“My Dad is the Best Dad Ever!”

My youngest was with me when I received my printed book from the publisher.  She helped me open the box, she shared in my jumping up and down, and knowing that it was an eventful occasion, she got the camera and took my picture.  We had a great, whirlwind time.

After the mini-celebration, it was time for her to head to her dad’s house for the evening.  As we were walking out the door, I grabbed a book to take to him.  I could tell by my daughter’s face that she did not approve.  She knows that it is a book that ‘teaches parents to be better parents’ and she was not going to tolerate any suggestion that her dad needed to be a better parent.  My six year old announced that her dad “didn’t NEED the book because he is the Best Dad EVER.”  She went on to justify her position by declaring, “He lets me stay in my pajamas all day and watch movies!” 

New Chapter: Divorced Parenting Situation #47 Communication: “My Dad is The Best Dad EVER!”

#47, The Old Way:  This time, instead of me detailing the Old Way of reacting to this divorced-parenting situation, I’m going to trust that the pervasive reactive culture hasn’t skipped you and that your mind has already looped several Old Way come-backs… many of which probably wouldn’t be fit for typing in a Pro-Child blog.

But, what is The Pro Child WaySM to this divorced-parenting situation?  After reading Divorced Parenting Situations #1-#46, are you starting to get a feel for The Pro Child WaySM?  If so, YAY YOU!

Getting to the point where you are even THINKING about The Pro Child WaySM is a huge accomplishment.

Outside my window is a quiet road that is on the “Student Driver” route.  Today, must be the start of a new session.  One student was driving slowly, unaware that his turn signal was on. Bless him as he navigates a new skill.  Another student didn’t respond to the stop sign till she was halfway through the intersection.  That’s when I saw the break lights come on resulting in an abrupt stop.  Bless her as she learns to coordinate her actions with her thoughts.  The whole process makes me smile.  Learning a new skill takes time, and concentrated effort.

#47, The Pro Child WaySM: When hearing “My Dad is the Best Dad EVER”, at what point does your response match up with the stop sign that you are passing?  Stop sign = Smile.  Stop sign = Smile.  Over and over again, you need to practice.  Upon seeing a stop sign, you need to smile.  Of course the key to avoiding a disaster is recognizing the stop sign in the first place. Be on the look out and then respond in anticipation.  Because more important then the exterior of your vehicle, your child’s heart is what will damage as you plow blindly through it.  Stop sign = Smile.  “My Dad is the Best Dad EVER… we stay in pajamas all day and watch movies!”  Smile.

As you smile, your mind gets the chance to look both ways.  You get to assess all of the oncoming responses, and choose to proceed when it’s safest.  Take as long as you need for anger, sarcasm, bitterness, and sadness to pass you by, and wait for the response that is a true reflection of your child’s heart.

Smile.

Yes, Love, Dad is the best.  I know sometimes you get to have a pajama movie day, and that you love doing that with Dad.” 

Smile.

I’m giving Dad the book because it has your picture on the front and your name inside.  Dad knows I’ve been writing this book for awhile and he’ll be glad to see it in print too.

By now, we’ve driven to her dad’s place, and as she jumped out of the car I could hear her saying, “Look dad, mom’s new book with me on the cover!”  And then it quickly got dismissed in her eyes as she next produced her much-more-exciting Christmas present for him.  All was as it should be.  Before pulling away, I relayed to her dad the “Best Dad EVER” affirmation.  This time, I could tell by her face that she approved of my gesture.

When married, it was my natural desire that my daughter would think of her dad as “The Best Dad EVER.”  Divorce doesn’t change that.  The benefit that she received then, is the same benefit that this thought brings her now.  I am here to support, encourage, and love my child, and I do that best by looking through her six-year-old eyes.  Today, when you find yourself smiling at your stop sign, reach down and put on your child’s eyes before proceeding.  This is The Pro Child WaySM.

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Relates to The Pro Child Way: Parenting with an Ex. 46 Pro-Child Solutions for Typical Divorced Parenting Situations. Ellen Kellner. www.TheProChildWay.com All rights reserved.  Permission to repost with credit.

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