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** Grrrr... My husband treats our son like he's 12 instead of 3 ***

Last night our son was being 3-1/2 and having a fit and told us for the first time he didn't like/love us anymore - I raised my voice and sternly told him it is not ok to talk to Mom and Dad like that or say that about Mom and Dad.. this happened while we were driving home. We get home and I told Dad what he said and what happened and for some reason this struck him like it was personal or something and he put him in his room for a time out and our son got upset and starting crying and swung out of anger and Dad said Fine sit in here, you now lose ALL your marbles ( which is our reward system ) and you lost your show before bed tonight and you can't play with any toys either - you stay in your room and think about your actions and don't come out until I get you... then he came out and told me he almost spanked him when he swung at him and I said "you don't hit a child for hitting" to which he got mad at me and walked away - he says I always criticize his parenting - which is a battle we've been having since his birth - and Not all together true either -I am the one who reads and researches and learns about age appropriate behavior and discipline and children in general - so I DO tend to get upset I would say about 1/2 the time when he does things like this - Am I wrong to think sending a 3 year old to his room, take away his show, his toys and ALL his marbles and then wanting to spank him for a "tantrum"?? I agree he should not get away with talking to us like that or swinging a hit at us but how about talking to him / explaining to him / losing a show and a marble and call it a night??


Asked by maxsmom11807 at 2:24 PM on Apr. 7, 2011 in General Parenting

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Answers (13)
  • If you look into the book - raising a strong willed child - that author would support your dh's method - he believes we need to punish the first time a kid does something and punish harshly so you wont have to do it again - because the lesson is learned... and if my son swung at my dh he would punish him immediately ... next time he does it - you will know it could have been prevented if you let your dh teach him not to.

    Answer by AmaliaD at 3:39 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • I think you and your husband need to get on the same parenting page. Imagine how hard it is for him to be criticized for half of his parenting decisions.


    Answer by scout_mom at 2:28 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • We go through the same thing everyday. My husband always makes the situation worse and acts like they should be behaving like adults or something :(

    Answer by VintageWife at 2:33 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • No, I don't think you are wrong at all. I think Dad just lost his cool, which we are all prone to do. He took things personally, and then got mad when your son swung at him so he reacted badly and took everything away. It's actually good that he restrained himself from spanking at least. I know how you feel, sometimes my DH acts as though I am trying to be the boss of all the parenting decisions and sometimes I really do feel better qualified to make those choices. I am the one reading the books, doing my research and talking to other moms. He has opinions about things but not a lot to back them up with. That doesn't means he shouldn't have a voice though. The other thing is that if you don't have a firm discipline plan in place before the outburst it's hard to react without emotion and then you end up going overboard. It's a tough balance because we want Dad's to be involved and then we tell them they are doing it wrong. Cont

    Answer by MaryMW at 2:31 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • We have been working really hard to get on the same page which is why i have to do all the research and reading because he thinks its his way and its always right- anything besides this type of situation above is being "too easy" and babying our son.. which I get being strict but he's not even mentally capable of understanding or "thinking about this ALL night" at 3.. I am at a loss of what to do anymore - I'm tired of fighting about these situations already

    Comment by maxsmom11807 (original poster) at 2:30 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • You should be happy your husband steps up to discipline.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:33 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • I spank but if your husband had spanked him right then it would have been done in anger, not as a discipline technique.  I do agree with you.  However reading and researching certainly does not make ANYONE an expert and there are PLENTY of ways to deal with children.  I would suggest sitting down with your hub and coming up with some guidelines and getting on the same page.


    Answer by MrsHouston47302 at 2:33 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • I agree with scout mom. But I also don't think it's a bad thing that he was punished the way your husband best. The earlier you teach your kids to take responsibility for their actions, the better.

    Answer by KateShesGreat3 at 2:34 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • You might have better luck approaching him after he has cooled off a bit instead of as he is coming out of the room. And Dad would probably have better luck if he learns to react with an immediate time out but then he uses the time out to think about his punishment rather than just doling it all out in the heat of the moment. I would also stress to him that you want to make decisions together and compromise on important issues like discipline but he can't just say he wants it his way or the highway. He needs to back that up with something. There are infinite resources. I have a book by the American Association of Pediartics on childcare covering the first five years and it gives great info on what can be expected of the child's understanding and emotional capabilities. It helps me to know a punishment that lasts 2 days does no good with a 3 year old, and that saying she hates me is normal and not the truth. Good luck!

    Answer by MaryMW at 2:35 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • I wouldn't have punished him for saying that. You just taught him how to get a reaction... It's an age appropriate behavior, almost every child goes through it. It is their way of expressing unhappiness.

    Any time my children have said that, I simply respond with "Well, you don't have to love me, but I love you." depending on the situation, I may go as far as "I understand you're upset, but it is wrong to say or do things to hurt other people."

    Sounds like a little family counseling could go a long way for you, and your DH.

    He admitted that to you, not to be corrected, but so that you could both understand what was happening. He isn't your child to be corrected. He didn't spank him, and I don't think what you said was an appropriate reaction. He showed restraint, and shouldn't be punished for being honest.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 2:36 PM on Apr. 7, 2011