I am new to Cafemom today.
PLEASE HELP AND GIVE YOUR OPINIONS....
I am desperate to have opinions from other moms.... my husband and I are having a hard time agreeing on some things as our kids become teenagers (son 12yo daughter 14yo) AND IT'S REALLY AFFECTING OUR MARRIAGE BADLY! I am convinced he has really poor social judgment and really doesn't understand norms or what most parents would do in certain situations. His mom allowed him to do absolutely anything and everything he wanted, he never had chores to do, never had to help out, never had boundaries and so that's the way he wants to parent our kids. He spent his entire childhood in the basement of his parents home on the farm, playing video games. He now works in our basement doing programming ... have very little contact with the real world and other parents.
So here are some of the conflict we are having and I would love to know what other moms think:
Our 12yo son wants to drink soda every night at 10pm which is the time he should be in bed so he can be up by 6am next morning for school. (It's sugar free, stevia sweetened - called Zevia). He never drinks just regular water no matter how much I try. (His dad drinks about 8 cans of this 'supposedly healthy' and very expensive soda a day and never drinks water so son is imitating father). I told son on a couple of nights that he was not allowed to drink soda at 10pm, just water and then bed. On the third night at 9:45pm son came into kitchen while husband and I were there, tried to get a soda, I said no again (and didn't give explanation because I had had that discussion with him previously). My husband challenged me in front of son, asked me for my reasoning, disagreed with me - said he should be allowed to drink soda at 9:45pm or 10pm and he doesn't need to drink water because according to him "research shows that there is enough water in food so we don't need to be drinking water!!!". So my husband and I had a huge disagreement on this and he is angry with me, saying I am making arbitrary rules to just control the kids.
He also thinks the kids should be allowed to watch as many videos and be on screens as much as they want to because they should be able to use their free time however they want. (they are in a gifted program at school, get a lot of homework and are very busy so he thinks their free time should be completely on their own doing whatever they want, with no supervision of free time). He NEVER ever checks their texts or checks what they are doing on their screens. When I try to get them to engage in more varied activities during SOME of their free time he thinks I am controlling them. He says they should be able to whatever they want for ALL of their free time.
My husband never gives the kids chores to do in the house (because he does so little himself in the house anyway....) and when I give my son a job and he has a bad attitude and does it grudgingly, I won't accept the bad attitude and my husband once again thinks I am too hard on the kid. (Daughter always has a good attitude about chores and jobs).
So - this is my question:
Would you allow your kids to drink soda at 9:45pm or 10pm at night when bedtime is 10pm?
Would you allow your early teens to spend all free time on a screen?
Would you give your teens phones and computers without any filtering software and never check what they are doing?
Would you accept bad attitudes when kids are doing jobs?
Am I being an unreasonable parent, because that's what my husband thinks. He even wants us to go to a counselor because he thinks I am being 'controlling'. PLEASE HELP AND GIVE YOUR OPINIONS....
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR REPLIES, ADVICE, ENCOURAGEMENT, OPINIONS... !!! We went to see a counselor today ( I made sure we saw someone who does family/marriage counseling but who also knows about adult autism. She said he likely has Asperger's / high funcitoning autism and that he's not neurotypical. (she didn't do the formal test but based that on history and description). He immediately said he's fine with who he is and any diagnosis wont' change anything because he is OK! I have had that suspicion for a long time but now confirmed.... and he just shrugs it off. I am just so sad!