Benjamin Rosenbaum

Comments on "HOWTO Not Undermine Each Other In Front Of The Kids"

Is the duplication of some cards intentional? (I imagine having to draw a limited number of cards blindly off the top of the deck and be choosy about which ones you play...)

Posted by David Moles at May 4, 2006 02:27 AM

Yeah, I thought it looked skimpy with just one each.

Hmm, your card rules give me an idea...

(updates entry)

Posted by Benjamin Rosenbaum at May 4, 2006 11:37 AM

Perfect. These exact messages are so commonly needed in our household that we have bypassed the card system -- in fact, any form of verbal communication -- and now rely on Significant Glances to convey their assorted meanings. Having been together for over a dozen years, we can get across "Please watch out for AN UNFRIENDLY OR CRANKY TONE with me" in the flicker of an eyelid, and acknowledgement of same ("It's a fair cop") with a fractional tilt of the head. We've found, however, that "Hey SORRY About that thing before" is still best said aloud.

Posted by Karen at May 9, 2006 08:06 AM

I really like these cards. Being as I generally am the person on the other side of Karen's significant glances, I will vouch for their efficiency in the hands of a competent user (her). I'm especially a fan of the fair cop one.

That said, this unspoken communication is inherently imprecise and sometimes errors can amplify as one of us wordlessly replies to what the other silently suggested with a tilt of one eyebrow, until naught is left but an immense vague possibility spectrum.

I think being able to occasionally curtail such a blossoming range of interpretations with one of these exact, no-nonsense cards would be very helpful.

PS. Sorry about this morning.

Posted by Zell at May 9, 2006 10:45 AM

Okay, print out Ben's cards and we'll give 'em a go. There are times when I think you're reminding me to ease up on the unnecessary drama when in fact you're warning me about caving in. And it can cause problems when a quirk of the mouth is answered with a flaring of the nostrils leading to a raised eyebrow until all that's left of our co-parenting skills is a collection of spasmodic twitches.

Posted by Karen at May 9, 2006 12:28 PM

I should point out that, indeed, "Hey SORRY about that thing before" is usually best said aloud -- it's the kind of thing you WANT your kids to hear you say.

The exception is when saying it aloud would tend to call attention back to something you don't want attention called to. If, for instance, the thing you're saying sorry about was an altercation about the kids -- or a piece of inappropriate caving in, or whatever -- the card allows you to restore good humor all around on the parental level, while leaving said can of worms unopened.

Posted by Benjamin Rosenbaum at May 9, 2006 12:29 PM

Report in so we can Ever Improve the Design of the Parenting Backchannel Cards Interparental Discord Alleviation Technology!

Posted by Benjamin Rosenbaum at May 9, 2006 12:34 PM

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