My wife and I just sat down to have the talk. Not the talk where I’m reminded of all my shortcomings. We have those too. But today’s check-in was about the kids.
From time to time, we exchange recent observations, feelings, and thoughts about how are kids are doing, and how we’re doing as parents. Are we over parenting? Are we pushing them enough? Are we spending enough quality time together? Have you found any new magic words to ease tricky transitions?
We’ve been doing this informally since the kids were born. They’re not scheduled. It probably happens once every few weeks to every few months. More often when the kids were younger.
In the early years, it might be more about what comforts them when they’re upset, what gets them to sleep faster, and things that make them laugh.
As they get older, we talk more about how to encourage healthy habits, how we should react to bad behavior, and how we can teach growth mindsets and positive self-esteem. And how to make them laugh.
I’ll continue to share the finer points of things we’ve observed, failed at, and learned. But the important thing here is to find time to connect with your partner. Time when you’re both relaxed, open, and non-defensive.
These talks are useful for reflecting on how you parent, checking your beliefs and intuitions, and asking your partner if they have suggestions or feedback. And for admitting that you don’t have all the parenting insights. I certainly don’t.
It’s a reminder that your kids are in a constant process of development and change, and you need to be aware of this, and learn to change with them.
It’s also a reminder that, as parents, we are still developing ourselves. At least in my experience, I come away from these talks every time re-convinced of just how important it is. So if you don’t already, I encourage you to grab your partner and give it a shot.
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