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

parents fighting in front of kids
Love, Family

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.