“My husband’s not interested—how do I change his mind?”
This question is a real frustration when you know how much smoother parenting can be. You love The Child Whisperer and you want him to, too.
In this episode, Carol and Anne share easy tips for getting your partner on board. They also share real stories from real moms who have won over their husbands to be engaged Child Whisperer parents.
This week’s Parenting Practice
Look for an opportunity this week to share what you know about your child because of The Child Whisperer. Use language that’s specific to your child, not the book. Speak from your personal experience and see the response you get. (Listen to the episode for tips on how to say this.)
If your partner is already involved, find the opportunity to share gratitude that you’re working together as parents.
Transcript of podcast episode
Carol: That seems fair because if I’m so close-minded to that and they’re close-minded to this, we’ve got to both be willing.
Anne: It’s a really good point.
Carol: Welcome to “The Child Whisperer Podcast.” I’m your host Carol Tuttle, author of the best selling parenting book, “The Child Whisperer.” I’m with my co-host, Anne Tuttle Brown.
How do I enroll my husband in the Child Whisperer approach to parenting?
We got that question a lot, and I also see frequently on the Child Whisperer Facebook group—from the minority I believe—that their husband wouldn’t do this. They don’t believe in it, they don’t subscribe to it, and you can’t talk about it.
So maybe your husband is not so close-minded. Maybe it’s the way you’re trying to get them to understand all of this, because I do believe that your husband does care about your children and wants to be a great parent. That’s close to them. So we’ve got some answers for you today and tips on how you can enroll your spouse in being a child whisperer parent.
Anne: In order to answer this question, I reached out on our Child Whisperer by Carol Tuttle Facebook group that you are welcome to join. Lots of wonderful insights and discussion going on there on Facebook. And I asked, how have you enrolled your husband or your partner to become a child whisperer parent along with you? We’ve got a lot of great responses. And what I noticed, a similar theme was that…and most of them were mothers, they led by example. And so they just decided, you know, these tools are going to help me in my approach to parenting my children. And so they didn’t hold back until their husband was on board. They just moved forward.
One of the members on the Child Whisperer group shared, “Almost every time my husband has a criticism of our daughters, I remind him that they are just being true to their nature. After two years of my Dressing Your Truth and Child Whisperer journey, he has picked up the Child Whisperer and is reading it by choice.” So, just those gentle reminders and rather than like turning out and being like, “Well, if you just read the book then you’d know.” She was just saying, “Well, that’s our daughter.” She was sharing her knowledge that she had gained from reading the Child Whisperer.
Carol: Yes, she used different terms too rather than calling it Types. That doesn’t always go over. People feel categorized, or how can we be so limited, or someone’s telling me who I am. I think that’s the biggest issue is if you come from that background in your own childhood where you, kind of, you had to conform so heavily to your parent’s agenda, that you’ll have a hypersensitivity to now, somebody telling me how I have to parent. “Don’t tell me who I am and how I have to parent.” And so that is going to come up for some people. It’s all in the navigation of how it’s presented rather than you should, you need to, we should do this it’s, “I, I’m experiencing.” You’re referencing their nature instead of their time.
Anne: Their nature. And someone else said what makes them tick.
Anne: That’s just the way they are. They were born that way. And you can really use a lot of ways to explain it, so every time the conversation comes up it doesn’t feel like they’re nagging or handing the same point, but you just really…
Carol: Or even disciplining the other parents, see. That sort of having a conversation, parent conversation on a regular basis, how our kid’s doing, what strategies are working, what are we on the same page with. I know your dad and I had to do that because certain things were more important to him and not as important to me, certain things that… language he might use was different than mine and…
Anne: Well I think too, each parent, you know, there’s a kid that you just like get and there’s a kid that like it’s harder for you to get. And it will be different for the parents. You think [inaudible 00:03:42]
Carol: Yes, like in our family…
Anne: You understand Type 4 more readily.
Carol: My son, our Type 4 son, your brother Mark, and I have had a high level of rapport. I get him, his dad had the most challenges with him. I’ve not had challenges with my oldest daughter who’s Type 1, but wouldn’t you say she and dad are alike…
Anne: Yeah, they just get each other.
