DIFFERENCES IN PERSPECTIVE: 6 TIPS FOR THE MEN FROM A DAD’S POINT OF VIEW BY ANDY HETCHLER
Perspective is both a challenge and an opportunity. Perspective takes your past and shapes you in the present. It is often not the details of a situation which cause a stepcouple conflict but, rather, a difference in perspectives.
Two people stand, facing each other, from opposite corners of a room. One person, Jim, holds up an opened book with the pages facing him. Mary is standing across the room from him. A third person, Barb, enters the room and asks: “What does the book say?”
Jim answers: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Mary’s response to Barb is different: “It reads, ‘The Tale of Two Cities’.” Mary is reading the same book, but she is looking at the cover. Jim is looking at the pages. In this case, they are both right. Yet, their perspectives provide different answers.
Stepfamilies have similarly complicated dynamics, at their foundation, and differing perspectives add to that. As much as my wife, Heather, and I try—even after over a decade of being remarried with six kids—it’s nearly impossible to navigate a day without something going amiss.
It doesn’t help that we are in a stretch where all six of our kids are teenagers. At first and at every step along the way to raising kids together, it isn’t about how the day turns out. It’s more about the process and how you handle situations, ideally working together as a team.
Here are six tips which, from my perspective, offer help as you navigate being a biological father, a stepfather and/or an adoptive dad. …To read this article, log in and download the June 2018 issue. Don’t have an account? Click here to subscribe.