This isn’t some diatribe about how I’m a better parent or some claptrap like that. The entire situation wasn’t even a big deal but it did raise some thought provoking conversation.

Poppa Bear has never been a 14 year-old girl. I appreciate that sometimes this makes him see things from the outside and approach with a logic that I nor the kidlet can access sometimes. But sometimes understanding how it feels to be a 14 year old girl you do know the root of some reactions and feelings that the kid possibly isn’t aware of or can control. Remember yourself at 14? Boy or girl you probably make a jackarse out of yourself and sometimes those memories come back as adults and make us cringe…But they are learning experiences.

So when something happened and I disagreed with the direction that Poppa Bear took in response. I didn’t talk over him or ignore what he was saying. I didn’t insult his intelligence or parenting capabilities. All I did was say I didn’t think he was going the right thing and why. It wasn’t that he was wrong but I could tell he was missing some insights.

I know partners who would NEVER second guess their other half in discipline matters for fear of creating a division that the child can exploit. To this I say that you’re whitewashing that you’ve probably got some poor communication going on with your partner. Kids can and will try to pit us against each other as they test boundaries and yes, sometimes it works. But if after the first time you and your partner miss the opportunity to use it to create a stronger communication with each other than you’re missing a great opportunity in your lives and your child’s life.

So I stepped in and disagreed and we proceeded to hash out the pro’s and con’s of each of our viewpoints (in short form, we didn’t want to lose the focus on the baby bear caused by the initial catalyst.) and by posing questions to the kidlet as we did so we accomplished several things.

1: We constructively discussed and eventually agreed upon a course of action through an exchange of ideas, feelings and viewpoints from both parental units.

2: We used our own conflict to create a conversation aligned with the original problem to get information from the kidlet in the interest of quantifying each of our positions both solidifying our course of action AND making sure we had as much of the full story as possible.

3: Our kidlet saw two adults in a disagreement that included many facets who agreed on some things, disagreed on others and still walked about with a course of action that focused on the actual problem rather than dragging in a lot of extraneous things that were only connected by very sketchy association. People do not always get along and no compromise happens without some disappointment but if you think something is right or wrong that you should speak up, it’s the only way to be heard.
We’re not perfect parents. We’ve made some mistakes including those inevitable ones where we miss the signs of things right in front of us that every parent makes in some fashion and we’ll probably make a lot more in our efforts to raise a semi-productive person.