Need a quick answer to a career or personal dilemma? Career and life coach Marielys Camacho-Reyes will answer your concerns in her column “Ask the Coach.”
My wife and I have been married for 14 years now. We have two children; a teenager boy and a five year old girl. I am a stay home dad, which means that I am the one who is primarily dealing with the kids while my wife is at work. I have an established routine for the mornings when the kids are getting ready for school and another one for the afternoons when they come back from school. Basically, it’s a flexible routine so the kids don’t think we are being too strict with them. I believe kids should have flexibility and options in life and, in my opinion, my routines work perfectly. The issue is that my wife thinks that my way of treating the kids is not the most proper one. She thinks that I am been way too soft with the kids and that, at the end, it will ruin them. She is out of the house most of the time and by the time she comes home, everything is done so I don’t see what her problem is. The only reason she is making a big issue is because the other day, she took a day off from work and when she tried to do our daughter’s hair in the morning, she learned that I sometimes allow our daughter to do her hair the way she wants it and, on those days, she does it by herself, which means that on that day, she probably will go to school with a messy hair. And, the other thing that she learned while on her day off was that I allow our 15 year old son to play video games after he comes from school for an hour and then, he will need to start doing his homework. When she found out what was going on in her house (as she nicely put it), she flipped and has been on my back telling me how of a bad father I am. Am I doing something wrong here?
Joe, the softie.
Dear Joe the softie,
I think that you are doing great by establishing a routine for the kids. Since you are the one who gets to stay home with the children, I guess is fair for you to be the one who gets to tell how things run. The issue is that your wife also has a saying in all that because the kids are hers too. She may be the one working outside, but she has the same authority than you to decide what goes on in your children’s lives. I will suggest for you to sit down with your wife and try to come up with a plan that beneficiates all the parts involved. If you want to continue doing things the way you have being doing them, you need to try to explain her the reasons behind your actions. Once she sees the bigger picture, she may change her opinion about the way you are doing things. Remember; she is out of the house most of the time, and because of that, she may feel like she doesn’t have control of what goes on in the house. Try to include her on the decision you make and she may start feeling like she is still part of the family and not an outsider. Good luck!
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