Parents (USA)

/ IF YOU ASK ME /

“How can I deal with ‘momsplaini­ng,’ you know, when moms tell you how to raise your own kids, presumably just because you’re a guy?”

- —Caylin Harris

One dad’s take (no wrong answers)

“First of all, my wife is currently trying to tell me how to answer this, which is hilarious, given the question. We had a good laugh. Second, when it’s your partner, it’s not momsplaini­ng, it’s coparentin­g. However, telling someone else what to do (“You should teach your kid some manners”) is rarely effective. Telling someone how you feel (“Hey, your child called my child a mean name, and it made them feel sad”) works much better. It’s subjective and indisputab­le. Your feelings are your own. So are theirs. Third, when it comes to well-intentione­d mom friends and family telling me what I should or shouldn’t do, I like to give them as much grace as possible and assume that they’re saying it because they love my kids and want what’s best for them. In the end, though, no one will ever know more about my kids than me. Except for my wife. Probably.”

—Penn Holderness, coauthor of Everybody Fights: So Why Not Get Better at It? and dad of two @theholdern­essfamily

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