The Smaller Perspective: One Way to Parent Effectively

My wife surpasses me in bounds and leaps when it comes to parenting our kids. Not just because she’s home with them seven days a week all day and night, but she seems to really “get it” where it counts.

For my part, I’m naturally self-centered. Strip me down to my bare essentials and you’re left with a Scrooge anger-inside-outMcDuck/Grinch/Anger hybrid.

I hoard my belongings, I covet solitude, and my temper can flare at any given moment. If my kids could talk, they would tell you this is true.

But where I fail my wife excels. She doesn’t have one self-serving bone in her body. And as I observe her parenting style, I’ve noticed she does it in such a way that is unique and fresh and makes everyone around her happy.

She may not do it intentionally, but she parents with a keen sense that our kids are watching her. It’s as though she sees our kids as mini camcorders, so whenever they’re around, she’s all smiles, no matter how she’s really feeling or what she’s going through.

Whereas with me, if I’m in a bad mood, I have a tendency to make sure everyone around me knows it, including my kids.

I need to be more like my wife in this regard. Though our kids are too young to form memories, they are currently compiling opinions of us and the world in mini snapshots, like a camera on autopilot. Like in Wall-e when Eve shuts down. Everything Wall-e did in front of her was being recorded and stored in Eve’s internal database.

Perhaps some of us need to stop focusing so much on the “big” perspective of job frustrations, relationship issues, and getting bills paid, and start thinking of a much smaller perspective – a small perspective from our kids’ point of view, which leaves the largest impression in their world.

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Published by Andrew Toy

Writer when I'm not being a husband or dad. So mostly just a husband and dad.

5 thoughts on “The Smaller Perspective: One Way to Parent Effectively

  1. Well done, James! It’s a good realization to make and something you certainly need to work on. 🙂 No matter how young those little ones are, you are definitely forming impressions. You are a very faithful blogger. I just finished reading a book last night by T.K. Chapin called Amongst the Flames and the main character in the story realized the same thing – he had no idea how his wife could handle so many things with the children and still smile. It was a good read!


  2. I loved this! Thank you for recognizing the differences. It’s natural for a man to think the kids are the wife’s job and leave it at that. Most of them forget their role in being Dad.
    I loved being a Mom and raising three boys. The biggest regret I have is not spending more time with them. I worked, most of the time I had to. My in-laws did a lot of babysitting so at least they had family. Everyone saw me at my worst moments; I never bothered to shield anyone.
    Don’t bet that your kids are too young to form memories. They may not be exactly how we think of memories, but even as infants they recognize mom’s and dad’s faces; they recognize love and security (when being held, talked to, even sung to, etc.).
    Don’t forget that while your wife acts like supermom, she still needs time to be herself and a wife. Occasionally treat her to dinner or give her time to go with her friends to lunch – without the kids. At home I was “Mom!” At work it was always “Nurse!” Not often, but there were times I wondered where “Me” was. It was nice when my husband gave me a little surprise for no other reason than he loved me. It helped me reboot and get back to business with a smile.


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