Learn a lesson from me: Don't vent about marital problems in earshot of your kids.
I have a big mouth. Anyone that knows me knows I'm highly opinionated and my family, in particular, lives with me both repeating myself and just droning on endlessly. It's as if I don't get an "Okay" or "Yeah, Dad" I assume my boys haven't heard me.
Recently, I've begun a very stupid habit of complaining or voicing out loud issues between my wife and I, venting and expecting a sympathetic ear, to one or the other of my boys. I'm not voicing anything of a deeply personal nature, but it is still inappropriate discussion for them to hear from their dad, about their stepmother.
Our biggest bone of contention relates to the cleanliness and order of our home. She likes it Felix clean while I'm fine with Oscar messy (the opposite comedic characters in Neil Simon's seminal play "The Odd Couple"). Dog hair in the bed doesn't especially bother us. Needless to say, the boys are boys and tend to feel as I do about this general issue.
That, of course, is NOT the issue. With a blended family, I should be doing everything I can to support my wife, (their stepmom) and when or if I disagree with her, I should only discuss it with her. We are struggling to find a balance on our respective wishes and desires, as every blended family strives to do. I have to just "shut up" sometimes, without a doubt.
But, while I tell my boys how perfect I am, I'm clearly imperfect -- an ongoing "work-in-progress," and clearly, just a guy!
|Bruce Sallan gave up his showbiz career a decade ago to raise his two boys, full-time, now 13 and 16. His internationally syndicated column, A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW, is his take on the challenges of parenthood and male/female issues, both as a single dad and now, newly remarried, in a blended family. Join Bruce's A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW fan page at Facebook and follow him on Twitter. To contact Bruce, visit his new website brucesallan.com.|