(continued from page 1)
Personally, I fall to the lenient side of most things. I’ve had to get to the point where I respond regardless of the reaction. True, they don’t always like what I do, but it’s never done to harm or upset them. At the same time, if that’s the outcome and I know my choice was appropriate, then we process the feelings and move on. If I step over the appropriate boundary, I apologize and find a better response the next time.
As for interrupting when Mommy and Daddy are talking–that’s actually quite normal for a 2-year-old. Doesn’t make it appropriate. We’ve carried on several conversations against our children’s will. I simply tell them, “Mommy and Daddy will be talking. We can either stay here with you or we can go in another room and come back when you’re ready to be respectful and not interrupt us. Which will it be?”
I definitely believe we have to assure children that they can’t interfere in our marriage. It’s not that the marriage is more important or should put them off for its sake, but children feel secure when the marriage is secure. And children need to know that they can’t come between Mom and Dad in that way. Sure, they try to. But by not letting them we fill them with confidence and surety that our marriage will withstand anything that comes against it. Remember, children (all people, really) test the boundaries when they need to be reminded that they are safe and secure.