Monday, May 12, 2014

Becoming A Fascinating Woman: Childlike Response

Last week I wrote an overview of childlike anger. Childlike anger is how a woman speaks and acts towards her husband when she is feeling hurt. A wife's anger is usually because her husband has been neglectful, rude in speech, or overly critical. A man's words and actions can make a woman feel hurt or angry, even when he feels no anger towards his wife. 

Though, there will be times when her husband is feeling anger towards her. This situation is different from the first and needs a different response. The two situations should not be confused. A woman's response towards her angry husband is what Helen Andelin refers to as the childlike response. She gives several suggestions of how to respond appropriately to a man when he is angry or irritable towards his wife. 

This chapter of the book uses a long example from the book The Little Minister, written by J.M. Barrie. I have not read it. I think the example did not clearly define Helen Andelin's suggestions. 

Below is my take away from the chapter on childlike response.

1. Speak gently. By kindly pointing out that he is not acting like himself in a quiet tone, a woman may soften her husband's anger. 

2. Disarm him by exaggeration and flattery. Grab his attention by looking him in the eye and calling him a sweet name or affectionate phrase. 

3. Distract his attention with a familiar phrase. Repetitive use of the same sentence, over time, will give him a hint that he is being cross. 

4. Completely change the subject

5. Be submissive. Come nearer to him and let him know you are listening. 

6. Playfully tease him. I think she means in a physical way, such as gently tossing a pillow at him while sweetly pointing out his mood. 

Let us imagine for a moment that Chris is angry with me for forgetting to deposit his paycheck before the automatic withdrawal of the bill and now we have been charged a fee by the bank. He has every right to be upset with me and I know it and I am also upset with myself. The wrong way to respond to his rant would be to become defensive or sullen. Here is an example of how the situation could play out if I use a childlike response. 

Chris calls Erica into the office. She can tell by the tone of his voice that he is not happy. Upon entering the room, Erica gently points out that he does not sound like his usual self. He barks back, "You forgot to deposit my check and now the bank has charged us an overdraft fee. Do you think that we have extra money to pay fees?" Erica looks him in the eye and says, "My, how handsome you look today!" Chris, still feeling the pain of the bank fee shouts back, "Answer my question!" Erica walks over to the window and announces that the neighbors are taking their six dogs for their afternoon walk. Now a little flustered, Chris tries to bring Erica's attention back to him by asking her why she did not deposit his check on time. Erica, meekly walks over to Chris, rests her head on his shoulder, and replies, "I am sorry. I am listening to you. Will you forgive me?" Chris, mesmerized by her gentle tone and soft touch, wraps his arms around her and gives her a kiss. 

What do you think?  Do you think that a childlike response would benefit your marriage? Do you think you could respond to your husband's anger with any of the suggestions listed above? I would love to know your thoughts about the childlike response. 

The book contains much more information on childlikeness (not to mention all the "ideal woman" qualities), more than I could cover in a few blog posts. If you have not read Fascinating Womanhood, I think you should add it to your reading list. I don't think you will be disappointed! Even if you do not agree with the author's ideas and suggestions, I guarantee it will push you to examine yourself and the way you communicate and present yourself to your husband. 


  1. Can't wait to read this book! I am really enjoying reading through your blog as the baby naps on me.

    1. Hi Christina! I hope you enjoy the book and look forward to hearing your thoughts about the author's suggestions.


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