When It Comes To Parenting, Does One Size Fit All?

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parents fighting in front of kids
Does one size fit all? What happens when two parents see their kids in different ways?

The 12-year-old arrives home from his baseball game, an ice bag larger than his own head balanced against his head. I am not relieved to learn that (in my husband's words) it's "only a black eye."

The space between my son's lash line and his eyebrow is red, blackish, purple, bulging, three times normal size.

 

"You mean he got hit with a baseball? Straight in the eye? Let's go to the ER," I say.

Both boy and husband protest. I am being so silly. I'm fine, the kid says. He's fine, the husband says. From the teenage son, silence. I know what he's thinking: if it were him, we'd be in the car already. If it were him, I'd have gotten a call from the dugout two hours ago, minutes after ball hit socket.

It's not just that my firstborn is cautious and a bit of a hypochondriac, while his younger brother and Dad shake off injuries and regularly threaten to go bungee-jumping together. Or that the teenager is an analytical planner and the preteen intuitively spontaneous. I was prepared, with two kids, that each might share some of each parent's tendencies, and have differing temperaments of their own. I'm A Type A Married To A Type B

What I didn't count on was that their personality differences, so clear to me, wouldn't register with my husband. Yes, when we have a quiet talk and I calmly note that what works for one isn't an option for the other, Frank gets it. But in the moment, he forgets, and instead launches into full let's-solve-this-right-away mode.