During the courting stage, couples seldom discuss about their parenting styles. Even if they do, it may not necessarily turn out that way because parenting styles is learned along the way. You may say that you want to be this and that kind of parent but after the kids come along, you will grow and change as a parent. So, what do you do when parenting styles differ? Err…. actually I don’t know and I would be most grateful if anyone could give me a good piece of advice. 😛
I am fortunate in that most of the time my spouse and my parenting styles do not differ very much. We have the same values though we are very different. However, at times we have our differences too. For example, exams. Yes, exams. Whooooaa! That word can create a lot of tension in homes. I really don’t know what to do about parents who scold their child who scores over 90 for their papers. I want to whack them on their heads. But what to do when that parent is your spouse? I really have no idea.
My spouse scolded my girl for scoring 90 for her Math paper. Ok. To be very fair, he does not expect for her to get 100 in every paper. However, he had spent a lot of time teaching her Math (he teaches her Math while I handle other subjects including the Chinese part in Math) so he was disappointed when she made many careless mistakes because he knew that she was capable of doing better. I suppose that is fair enough. He is also a good father to spend many hours teaching them.
What I did not agree with is the way he scolded her. “How come you only got 90 for your Math! That is shocking!” and then he went on to scold her about her carelessness reducing her to tears. Naturally, mummy got a scolding as well. “You are too stubborn. You never make her practise past year papers in an exam environment. You never made sure she has enough practise for those kinds of questions that came out.” I tried to tell him that his demeanor was all wrong (to me at least) but he got even madder saying that as usual I did not support him in anything he did. Now that got me mad so I told him that he should go and play badminton with his friends tomorrow evening (Its our 10th wedding anniversary) as he had earlier asked if he should go. Of course asking him to go then and play badminton with his friends has got nothing to do with kids exams! Women are sometimes crazy like that or is it just me? 😛
I digress. Back to exams. I still think that the kids should be praised and that he had spoiled everyone’s evening with his scolding. Everyone was looking forward to a relaxing evening for the first time after exams. The kids had worked so hard and they both did really well, scoring above 90 for every paper. It is the boy’s first time doing tests and he didn’t acknowledge or praise him for getting 100, 99.5, 98 for some of his papers. He was too busy scolding the girl. Apart from her Math, she scored mostly above 95 for her other papers but that was dimmed because of Math. Again I must emphasize that it was not because of the marks itself or because she failed to get 100 but because of the carelessness. Of course she also got scolded because she got penalised for forgetting to write her name on her Science paper. (but that one I agree). I had seen the girl looking forlorn and sad when she had over 90 during an earlier test before. I thought that was all wrong. She should be happy but she was sad and unhappy because she was afraid daddy would scold her. I tried to tell him that but he wouldn’t listen. I worry that he will place undue pressure on the kids to perform as there is no room for carelessness. I agree that kids should be taught not to be careless but zero tolerance for carelessness is scary to me.
He says that the kids should learn from young that results counts whereas to me results aren’t the only thing that count in life. I guess we are all a product of our upbringing. Husband had strict parents. I had a mum who died early and a dad who was too busy trying to work and take care of 5 kids at the same time that I was left pretty much on my own. I studied on my own accord. I didn’t do all that well but I wasn’t all that bad either.
I think the kids had worked really hard and a positive word of praise and a hug should be given instead of scolding. Something like a hug and “Wow. You both did really well in your tests. I know you both worked really hard. That is good but look here, you made quite a lot of careless mistakes in this paper. Lets see what went wrong and learn from that mistake shall we.”
So what do you do when you have differences of opinion like that?