One thing I have learned over the years with raising Michael is how he, like all children, is smarter than we sometimes give him credit for. He learned how to play his father and I off each other about two years ago or so, and at first we, like most parents, couldn’t believe it. I remember thinking that due to his special needs, he wouldn’t reach this milestone this quickly. I was wrong. It was Michael’s father that pointed out to me that he was doing this to us. We had to sit down and find out how we each parented differently, where we could reach compromises, and be consistent with Michael. We started making it clear to Michael to be respectful to both of us, and that neither of us would tolerate hitting, yelling or name calling directed at us. In the past, I was one of those Moms that yelled at the Dad in front of the child. It was not something I was proud of. Though his Dad didn’t do as much active parenting as he does now, there was still no excuse for it, and I came clean to my partner and to Michael. Now if I lose my temper and yell at either Michael or his Dad, I admit it, go somewhere and calm down, then come out ready to begin again.
Being on the same page as your partner has many benefits; lower stress levels for you both, happier more energetic parenting for your child/dren, and growth as a human being dealing with stress in a new positive way. Another plus are friends and family commenting on what a team you two are. Michael’s Dad and I have been getting a lot of compliments from family members and friends on how well we are parenting Michael. I feel like in doing this, we are also recognizing parts of each other that need love and attention and boundaries too. This is helping us grow as individuals and as a couple.
Exceptional Moms, how many of you are on the same page as the Exceptional Dads in your household? How difficult is this to do on a regular basis? From personal experience, I can say that it takes admitting where you both are going wrong at first, to taking small steps and making personal change within yourself. Once you have done that, sitting down together to discuss how you can take the best in both your parenting styles and use it to raise your child/dren will take you a long way. Until next time.