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I need help

WayneDwyerWayneDwyer Posts: 3Member
edited October 2016 in Ask a parenting advisor
I am not sure where to start with this request and it has taken me 10 years to ask for help but I feel I am failing my 10 year old daughter who's diagnosis is Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. My wife and I have very different parenting styles which only causes friction and resentment. As a father I feel totally isolated and incapable of ensuring both she and her sibling's needs are met.


  • EdhlaEdhla Posts: 2Member
    Hello, I'm in Australia, but I'm a 34-year-old woman with Spina Bifida (also have a dad!) Can I help?
  • Jean_ScopeJean_Scope Posts: 283Member, Helpline, Community advisor Chatterbox


    Here are some links that maybe useful:

    Shine an organisation specific to spina bifida: http://www.shinecharity.org.uk/information

    Family Lives, a parenting advice/support organisation: http://www.familylives.org.uk/

    Scope Face 2 Face parent befriending: http://www.scope.org.uk/support/services/befriending/about-face-2-face

    Hope this helps


    Jean Merrilees BSc OT

    Information Specialist - Enabling Environments


  • ParentingAdvisorParentingAdvisor Posts: 16Member

    Dear Wayne Dwyer,

    I’m very glad you’ve contacted me. It’s never too late to shift unhealthy family dynamics, even when a lot of resentment has built up over the years.

    Because ‘opposites attract’, parents often find that they have different parenting styles. This is unsettling for children, and it can cause even more problems than usual when a child has a disability.   

    Thankfully there is a solution. What’s needed is compromise.  Compromise never means one person doing it the other person’s way.  Compromise means that each person has to give up some of what they want in order to get enough of what they want that they can feel comfortable.   There is a specific communication strategy that I teach parents for achieving compromises. This strategy is called a ‘solution talk’, and it’s different from what parents usually do.  It’s not a discussion or a conversation or an argument.  

    A solution talk has a set format and very specific rules. I explain about solution talks in several of my books (for example ‘Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting’ and ‘Calmer, Easier, Happier Boys’ and ‘Calmer, Easier, Happier Screen Time’).  If, after you’ve read about solution talks, you find that you still have some questions about how to do them, I would be glad to talk you through it (or any of the other strategies I write about).

    Perhaps you’re keen to learn this new strategy but you’re worried that your partner would be unwilling to learn? You can influence her to become more willing. People are always more open to listening to new ideas when they feel understood and appreciated. So you could start by recognising and appreciating your wife, on a daily basis. Appreciation is not a magic wand that transforms attitudes overnight, but it does help, usually over a few weeks or a few months, to dissolve a lot of resistance and resentment.

  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 5,244Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @WayneDwyer I just wondered how you were getting on?
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