Duncan Elliot is a life coach working out of Basingstoke in England. He particularly works with people who feel that there must be more to life and are willing to work at it, so that they can feel happier and more in control of their life. He offers life coaching in person, on the phone or via audio or video across the Internet. Click here to contact him.
Theodore Hesburgh said, "The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother". To some it comes naturally. Others of us need to work on it. And if we're going through tough times, it can be easy to forget to do it. Here are some great ways of doing it!
Catch the wind in your sails!
1. Believe your wife
No matter what bizarre behaviours she describes, or how different from the ones that you observe, believe her WAY, WAY beyond your kid(s). Unless you know she's an inveterate liar, believe her. Seriously, she's much more likely to be understating the issues than overstating them!
2. Trust your wife
If she says that she thinks your child needs help or has problems or whatever, she's generally much more likely to be right than you are. If her instincts are telling her that something is wrong, go with her instincts. Especially if she's read up on parenting issues and you haven't.
3. Support your wife
Help her when she needs it; give her a break when she needs it; do the shopping, ironing, cooking or whatever to support her. Make sure she can, and has your encouragment to go shopping on her own, out with her friends or away for the weekend. No emotional blackmail or “I won’t know what to do” kind of stuff. You're a man: you will all survive a weekend without her. You CAN do it. (Top tip: kids can survive a weekend eating nothing but cereals and wearing the same set of clothes).
4. Back up your wife
Things like, "If you don't put your shoes on right now, we're not going to Granny's". OK, so she may have got it wrong, but back her up, anyway. Present a solid front.
5. Check with your wife
If your kid tells you, "Mum said it's OK for me to strip the wallpaper off my bedroom. Where do you keep the scrapers?" check with her before agreeing to it. Otherwise the kid will be telling mum, "But Dad gave me the scrapers to do it..."
6. Love your wife
Believe me, she's an incredible person! You may never know how hard she works looking after a traumatised kid, but it is much tougher than you realise. Watch her. See her patience, courage, perseverance and love. Think about the great things she does and drop the ones that she gets wrong. And tell her! Write her notes. Send her texts. It's amazing what a lady can achieve with the love of a good man.
7. Thank your wife
Is there food in the fridge? Has she cooked your tea? Has she ironed a shirt? Has she vacuumed? Has she got the kids to school with lunch? OK, has she got up? Well, thank her! Knowing that you've noticed and not taken it for granted will give her so much more courage.
8. Praise your wife
It's the next step up from thanks. “Thanks” is noticing that she did something. “Praise” is noticing that she did it well. Nice meal? Tell her! She handled that tantrum well? Tell her! She's scrubbed up OK? Tell her!
9. Speak gently to your wife
OK, so you come in from work hungry and tired. The place is a tip. She hasn't even thought about cooking and she looks a fright. Being gentle and kind and empathetic and caring will boost her and give such a good example to your kids.
10. Believe your wife
(Same as number 1!) No matter what bizarre behaviours she describes, or how different from the ones that you observe, believe her WAY, WAY beyond your kid(s). Unless you know she's an inveterate liar, believe her. Seriously, she's much more likely to be understating the issues than overstating them!
Contact me if you want to work through the implications of these, come up with your own ideas based on your particular situation, or if you want to rekindle your love.