Dads parenting style right or wrong?

Dear Readers,

Does your wife tell you that your parenting style is wrong? Do you do things different than your wife? Do your ways of handling your child work better than your wife’s? I recently heard a story about a wife and husband in which the husband is the stay at home parent.

It’s right before bedtime and Sylvia is about to flip out about something – that a page of her picture book is “broken” (read: torn, by her, days before) and that she can’t have three more handfuls of popcorn after we said “one more.” Before I have a chance to ask, “What’s wrong, Syl?” my husband walks up behind her, lifts her up into his arms, and carries her over his shoulder.

“MAMA! NO! Mom-me-ee-ee!!!” she yells, upside down.

My eyes are shooting darts at Aron’s back. By surprising her from behind, he’s made it worse. He just barrels on in, not giving her a chance to calm down. Now she’s never going to go to sleep. It’s just so –

And then, from upstairs, giggling. And then, the low murmur of story reading. And then, silence. And then a triumphant husband, breezing down the stairs, as if it were all a bunch of nothing. “What a sweetie she is,” he says.

I learn this lesson at least once a week: I confuse Aron’s parenting style with being “wrong.” I apparently think, especially in my weaker moments, that he should do exactly as I do. But his way often works just as well as mine – if not better.

And then I’m stuck in a brutal twist: If I thought he was wrong and his approach worked, does that mean he’s right? And that would make me…

Of course, this train of thought is likely to take me nowhere fast. “It’s not about copying your partner’s style or his copying yours,” says Rona Renner, host of the radio show Childhood Matters and a mom of four kids. “It’s about appreciating the way he’s different from you.”

The problem that my wife has with how I do things is not about my way being wrong but that she is not the one being able to console my daughter. She does not mean anything by it, it is just that moms have always been the one that console the children and now it is the dad. Plus sometimes the dad makes it look so easy. So don’t take offense if someone tells you that what your doing is wrong. If it works then stick with it! Has anyone experienced issues with this?

 

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