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  • Husband

    My husband has wonderful instincts when it comes to parenting but has no background, isn't really familiar with a lot of parenting techniques, etc. For the most part of DD's life, he has worked ALOT and his good instincts carried him well. Now that she is a toddler and her is around more, certain things that he says are really bothering me and I am looking for advice on how to approach him without seeming like I think I know everything or him thinking that I am overthinking things,etc. The two main things that are bothering me are that he does a lot of overt praise. "Good job! You are such a big girl" Those kinds of things where I tend to feel that that can lead to a child always looking to you for approval instead of finding satisfaction within. The other thing is that he is always saying she is silly or cute when she is being serious. Like she will make a discovery about something, and be very serious and state her discovery in a way that sounds funny to him when she is really making a great connection and he will say that she is so silly or that what she said was cute. I kind of feel like that is telling her that he values her cuteness but isn't showing that he respects her ideas and that she is an important person. Some may say I am being nitpicky, but I am making a conscious effort to work on those things, so it feels like my efforts go out the door when he is not on board. I want to approach him about this, but in a non-threatening way and am looking for advice. Anyone have similar experiences? I was thinking about say that I was working on those things, and this is my reasoning, asking what he thinks about it and then if he seems to agree, telling him I would love to work together on making a conscious effort. But he may think that I am overthinking things, etc and in that case, I don't know what I would do or say. Any suggestions? Thanks! Hopefully I made sense!

  • #2
    Your example sounds like me and my husband! I also make a conscious effort to relate to my kids in a positive, unconditional way, so I know what you mean about noticing every little thing people say to them. I don't always agree with what my husband says to our may be too "praising" for my taste or just not at all what I would say to them.

    What you said about bringing it up later as something you are working on is exactly what I do, too. At a time when we're not in the moment (when he hasn't just said Good Job! for something that doesn't need it), I'll bring up an article I read and try to start a discussion. (Like this one: 5 Reasons to Stop Saying Good Job.) I'll tell him that it's something I'm going to start working on...being more cognizant of how often I say good job/ use blanket praise.

    He may or may not agree with things I'd like to change, but it's important to start the discussion, so at least he is aware. But when it comes right down to it, I have to realize that my husband is a different person than I am, and he's going to have a different relationship with our kids than I am. I've had to come to some level of acceptance that he's not going to parent exactly the same way that I our kids grow (they're 4 1/2 and 6 now), I've been able to see that that really is OK. They're turning out just fine, even when people tell them they're "good"

    The other things that have helped my husband and I get on the same page is reading a parenting book & talking about it (Like Unconditional Parenting, by Alfie Kohn), sharing/ emailing articles (again to talk about/ find out where your differences are), going to see speakers (We saw Gordon Neufeld together), and taking a parenting class together (a Positive Discipline class). Again, the point is not to get him to agree with you, but just to open the door for discussion and make everyone more aware of each other's parenting approaches.


    • #3
      Thanks Kelly! I can see how us being different is okay, and sometimes good. I am hoping he will atleast try to reduce those things a little and hopefully I can get him to read some parenting books with me. I think the other problem is that I feel a little disconnected from him, we have both been traveling lately or have had family in town and feeling a little disconnected makes those little things more annoying. I realized this after reflecting a little last night. I am going to wait a week and focus on reconnecting with him, and then try to bring it up as something that I am working on. Thanks for your imput!