Home > Kids > Behavior and Discipline > Communicating With Your Child > When You Say It Right (But Things Still Go Wrong)
|

When You Say It Right (But Things Still Go Wrong)

You Allow Stereotypes to Intrude in Your Family

Fathers who won't change diapers and mothers who won't play catch with their kids are not only missing out, they are messing up. It may seem small, but when you limit your activities with a child and let your mate take over, you limit your role in other ways, too. Eventually you will be a two-dimensional parent -- very involved in your area of expertise but uninvolved in other areas. This can have far-reaching effects. One study showed that couples with one child, a girl, were 9 percent more likely to divorce than couples who had only a boy. Couples with two girls were 18 percent more likely to divorce than couples with two boys. Why? Evidently fathers spend more time in child-care activities with sons than with daughters. A dad's greater involvement usually improves marital satisfaction and reduces the risk of divorce. (Another study showed that if a girl had brothers, her father was more involved in her life than if she had no brothers.) While it is true that some parents are better skilled at some child-focused tasks than their mates, the less-skilled parent shouldn't abandon efforts to be useful in those areas.

You Don't Give New Approaches a Fair Shot

Ironically, frustrated parents have a tendency to overuse parenting approaches that haven't proved useful but give up on helpful approaches quickly. For example, parents who have found that taking away privileges from a child doesn't stop some unacceptable behavior will continue to take away privileges. They don't question the technique but just assume that their child is obstinate or extra difficult. But maybe they have misidentified the problem. Maybe the punishment is actually making matters worse. These same parents may try a new approach, but the first time they don't get the desired response, they abandon it and go back to the old standbys. If you have reason to believe that a different approach makes sense, try it for at least two weeks. If there is improvement but no resolution, then there is something about the approach that is working. Don't abandon it.



<< Previous: Reasons 7 and 8
|


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

earth day

celebrate our
planet with
these activities
and crafts.

GO

highlights

Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

8 Easter Egg Decorating Ideas
Need some fun ideas for decorating Easter eggs with the kids? Look no further for colorful and cool designs!

7 Ways to Curb Kids' Exposure to Violence
American children are exposed to violence more often than you might think. Learn how to limit your child's exposure to violence and manage the mental health and behavioral effects it can cause.