Does this story sound familiar at all?
Meet Helen, a stepmom of 2.
Helen loves her husband deeply.
He’s very permissive with his teenage kids.
Long story short, Helen was driving her stepdaughter to an appointment…And her stepdaughter absolutely refused to go inside.
Helen decided to take away her phone as a consequence.
Her husband didn’t initially agree…he has a hard time enforcing the rules.
And normally they would have fought about it – they used to fight all the time.
But instead, this is what Helen did:
She took some slow, deep breaths and calmed herself down – she knew that her anger and frustration would only make things worse.
She started a conversation by sharing only the facts with her husband: his daughter refused to go inside for her appointment. Helen took away her phone.
She asked him why that was a problem – Why was it so hard for him to take away his daughter’s phone?
He initially got upset and started raising his voice – and so she calmly set a boundary: If he continued to raise his voice, she’d leave the room. He listened and calmed down.
Then, after listening to him, Helen shared her perspective. Why she thought it was important for the consequence to be enforced; how it might actually help his daughter in the future.