Fathers figuring things out | Teaching Self-Government

Fathers figuring things out

    Recently I have had multiple people email with questions about their husbands.  It seems that some fathers are reluctant to make changes in their family culture and systems even when the rest of the family is already using the teaching-self-government system.  Even though I am speaking from a woman's perspective today to women primarily, I have also had fathers email about their wives not wanting to change, so the topic is valid for both mothers and fathers.

     Why is it that one parent can be ready for change and another isn't?  The answer to this question is probably individual in many respects, but I have noticed a few reasons which seem to be fairly common across the board.

       First, if a person makes a change in the way they parent and run a home, it takes more thinking and more work.  After a father has been working all day, he looks forward to coming home to relax a bit and more work seems like something to avoid, not embrace.

       Second, one parent usually has a stronger vision of what they want for their family than the other parent.  Vision really does drive all decisions made.  Vision is the why behind everything we do.

       Husbands and wives need to share their wants and visions with each other.  Each spouse should want to help the other person be happy.  If you don't want to make your spouse happy, then you need to serve her/him more.  It is really easy to get selfish in the marriage relationship.  Catch yourself and change.  If one person starts loving and serving to make the other person happy, the behavior will be reciprocated.  Couple's meetings are the perfect place to talk about your needs and desires with each other.  Just keep those meetings short.

     Last, often times one parent  feels out of touch with the family because he is away most of the time, and so when a new (good) idea is presented to him he could feel like he has been pushed into something he doesn't see a need for.  Again, more work.  And, to make things just a little bit worse, this kind of work is the hardest kind; self control and discipline type work.  Keep your spouse in touch with your life.  Have regular communications.  Dates are good places to start if you don't have couple's meetings yet.  The marriage relationship transfers energy to the entire family; either negative or positive.  If the parents are not one, the whole family will be fractured as well.  If the relationship with your children is bad, start by fixing your relationship with your spouse.

       Here are a few tips for improving relationships with your husband or wife.  Just so you know, a lot of people were never really taught to do the Four Basic Skills.  If these skills are not learned, then people tend to have gaps in their relationships and communication throughout life.  Use the Four Basic Skills with each other too.

       The very biggest thing you can do to help your husband to have vision is praise him a lot.  Everything you want to see repeated, praise.  Also, be patient with him while you continue to open lines of communication.  Short couple's meetings can do wonders.  Stay optimistic and supportive.  Husbands get feeling isolated when they know they are the only one who doesn't understand how things are happening at home.  Try to empower him to lead out in some capacity, even if it is just daddy dates once a week or conducting couple's meetings.  I find it is helpful to ask my husband what he wants from time to time.  I ask him if he wants anything to change at home and then I try to help him get the things he wants; and he returns the favor to me too.

       Communicate calmly, and quickly.  Don't beat around bushes, and don't whine or make explanations too long.  Husbands usually don't like that.  Some wives don't either.  When you tell someone what you need or want, get to the point and don't use too much emotion.  Emotion is often associated with manipulation and can be mis-communicated to your spouse if over done.

       Above all, pray.  Pray to know how to touch the heart of your spouse.  Follow the feelings in your heart when you seek for a perfect time to talk.  The less you say, the more your spouse will hear.  Than, after you have said your bit, TRUST.  Show him you know he will find the truth on his own, and that you trust you will find the same thing.  If you have a hard time trusting, pray for help with that too.

       I know it is hard to work as a team when one person is not completely with you, but be patient.  Your spouse will come around.  There is an old saying that says, "The proof is in the pudding."  Once he sees that you and the children are becoming more self-governed, he will naturally want a part of it too.  And, if he doesn't, love him anyway.  All people are different, and we have to respect that.  People get to make their own choices.  When all is said and done, loving your spouse is the most powerful thing you can ever do for your home.  Even if you both parent the children differently, that love should never be questioned.  Blessings!

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