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Help! My husband and I disagree on how to discipline and parent in general.

My husband is old school, he believes in spankings, switches, that children should be completely potty trained by 3 years old, that children should do what they are told the first time you ask, that a child should eat even if they are not hungry, that children should stay in their room when home with all of their toys and not be allowed to be in other areas of the house such as the kitchen. I raised 2 daughters before my husband and I got married 3 years ago, and my husband has a son, but he doesn't live with us NOR does my husband see or interact with him that often. My 3 year old will be 4 ..July...and lately our parenting and discipline differences cause arguements, 3 or 4 times per week. Yes, we did talk of how I wanted children raised BEFORE we got married, but now it's his way or no way. He refuses to compromise on any issues stating's against his religious beliefs and if I don't follow his wishes I am sinning against God and disrespecting him as a husband. HELP! Any suggestion? He will not go to church or counseling, I have tried to get him to set up rules..I have tried for him to just agree to let me parent and discipline, I need some advice...what would you do or are you doing?

Answer Question

Asked by firefairybelle at 11:49 AM on Jan. 10, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 4 (34 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • I have the same issue. although when my kids were younger I did all the 'punishments' now as they get older he feels a certain way and i feel the opposite.its frustrating and really upsets me. i am not sure how to handle it myself, so i wish us both luck!

    Answer by JOR_HAIL at 11:52 AM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • Well, I hate to give my advice because it is very bad advice. My husband and I function in a very unique way and I am very bold and independent, my husband is as well...for heaven's sake he's a Marine! There have been points in time that my husband has not been home...from the time my son was 6 months until he was 14 months, my husband was gone and I raised my son the way I wanted. When I would talk with my husband, he would say I shouldn't do this or that, I did it anyway and my husband is very impressed with our sons behavior. If you do not agree with your husbands decisions and he won't go to any kind of counseling, the only thing you can really do to keep your marriage is be bold in YOUR decision, its not always JUST his.

    Answer by CassiRae3 at 11:56 AM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • Maybe someone will have some suggestions for us...or at least how to be navigate everything while being non-confrontational. I have been not saying anything when he tries to argue. I have even stated, maybe we should just agree to disagree and that does not work. He actually has stated on many days that he will just leave it up to me and stay out of it, but he always jumps in and makes mattters worse that what they actually are.

    Comment by firefairybelle (original poster) at 11:56 AM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • He is going to have to compromise that is the only way to get along in any decisions. We are kinda "old school" but, I am quick to tell my husband to back off if I see him going too far on the discipline. We spank with our hand, kids are only allowed in their rooms or the living room, they can be in the dining room to eat and that is the only place to eat/drink, they can't be in the kitchen unless they are "helping" an adult and their is only one child under 6 per adult allowed in the kitchen, they are expected to do what they are told the first time...I don't give chances, as far as eating even if they don't eat they have to sit at the table with everyone else and they don't get to eat later unless it is another mealtime. Generally, with the discipline it is timeout because with my older boys they have learned that the sting only lasts a minute with a spanking but, timeouts can last longer and they can get their stuff taken.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 1:20 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • I hope I don't scare you off, but when I read your comment about your husband's belief in using "switches" on your kids, I heard alarm bells clanging loudly. I will swat my kids on their behind when they misbehave every now and then, but no preschooler deserves to have a switch used on them! That is dangerous and potentially illegal depending on which state you reside in. Also, your husband has very strict religious beliefs, but he refuses to go to church? Why not? You would think he would want to have fellowship with people of similar beliefs. It sounds like he is very controlling, using religion to keep you in line because you are sinning against God if you don't do what he says, and I worry about you. Is there someone in your family or community you can talk to? Or anyone else who would be able to help you look at your situation and see if it is truly healthy? Just from the post you left I see some major red flags.

    Answer by ivyeverafter at 12:31 PM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • i just wanted to let everyone know that I have never nor will allow my husband to use a switch. I am looking for a counselor to start seeing on my own, as I want to make sure that I have my head on straight. I appreciate all your comments and if anyone has any more ideas, please keep them coming. ivyeverafter...i have asked him about church on several occassions and he states that he already KNOWS everything so why go? Of course I don't believe that way at all, so I still attend church when I can. I have also started to read some books and listen to some studies on my own. I am an independent woman and I love my husband, but I also know when things are not healthy. My goal is to find a compromise or a healthy solution for all of us involved. Thanks so much.

    Comment by firefairybelle (original poster) at 1:21 PM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • I raised my kids without much spanking, and now my adult daughter tells me I was too lenient, so she is very strict with her on, now 6. My grandson still doesn't get spanked by me, as I remove a favorite toy or restrict activity, but his parents spank for everything, it seems. One thing though; they Always explain why he is going to be spanked, before the spanking. This does allow a moment of "cooling off" for the parent, and the child knows what to expect. My grandson is sometimes sent to bed early if his spanking is within an hour or two of his bedtime. Perhaps catching the child in his/her mischevious activity as soon as it's starting, and talking them into something else will help. I prefer child-proofing our living room and kitchen, knowing I want my child (grandchild) to benefit from observing acceptable behaviors, and don't want to thwart their natural curiosities. More discussion needs to go into courtships thesedays.

    Answer by gramama1 at 1:33 PM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • firefairybelle, I'm glad to hear that you are talking to others about your situation. I know no one has a perfect family nor all the answers, but it looks like you are taking steps to keep you and your kids happy, healthy, and safe. Good luck!

    Answer by ivyeverafter at 2:12 PM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • Your husband is an idiot. Spanking only causes emotional issues and isn't effective. It just makes the bully spanking feel big. A grown man hitting a 3 yr old. That's just insane. Tell him to go hit someone his own size and let you raise the children

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:44 PM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • Nothing wrong with spanking. Using a switch is taking it too far though I think.

    Answer by Iamasinglemom99 at 4:48 PM on Jan. 21, 2011

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