Tag Team Parenting
(also at the Usable Insight blog)
Children get mannerisms and attitudes from both parents
but develop their inner calm and feeling of well being
from how much their parents like, trust and respect each other.
research shows that a significant part of a child‚Äôs mind and
personality is influenced not by how their parents react to the child,
but by how their parents respond to each other.
frustrating and at times demoralizing to children is not so much that
mothers and fathers disagree or argue (as they inevitably will), but
that parents continue to argue over the same things and never
definitively resolve them once and for all.
observe parents arguing without resolution they see emotion and reason
locked in a ‚Äúzero sum‚Äù fight instead of cooperating with each other.
When they then internalize into their personality that emotion and
reason cannot work together, their inner sense of calm and well-being
is replaced by restlessness. It is as if at any moment their own
emotion and reason are on the brink of doing battle in their mind
reminiscent of what they observe between their parents. And this
destroys inner calm and well being.
As the lack of cooperation
between the emotion and reason in their observed world can create chaos
in their life, the lack of cooperation between emotion and reason in
their own mind can create flaws in their developing personalities.
best example of how emotion and reason can work together between a
mother and father utilizes ‚Äútag team parenting.‚Äù This is when one
parent being better at logical problem solving tells the child to go to
the other for comforting if that is what the child seems to need. And
conversely when the other parent who is better at emotional comforting
tells the child to go speak to the other for help with solving a
problem if what the child needs more is good advice.
¬© 2008 Mark Goulston