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Support from your spouse in raising kids

  • I don't know about the rest of you, but my husband and I very frequently face battles in raising the kids. Since I am home more with them, I am in a position where I have to establish routines, like homework time, bath times, bedtimes, in addition to establishing consequences for things like demonstrating disrespect, etc. Things go fine, without a hitch, until my husband is home. I have a class I teach one night a week. On those nights, he is responsible for making sure bath times, bedtimes, etc are met, homework done, etc. When I get home, it never fails, that the kids are still up past their bedtime, and many times still working on their homework! If he doesn't agree with something I have told them, he changes it, right in front of them. All that is accomplishing is "mom" looking like the ogre, and Dad being the "good guy". How am I supposed to raise kids to be decent human beings without the support of my husband?
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Naturalsoycandles on 22nd February 2008
  • uh oh. That sound not good. I would be livid if my husband did that. My little one is still a baby, so issues of discipline have not come up yet, but sometimes I do feel frustrated because making decisions seems to fall on my shoulders. Sounds like you guys need to sit down and have what my sister in law would call a "come to jesus talk". Let him know how seriously this affects you. I would suggest doing so when you're not in the middle of a power struggle, and when you can be away from the kiddos. Sorry I can't be of more help, but hang in there. And know that you have people pulling for you who see where you're coming from!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mamajama on 23rd February 2008
  • This happens with friends of ours. When we witnessed it, before having kids, we both agreed to back each other up in front of the kids (united front) even if we weren't totally on board. The down side to this one is that if your "rule" is created out of frustration, you feel like an idiot anyway. But, if my DH doesn't rub my mistakes in my face, I won't rub it in his.

    Perhaps you guys should sit down with friends who do things differently and if you feel comfortable about talking about parenting styles (often a touchy subject). your DH might learn a thing or two.

    If that doesn't work, write him a letter. The written word is a powerful thing. He can't ignore it and when it comes from your heart, he won't perceive it as nagging. Just be sure to talk about your feelings and what you want!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 23rd February 2008
  • I really shouldn't comment since I'm not a parent or have a husband for that matter. And I am as far from an expert as one can get without falling off the edge of the earth BUT I have learned a few things during the journey I have been on for the past 54 years....

    I've learned to stop and figure out "who's expectations" I'm expecting. Often times I'm expecting my significant other to act how I would in that particular situation. But that ain't gonna happen unless we've put the topic on the table so to speak and mutually agreed on a course of action. Two people who were raised in entirely two different environments will not react the same way, even siblings don't react the same.

    Remember nobody can make you feel like an ogre UNLESS YOU ALLOW IT.

    Communicate, communicate, communicate.... Because we are emotionally charged creatures the female gender I believe has a hard time "leaving their emotions at home" when we are trying to explain our frustrations to our significant others. Mostly I think because we get further frustrated because we are dealing with the male gender who quite frankly has a comprehension problem...sorry but they do or so it has been in my experience.

    These struggles have been going on for years and years.... I'd be a very rich woman if I had the answer.

    Good luck we are hear for you....
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mary Jane on 24th February 2008
  • I think the important thing is not to fight about it in front of the kids. They´ll use it against you. Talk to your husband and agree that you will discuss these things after the kids are down for the night. Sit down at the kitchen table with no distractions and tell him really briefly (short attention spans!) why you feel that it´s bad for the kids (note, not YOU) to have their parents sending them mixed signals. Ask him to back you up when you set a rule and you´ll do the same for him . . . in the moment.

    My husband and I face similar issues. He was abused as a child, so he feels that no discipline is good, not even time outs! On the other hand, I don´t want my kids to grow up spoiled brats. So, he just lets them do whatever they want and "tattles" to me so I can be the bad guy.

    We´ve had a lot of discussions about this and have come to agree that we will present a united front, at least with the kids (and argue about it when they are gone or in bed). He agreed to this after seeing that our 2 year old threw massive tantrums with him every time they went to the store together. When I went with them, I gave Dorian a Look and he calmed down and started pointing out different things in the store. My husband was amazed.

    "How come he listens to you?" I just told him that it´s because I don´t give in all the time. Novel concept, huh? My son, at just 2, has already figured out who is the disciplinarian around here!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Genesis on 24th February 2008
  • Just checking in with upi NaturalSoycandles. Have you found our advice helpful? I believe the mixture of various techniques to acheive your goal all boil down to the same essential things. The presentation is up to you, but I know you can find your way. Let us know how you are doing!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 24th February 2008
  • wanted to ask this group for help too... since i think your advice is on the spot.

    i'm working full time, laptop comes home with me, and the 2 kids (4 and 1yr) are in daycare until i bring them home at around5:30 (yup, it's late, i know) and i'm on my own with everything - discipline, routine, bath, food, bed, bandaids, time outs...

    i have hubbies support - only because he knows that by not being around he doesn't really have the right to question my authority. and when i do let him make the decisions about bed, bath, dinner -he has discovered how poor his skills are, lots of candy, no bath, and bedtime at 11pm. not exactly what he considers good disciplining - and it's a result of laziness.

    but my question is... how do i get some of the burden taken off of me. i'm tired. really tired - mentally - of being the default, the given, the only one. physically - is not an issue anymore. im tired of living my life according to his rules and boudaries - how do i break the cycle, how do i recreate the rules of the game?
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mikiweiser on 2nd April 2008
  • This reminds me of a parenting class we went to as part of our pre-marital requirements with the church. One of the questions asked in the class was (I'm not making this up, either):

    How do you decide who will be the fun parent and who will give the discipline?

    The answer, of course, was: you should never knowingly structure your family in that way because ultimately it results in fighting among the parents and confusion among the kids.

    Thankfully, my husband agreed that this question was the most ridiculous thing you could ever ask, and we felt much better about our "preparedness" for parenthood (which was good since we were 3 mo. prego at the time, LOL). Once in a while when we don't agree on something, one of us brings this comment up to bring us back to reality and remind ourselves that we have to be in it as a team.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by BrendaG on 2nd April 2008

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