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Therapeutic Insights: Couples Communication in Parenting--Exploring 'Fair Play' and Parenting with Love and Logic

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I read for fun way more than I do for work and education. Lately, I have been introducing a few work and educational reads due to the stage of parenthood life I am in and also recognizing some common themes in the work with couples we are providing. In March, I read two books focused on couples' communication in parenting and the dynamics that occur.

First up was Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline & Jim Fay. I ate this book up. I am in the throws of parenting life with a 4-year old and this book was so wonderful for helping with some of the challenges we have been having during this parenting stage. The main concept of the book is how to raise kids to be independent, respectful, and wise adults. To do that it starts with childhood into adolescence with a focus on 2 rules:

  • Adults set firm limits in loving ways without anger, lectures, threats, or repeated warnings.

  • When children misbehave and cause problems, adults hand these problems back in loving ways.

I highly recommend the book and have been recommending it to everyone I talk to dealing with parenting challenges. What I learned personally is that I was the parent making consequences that I would not enforce teaching my daughter that her mom would say something and not follow through on it so it's not serious. I also started providing choices more versus telling her what to do. My goal is for her to grow up fierce, bold, and brave, and to develop that starts with how I teach and guide her, not control or punish her.

Let me note this is a learning process for me. There are days I can implement what I learned from the book well and days that I do a poor job. Parenting is a lot like a relationship too. We are constantly working on it, growing in it, finding new ways, and implementing lots of trial and error. If you are struggling in parenting, I highly recommend this book.

The second book is Fair Play by Eve Rodsky. I will be exploring how to implement the concept of this book and the Fair Play Cards into my work with couples. The concept of the book is how to divide domestic responsibilities with your partner in a fair way, not necessarily an equal division. Eve shares her exploration and discovery of this method she created at the beginning of the book and then introduces the Fair Play card decks and how to implement them in the relationship.

I read the book on my own first before purchasing the Fair Play cards and then I asked my husband to do it with me one weekend when our daughter was with her grandparents. You can see our review of the implementation of the cards for week 1.

For couples where one partner is keeping the tit-for-tat list in what each partner is doing in the home and family, I encourage you to check this book out and the cards. I will say it feels like it is geared toward women in the writing, but still encourage you to check it out and consider the concepts and ideas.

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