Dad’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days: Ways to Help Your Partner Parent Better by Mary T. Kelly, MA
“When I got out of bed this morning, I tripped on the skateboard and, by mistake, I dropped my sweater in the sink—while the water was running …. I think I’ll move to Australia.”
—excerpt from “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” by Judith Viorst
The opening excerpt is from a wildly popular children’s book that kids can relate to because, in truth, kids have bad days of their own. And, though your partner may not admit this, he has definitely experienced a slew of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days, too—as a dad—and he doesn’t feel very good about it.
Whether you’re dating, living with or married to a man who has children (and regardless of whether you have children of your own or not), you’ve probably found your guy’s parenting style as being either way too involved or way too lax.
While children need to be their parents’ No. 1 responsibility, if your partner makes sure his life revolves around the needs of his children he may fit the description of a Helicopter Dad. Or he may be at the opposite end of the spectrum and err on the side of being a Permissive Dad—the kind who is reluctant to give his kids rules, boundaries and consequences.
Living with either guy (one who’s a helicopter parent or one who’s too slack) is sure to give you a slew of your own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days to contend with. It is, in fact, enough to make you feel a little crazy and to ask yourself what the hell you’re doing in a family that operates in ways both foreign and illogical to you.
So, which is he? And what can you do to help your partner parent better? Let’s find out! …To read the rest of this article, log in to your account and download the December 2016 issue. Don’t have an account? Click here to subscribe.