Today I’m excited to have Jill, writer of Confidence Meets Parenting. She is one of my go-to blogs for uncomplicated parenting advice. Make sure you pay her a visit! ~Alissa
What to Say to Make Your Spouse and Even Better Parent
By Jill Riley
My husband and I were talking over dinner on a date night when I complimented him on how patient he’s been with the kids. The compliment was something I had thought about a few times, but never said out loud. I don’t know why, I guess it just hadn’t occurred to me.
He picked up the conversation before the sentence was even all the way out of my mouth. I was surprised at how easily he received the compliment. Patience with the kids was something he had intentionally been working on (little did I know). I was basically reaffirming a conversation he’d been having with himself.
We went on with enjoying the quiet evening and I didn’t think much more about it until a couple weeks later. Hubby was on the phone with a friend (and even though I swear I wasn’t eavesdropping 😉 ) I overheard him causally repeat the compliment.
Hmmm. Now that really got my attention. Of course he knows I think he’s a good dad. A great dad even. But just like with kids, hearing a specific example makes all the difference.
As a Mom who is drawn to parenting and kid stuff, I spent days figuring out how this really breaks down for parents. Here’s what I came up with…
1. Parenting can feel like a guessing game. Some parenting tricks show instant results… most don’t. It feels good when someone notices your efforts because that may be the only reinforcement you get.
2. At home parenting can look very different than “I have an audience parenting”. Have you ever been complimented by a friend or family member. While your smiling on the outside you can’t help but think “Yeah but you haven’t seen me on a bad day”. Your spouse or co-parent sees you at your worst… their compliments really matter.
3. It’s always a good time for a compliment. Pay attention to what your spouse is doing well. Even the tiniest efforts matter. Once you have a gem let them know. Whisper it in his ear right after you noticed or save it for a quiet moment. Just make sure you pass it on!
4. You want to hear a compliment too! Sometimes you just have to ask for a one. I know it’s really hard to ask. And of course you don’t really want to have to ask but chances are you’re co parent is amazed by things you do all the time. They may not know you want/need to hear it! If it makes it easier you can just send them a link to this post.
Quick… tell me one great thing your spouse or co parent has done!
- Best Gifts for the Dad who Has Everything
- 5 Simple Ways to Teach Kids About a Healthy Marriage (on Confidence Meets Parenting)
- 64 Positive Things to Say to Kids
About the Author
Alissa is a resilience coach, cartoonist, and advocate for ‘connection, not perfection’. She’s dedicated to helping others find a sense of safety and belonging inside themselves so they can heal, connect, and build authentic, joyful lives.