As our family grows, I've realized that one of the most important things in raising children is for both parents to get on the same page (otherwise the kids will totally rebel and take over!). All decisions related to our family are just that: collective, family decisions. I know that many families work with a sort of “divide and conquer” method – mom makes the healthcare and educational decisions, dad deals with sports and activities, etc. But Nate and I have decided to work together on all family decisions from clothes (yes, I do look for a quick nod of approval before online shopping for the little guys) to insurance, immunizations and finance
Our Latest in Family Decisions: Child Identity Protection
I've mentioned before how I'm personally very concerned about child identity theft and I've takes measures to protect Some Boy and Sidekick from unnecessary exposure. Many moms I talk to have complained about their husbands' resistance to get involved in the process of protecting their children's identities. As with many family decisions, it's crucial for both parents to be on the same page about protecting their child's identity. Here are some tips for how I talk to my husband about family decisions.
Make it fun. My husband is far more interested in personal home security than he is in online data lock-down. He's more of a hands-on kinda guy as opposed to being into all that techy stuff. So I appeal to his interests by making the topic relatable to him. When it came to discussing child identity theft, I started with the tangible stuff: where to store the kids' birth certificates and ID cards. He was ALL about fire-proof safes and back-up copies.
Listen. One problem I often have when talking to Nate about stuff like this is that I've already done a ton of research and have a pretty good idea of how I want to approach things. By the time I bring the subject up to him, my husband feels like I'm giving him a lecture on everything I've learned instead of involving him in the decision-making process. I've found that the conversation goes much better if I bring up a subject, give a brief recap of my thoughts on the matter, and then keep quiet while getting his input. I've actually found that I learn a ton from him this way and get some great ideas and a fresh perspective.
Have data handy. Since you've likely done a lot of research already, jot down the most important notes so your partner can be brought up to speed quickly and easily. If you're broaching a subject that might potentially be a point of disagreement, it never hurts to have some facts to support your opinion and help your spouse see why you feel the way you do.
Start small. In the case of protecting our children's identity, I wanted to enroll in kID sure (a child identity monitoring program) immediately. My husband, however, is wary of any programs that come with a monthly fee. Instead of insisting on going with what I viewed to be the biggest and best solution right away, I agreed to take a few small steps including getting a free child identity theft protection kit while my husband had time to learn more about the issue.
It takes a village. In my sons' lives, there are two ultimate decision-makers: my husband and myself. However, there are a lot of other very important people that come into the decision-making process. I know that my husband bounces his thoughts on issues off of his parents, best friend, and sometimes even co-workers (as do I). So I'll often approach those people and discuss the issue directly with them, just as I do with Nate, to help keep them informed and to get their insight.
Do you make family decisions together with your spouse or partner? How might you approach the topic of child identity theft with them?
This service and the book Bankrupt at Birth were provided to me for review at no charge. In addition I received monetary compensation. All opinions are my own.