I’m a believer that moms and dads are divinely different. Every time I see my husband interact with my kids, I’m reminded of the unique things my husband brings to the lives of our kiddos. Some things just come more naturally to him than it does for me. For example, I really try not to “helicopter parent” but I get so anxious, I just can’t help myself. Here are some things he’s taught them (and therefore has taught me about parenting):
- He teaches them how to do things. My grandmother once said kids desire to be helpful, up until the point they can actually help. I find this saying to be true and I often find it easier to just do things myself. But, my husband takes the time, even when he’s in a rush, to teach them how to do things on their own. As a result, for example, my seven year old has learned to use a screwdriver and attach his own lights to his bicycle!
- He shares his passions. After becoming a mom, my passions generally included quiet and solitude. My husband, on the other hand, can’t wait to share his joys with our boys. My husband loves to fly, and he regularly takes the kids up to enjoy the scenic views of DFW. One night when he was putting the kids to bed, I heard them having a rousing conversation about aircraft weight and size versus runway length. My kids were intrigued! Perhaps it was just a way to delay going to bed, but more likely, they were enthralled by daddy’s excitement and experiences.
- He encourages them to challenge themselves. My seven year old rode with training wheels (or what he refers to has “stabilizers”) up until a few months ago. While I was more content with preventing scraped knees and crocodile tears, my husband encouraged him to give it a try without stabilizers. Despite being a little scared, my kiddo tried and succeeded! Now he’s a bike-riding maven, chasing dogs and racing cars.
- He lets them do dangerous things. If it were up to me, my kids might never learn how to use a knife or use a sparkler on 4th of July; all I can think about is how many fingers might get cut up! Hubby, on the other hand, is standing side by side with them as they navigate cutting pumpkins on Halloween or carrots for lunch.
- He lets them be themselves. My seven year old loves police so much that he dresses in a police outfit every day (complete with badge, tie, and hat). Even though I try to convince him to have a little variety in his clothes choices (partially so others DO know he has more clothes than that), my hubby is totally okay washing his shirt late at night so he can wear it again the next day.
I’m glad that even if I can’t let go some of my anxiety, my hubby is there to help even it out a bit — even if it means I need to stock up on Band-Aids.