Daddy Cool

Present a united front! That’s what the professionals say, right? You must agree parenting tactics with your partner, and remember that consistency is key! And so on and so forth.

So, myself and Paulie (my husband) generally agree on the major parenting issues. Yet to say that we have the same style would be, in short, a lie. We have had many barneys discussions about our different approaches. And by that, I mean, I have delivered many parenting sermons to him. Amazingly, he doesn’t appreciate my guidance and instruction in the perfect methods of modern parenting!

He's 'got' this!

He’s ‘got’ this!

I was chatting to a friend today about how our partners’ different approaches to parenting is a bonus. She made me laugh by saying, she can always spot first-time parents by the brow-beaten look on the man carrying the flowery change bag while his partner is berating him for not doing ‘it’ (insert ‘feed/change/car seat’ as appropriate) right!

I reckon it took me until child number two to realise that not only is ‘his’ approach just as valid as mine, it is, in fact, essential to a happy, balanced upbringing for the children.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are times he loses his temper at them, when they are doing nothing more than just being kids. He would often rather watch You Tube clips on his phone than enjoy them reading a story to him. In these and many other instances, the mummy gene kicks in and I take the lead, whilst tutting at him under my breath.

Then there are times when he takes the lead and things are done so much more smoothly that I kick myself for not being the ‘fun’ parent.

I say ‘no, you need to put your coat on yourself!’, he says ‘here, let me hold your coat for you while you put it on.’ Translation – ‘it takes too long to wait for you to put your own coat on, so let’s compromise’.

Where I say ‘ last cartoon and then upstairs to get ready for bed and stories’, he says ‘go upstairs and get ready for bed and you can come back down for one last cartoon before bedtime!’ Translation – ‘I really don’t feel like reading stories tonight, a break from the routine will not be the end of life as we know it!’

A safe landing!

A safe landing!

Where I say, ‘come on, we don’t have time for that’, he joins in with the children dancing and then encourages them to do whatever I have asked. Translation – ‘there is always time for a dance’.

Where I say ‘no, I am not throwing you in the air, you might fall’, he throws them higher and higher in the air as well as swinging them through his legs and up on to the couch. Translation – ‘they are growing up very fast and will all too soon be too big for this!’

Can we go faster?

Can we go faster?

Where I say (normally to my son) ‘fighting, hitting and kicking is absolutely unacceptable!’, he starts play fights with them all the time. Translation – ‘children love rough-and-tumble and need the chance to use up all that energy.’

Yes, you can be spiderman!

Yes, you can be spiderman!

Where I say ‘one treat a day is plenty’, he sneaks them biscuits even between meals. Translation – ‘breaking the rules can be a treat!’

Where I say ‘straight to bed and no messing’, he starts a mini-disco using our bed as the dance floor. Translation – ‘it is never too late to have fun and everyone goes to bed with a smile on their face!’

I was pretty sick last week, and Paulie didn’t think twice about taking time off to mind the children. No, they didn’t do homework at the normal time. Yes, they did have more treats than usual. No, coats and swim gear were definitely not hung up. However, homework was done, dinners were eaten and swimming was enjoyed! I think that last week was possibly the first time I truly appreciated just how valuable his parenting style is, and I am doing my level best to learn from him.

2011-07-10 17.42.51

So forget what the books say! How very dull and grey life would be if we all did and said the same all the time. Variety is most definitely the spice of life… and parenting!

How does you parenting differ from your other halves? Please add your thoughts and comments below!

Thanks for reading

Aisling

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Wonderful Wagon
    Feb 13, 2015 @ 13:03:54

    Love this! It’s so true. Goes on in my house too. Of course, I’m still the better parent. Sniff.

    Reply

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