Relationship expert Pam Lipe advises a new mom whose husband isn't the father she thought he'd be.
So, this mom would be well advised to start with a different attitude about the dad. She certainly can disagree about putting the child in front of the TV too soon but she needs to be willing to negotiate and compromise. She sees some weaknesses in this dad (less patience and creativity than she has) but do these differences really merit disrespect?
Not really. These are issues of education and experience—not bad character.
So the solutions begin to look different. Instead of "Dad needs to shape up and be a better parent," one solution might be, "We should take some classes together." But that's only one solution. If a loving mom and loving dad are working together, they will be more creative in finding the solutions together for their child. Dad needs to be open to outside education or guidance regarding parenting. Mom needs to be more open about the way Dad parents. Is it different or is it wrong?
Pam Lipe is a licensed psychologist in North St. Paul, MN who specializes in relationship therapy. Read more about her at PamLipe.com.