An Expert’s Advice
I’m very fortunate that my husband and I are on the same parenting page a good 87 percent of the time. Yes, we make our boys clear the table after supper. No, we don’t make them “clean their plates” at supper. Yes, our boys can earn money by doing special things for others or things around the house. No, we don’t pay them allowances.
On two pretty big issues though, we were divided: Sleeping and spanking. When our boys were babies, they didn’t sleep well, and my husband and I had a hard time agreeing on how much, and when, to let them cry. On spanking, my husband was ok with spanking when necessary; I was not.
Rather than going round and round on these two issues, in both cases, we sought out experts for advice. And both times, before talking with those experts, my husband and I both agreed that we would put our trust and faith in those experts, and what they said, we would do.
For sleep, we found a terrific sleep clinic, Millpond. It’s in England, and they worked with us by phone and email. Our wonderful counselor put us onto a schedule and a controlled crying program, and while her advice was sometimes hard, it worked.
For spanking, my husband and I went to a session on Smart Discipline at our church when our son Tyler (now five) was one. We agreed that we would ask Larry Koenig, a respected expert, what he thought about spanking. I was actually surprised by what he said, but I respect him so much that I was ok with following his advice.
This strategy of looking to an expert for advice has served Mike and me well, and I won’t hesitate to do it again in the future!