I have got some serious talking in our future.

6:00 a.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

Thanks for the links!

She's quite right to tell you to knock it off in front of her - smart little thing, isn't she?

Though it simplifies matters immensely when parents have the same approach, a child can learn that parents have different styles without it being traumatic or particularly confusing.

(With the caveat that you don't debate the issues in her presence - that can be traumatic if the "discussions" are at all heated. If one parent gets there first, the other has to bite his/her tongue. No undermining/qualifications of the other parents' parenting allowed, ever, at all, in the presence of the child. (Except in cases of abuse, but I'm assuming that's not what we're talking about here!))

There are a lot of ways to get the job done. Children are not mindless automatons; nor are you two. If you're united in basic principles, you don't have to express them identically to be effective as a team.

You work out what your principles are, what your varying expressions are in your particular partnership.

7:19 p.m.  
Blogger Granny said...

Naw, nobody would want that cat once they got to know her.

I am, however, meticulous about the cats of others.

7:55 p.m.  
Blogger HeatherJ said...

Now that S is home with the girls they respond to him so much better than me, however we have very, and I mean very, different styles. Sometimes it works out okay, but other times I think it is about to cause a major tiff in the family.

12:55 a.m.  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

I'm dreading dreading dreading that stage, for the same reasons. I wake up cold sweats thinking about it. I know that we'll - I'll be eaten alive. I know it.

Thanks - much - for the comment chez moi. Looking forward to *your* update. (Tapping foot impatiently...)

5:18 p.m.  

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