Carol: They get each other. She’s the only one that laughs at his jokes.
Anne: Oh, you’re very funny. Make dad laughs…
Carol: She laughs and I don’t.
Anne: I know.
Carol: They have a rapport that is different than my rapport with my Type 1 daughter.
Anne: Yeah, I mean understanding the types you understand why like you have that Type 4 in you, you get, you know, and so…
Carol: And what’s interesting is I’m okay with that. I don’t need to have her be consulting me. When she’s in a sticky spot, even now as an adult in her own parenting, she’ll call dad before she’ll call me. Mark will reach out to me first rather than dad and say…
Anne: And so if you are having those parent counsels you can come together and say…or maybe if you’re feeling like, “I want to connect with them,” you guys really get each other and what are some tips. This is great knowledge to share.
Carol: So that, you see also, I like this next example that you have from a comment someone submitted because I think the lead-by-example, you’ve got to see the evidence of how successful these parenting strategies are once you understand your child’s Type then you apply a parenting strategy in compliance with what will motivate them, create cooperation, which will have a successful outcome. And I think those should be…you know, “Well when I did this, this is the experience I had.”
Anne: Yes. So a member of our Facebook group, Joan, she shared that her son, who is a Type 4, got into a little fight with another boy. And the dad got upset and disciplined the child in front of, you know, the group. And this reacted in the child becoming more distant and not interacting with his father. And, you know, he was at a loss, like, “That works with other kids, like why is this such a big deal now?” And so she explained like why that would be really hurtful to a Type 4, to embarrass them in front of others. And it kind of clicked for him, and she said that he’s a Type 4, the dad, and “after witnessing my theories lined up with evidence, he’s been much more open.”
And I love that it happened like after the fact, and he probably even came to her and like, “What’s going on?” Like, “Now there’s discord now between me and my son,” rather than in the moment like, “Don’t do that. Don’t you know, I thought I told you,” you know. It was like, “Just let him move through. He’s parenting right now and see how it works,” and then, “Okay, that didn’t work, and how can I do this better?” He came to you for the support…
Carol: Even if he had not and if he was common, let’s just say the same, look at that same scenario. If the parent had now be grudgingly started blaming the child, you know, “They don’t respect me, children.” It’s kind of the old parenting methodology of, “Children should just respect us because we’re the parent.” A parent can hold out in that space, but what will ultimately happen is they will not be close to that child. And as they mature and come into their teen and adult years, that’s very easy to distance yourself nowadays from your parent if you don’t feel that bond.
Now I recall, I would be that honest with my husband and say, “Well, it depends on what you want. If you want to have a close, respectful bond…” This is with our Type 4 son where that challenge was more evident than any of our other children, “…Then keep doing, you know, you’ve got to try some different things. If you don’t care and you don’t want to have a close bond, keep doing what you’re doing.” It’s just that simple, and I was willing to put…no one’s right or wrong here. It’s just these choices are going to create these outcomes.
Anne: That leads into another comment from another member of the Facebook group, Amy. She said that her husband was against it at first and actually made fun of her a lot for it which we’ve heard, you know, and think, “I’m a Type 5, then.” We’ve heard that joke a lot from dads.
Carol: Yeah. That’s usually a Type 4 saying that. And like people will…if people say that they think it’s an original. I’d say that’s about 10 years old, but hah-hah, you know.
Anne: She said that one day he had a particularly hard day with their oldest son, and she noticed it and just said, “Please, will you just listen to a part of the Child Whisperer book on Type 4s,” and this is something I’ve seen a lot where they’re just, you know, on a road trip, or in the car, on a date night, like, “Let’s listen to this together. It means a lot to me. You can read out loud,” and it really hit home for him and opened his eyes. And actually, she said that The Child Whisperer was the first book of Carol’s work they ever discussed, next It’s Just My Nature which has led to him being more open to the other work that you do. And I’m sure it’s just been…she said something that she would never have believed that look, you know, as just those scenarios present and it’s something that means a lot to using the fruits of it, you continue to share it from a loving space. And I think it’s fair to say like, “This means a lot to me. Will you do it for me?”
