Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Backseat Parenting

Backseat Parenting.  You know how irritating backseat drivers are? "This is a 30 mph zone". "You should go around this guy". "I generally go THAT way".

Backseat parenting is the same idea.  You have one parent dealing with the situation.  That parent is trying to get the kids dressed or to do their homework or to eat their breakfast with out killing each other.  The backseat parent is making comments from the couch... where they can't even see what's going on.

The backseat parent is saying "sit down and eat your breakfast" about 3 minutes after you said "sit down and eat your breakfast" and they did.  The backseat parent says "brush your teeth" 30 seconds after your child comes up to you to have you smell his minty breath.

I get it. Sometimes one parent is really tired and just needs to veg on the couch.  And that's fine. I've been that parent. A few times.  But when you choose to be that parent, then stay the hell out of the parenting.  You're making situations worse and frustrating the other parent who is probably already frustrated enough.

Instead, listen to what your partner is saying. When your partner is getting frustrated, then maybe it's time to get off the couch, computer, book, etc.  Make sure you're not repeating what's already been repeated 100 times.  Make sure you're not stepping in and stepping on toes.  Assess the situation. Don't take over.

I've been the backseat parent.  But lately I've been the driver and I'm about to smack that parent in the back upside his head.  So now I know what it's like.  Let's everyone take a little lesson from this, hmm?

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