I wrote last night’s post about the “D” for decision in the ABC’s of parenting at the end of the day, while trying to prop my eyes open long enough to have a coherent discussion with The Husband and The Boy. It occurs to me that there are some things I should add about parenting and decision-making.
There happen to be two parents in this family.
Very often when one of these big decision-making situations come up, The Husband and I don’t agree on what the answer should be. In my mind, he almost always leans toward “let the kids do whatever they want” because in his youth his mother was so oppressive that he can’t stand to rein our kids in. That’s my take, and I’m sure he would consider it unfair.
I tend to be a lot more cautious, and I tend to make big decisions at the gut level. I have good instincts, and I’ve learned to follow them. I’m sure The Husband would say I tend to be irrational and emotional in decision-making, and I would consider that unfair.
All this is to say that if there are two parents in the mix, a lot of listening and discussing is required. Warning: Do not do this discussing in front of the child in question. I learned that one the hard way long ago.
Don’t let yourself be pressured into an instant decision.
I find that kids generally want an answer immediately. Often when they have a friend on the phone or on Facetime, listening in. And the big questions/requests always seem to come when I’m right in the middle of something else that requires my attention. Another lesson learned the hard way: Don’t give an immediate answer.
Big questions deserve think time. Finish the task at hand. Take some time to think, to discuss with your spouse/partner if you have one, and to get ALL relevant details from the supplicant. There probably will be a lot of groaning and howling about the delay, but you’ll save a lot of heartache in the long run.
And a brief follow-up to last night’s decision NOT to let the boy take a road trip Friday to Saturday: He chose not to speak to me or even say goodnight last night. He was sad and disappointed. This morning he was his pleasant, normal self. Still not thrilled with the “no,” but moving on.
Situation under control. Until the next time.