Monday, July 15, 2013

A Different Approach

"NO DADDY!!! STOP IT!  STOP IT!" my son screamed as my husband splashed pool water on his face.  His little face contorted as he tried to hold back his tears.    I looked up and felt my shoulders tense up.  I hate when this happens.  My husband is very playful and when he goes a little too far, my oldest breaks down in tears.  He does the same thing to me.  The other day I pushed him in the pool and it was a ten minute conversation about why I pushed him, how I didn't mean to scare him, that sometimes that's a fun way to play, etc.  My husband, however had a different approach.

"C'mon buddy - I was just playing," he said with a smile.

"But I didn't like it!  I told you to stop and you didn't stop!" he screamed.

We have regular conversations about the fun "stop it" like when you're being tickled or the serious "stop it" when someone is hurting you.  Both the fun and serious versions sound the same and we often think he's having a great time when he's staying stop it.  I fully expected my husband to say he didn't know that he was serious but instead he said this:

"Tell you what.  You hit me on the head with the noodle three times for the three times I splashed you. Then we're even," he told my oldest.

I saw my son consider this for a moment, then he ran to grab the noodle and gleefully bopped his daddy on the head a few times.  

As a woman, I so often want to talk things through.  I want to know how he felt, what he would rather have happen next time and how he can handle those difficult emotions.  And sometimes that is absolutely warranted.  In this case, it wasn't.  My son needed a guy way to handle it.  A few bops on the head led to a fit of giggles.  Nothing I would have done would have gotten that same response.  That really is the beauty of having a mom and a dad.  We're both good at such different things.  Thanks to my husband for teaching me a different approach.

How does your spouse handle your children differently than you would?  What can you learn from each other as you watch their choices?

1 comment:

  1. My husband handles things very differently with my two boys :) They also react differently to him. With me they cry, with my husband they stay calmer. Kids are funny!


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