Jennifer Johnston-Jones, Ph.D.
More involved with parenting
How can I get my spouse more involved with parenting? To get your spouse more involved in the process of raising your kids and your children is an essential part of creating the ideal family. What you need to do is create a “family plan”. Sit down together and really talk about your expectations. You might not even know them yet. You might not know what you want or how to get it. But it’s almost like a business. It isn’t one plus one equals one. You are just creating a couple or one family; you have a couple and then you have your child and then you have your family.
So you really need to bring these forces together and really identify what it is exactly that you want. Perhaps your spouse doesn’t want to be more involved and that’s really what the way his childhood was or her childhood was and that’s really where they’re happy. I wouldn’t recommend you putting your expectations on your spouse. You need to respect your spouse or partner for wherever they’re at. If they really only want to be involved with their children when they return home from work and maybe they choose to have a life beyond the children on the weekend, you need to honor that. All we know is we have one life to live and the worst thing you could do is push your own expectations on to your spouse.
Somewhere in the middle you need to meet. But it really does require sitting down, writing out a plan, and meeting somewhere in the middle, having some sort of a compromise.
Most couples differ in their expectations of how much time or involvement they should have with their children. Usually, and I hate to be stereotypical, but usually, it’s the wife wanting more time with the children and the husband sort of, you know, being away doing his career. And that’s changing, of course. Now, there is more balance and roles aren’t as traditional. Nevertheless, generally these roles tend to remain consistent. So give him that. You need to sort of not expect your husband to be a wife, not expect your wife to be a husband, and stop putting your own expectations on your partner.
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