Friday, July 09, 2010

Learning By Example

For the last eight years that I have raised J alone, I craved an adult couterpoint to my parenting worldview. When in doubt, I had to second guess myself or ask another parent who knew close to nothing about J's temperament or our domestic dynamic. Advice I realized quickly cannot be provided in vaccuum. It is of limited value and cannot be applied as is to the situation at hand.

With the coming of DB into our household,  I now have the much desired second opinion  and I find myself feeling a myraid of less than positive emotions in reaction to anything he has to say on the subject of J. To my prejudiced ears, a lot of what DB says sounds straight out of parenting coaching manuals am prompt to reject it. Had he rasied any kids of his own, I would have felt different.

As with any offhand rejection there is more than a little bathwaterism involved in the process. On several occassions, DB draws from his own life experience - growing up without the kind of parental support and supervision he wanted, he has an unique vantage point. He knows what did not work for him as a child. I struggle to parse out of DB's commentary on my parenting style, anything that I can accept without prejudice, assign it the necessary importance and most importantly bring about the change in myself that would influence J's life positively. While I am not able to do that immediately, I find it easier to observe his interactions with J and compare the differences between how each of us operates. By observing J's reaction, I am sometimes able to find a flaw in my way. 

1 comment:

ggop said...

Isn't it tough to accept advice which is different from your gut reaction/feeling? Sometimes it does help to take a step back like you say.