Carol: Yeah. I like that. I like that she shared that it was important, and rather than just saying… I’d really caution against, in the immediacy of the situation, trying to… No parent wants to be corrected in front of their children, and a book, or a methodology thrown at them, or the author’s name.
Anne: “Carol said—”
Carol: “Carol says—”
Anne: They did do this. Someone, one of our testimonies said, “I want to make this shirt that says “Carol says” because we say it all the time, “Carol says.” They’re probably rolling their eyes on that.
Carol: Yeah. That’s not enrolling them, that’s making them sort of like defense. That will bring up defenses and resistance. So, and give it time. That’s a thing. You’re being that by example and seeing the evidence based on your own parenting strategies if… They’ll notice that. They’ll see that the children are all loving you, complaining about their other parent.
Anne: There is one gal in the Facebook group that said that her husband who is a Type 4, is at odds with the Type 1 daughter, and says, “Is it normal to be as random as she is?” and even wants to go as far as medicating her. How do you respond to that, as a parent, when you see it for being her true nature and you’re using tactics and the husband or the partner is feeling like it’s not normal because it’s just so different from who they are?
Carol: I would insist that they learn this when you’re looking at that as a variable. And maybe I’d have to really muster up some willingness to say, “Well, I’ll investigate that,” but, you know, it has to a mutual…
Anne: Okay, so you need to be in the middle a little bit.
Carol: Yeah, “I am willing to look at some things and even some more alternative things to help bring more grounded balance so our daughter isn’t as extreme.”
Anne: “But in exchange I want you to look at this as well.”
Carol: Yeah, right, right.
Anne: So, you’re kind of, “Okay, that’s a good…”
Carol: “I’m willing to consider what you think a solution is here, but I want you to consider some of my options. Let’s both educate ourselves, what are the variables.” And in that case too, depending how old the child is, if they’re even four, five, six years old, they’re old enough to learn about this themselves and their tendencies because they can start to become consciously aware of you have this tendency to go to an extreme here, and we’re gonna put some things in place, it could be diet-related. It could be just what she’s required to do as overly structured so it perpetuates this extreme need to be spontaneous and out of balance the other way. There’s just extremes playing out. What can we do to bring more balance? What can she be…See, so everybody is involved. We got both parents talking about, we got the child involved, and again, see that would be a lot for me to say okay, I’ll look into the medication because I’m not so prone to that initially, but that seems fair because if I’m so close-minded to that and they’re close-minded to this, we’re gonna both be willing.
Anne: It’s a really good point. Become a Child Whisperer family and to really use this language to talk about who you are, your tendencies, your nature and use it support each other and honor each other for the gifts that you have, and support each other in those challenges that you face naturally as well.
Carol: I’d say if your partner, your spouse is already participating and you are working together, share appreciation for that. And if you were the one that brought this to the family, let them know. Thank you. I’m grateful you were open to this, and we’re both seeing the success of it.
Anne: And continue to share your insights together as you grow. It’s been interesting obviously. My husband, he’s a Child Whisperer parent and rather than just assuming, oh he knows my son is a Type 2, he knows how to approach that. Insights that I have had, and I’ve shared some in the podcast, I’ll share with my husband, and he’ll say, “Oh, okay.” And he’ll get that and vice versa, we’ll share with each other. And we’ll continue to talk about this as parents, what helps our children in developing their true nature.
Carol: So your practice this week is I would find an opportunity to speak to it using the approach we’ve recommended, owning it, personal reference, using language that’s not so specific to the book, but educating your partner in your child’s nature, helping them understand. They’ll be an opportunity for you to say, “Well, I know this about our daughter or our son. This is a tendency they have. We need to support them and help them create success with that if it’s an issue or to acknowledge a strength they have that’s a part of their true nature.” And so look for that opportunity this week. It will present itself. Try this new approach of saying it from your own first-person experience, your own knowledge base, and just see what kind of response you get. And if your partner is already involved, find the opportunity to share your gratitude and appreciation that you’re working together as parents.
Thanks for listening. For more support, go to thechildwhisperer.com where you can purchase the book, subscribe to our weekly parenting practice email, and find a transcription and audio of The Child Whisper Podcast.
Anne: If you’re listening on iTunes, thank you for leaving a review. If you have a parenting question, please send it to [email protected].