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My DH "does not know how to parent a child whose parents don't live together, especially when one parent talks s!#$". Please help him :)

Posted by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 4:40 PM
  • 10 Replies

I am more stressed than usual since we are in the process of moving/painting/putting together 4538957348 pieces of furniture. So to be upfront, I take some blame in this.

My parents have been watching all 3 kids for DH and I while we get the house ready. Luckily, we are only moving across the street :) lol. I stopped by my parents house to check on the kids. SD was throwing a tantrum because she was just woken up from a 3 hour nap. Say what you will, but no 7yo child in my house needs to cry until they hyperventilate because they were simply woken up. So like I said, our life is chaos at the moment, and I snapped at her. Sent her back to her room. She kicked the dog on the way there, so my dad yelled at her too. I went back across the street and made DH listen to me.

I told him..."I know SD has alot in her head to begin with. We are all stressed at the moment while we are in the middle of this move. I haven't spent as much time with SD as I normally do, and I have been ignoring her because of her behavior. She needs her dad to pay attention to her, and to discipline her. Please do SOMETHING."

He responded by telling me he has no idea how to parent her. He feels like discipling her will make her behavior worse. Her mom does fill her head with some nonsense. But I feel like if DH simply spent some time paying attention to her, it wouldn't affet her as much.

Maybe if suggestions came from someone other than me, he would be more willing to listen.

And just to be clear, it wasn't this one instance that makes me say SD needs some discipline. She growls when we ask her to do something, she is horrible to her little brothers, she doesn't do any of the chores on her chore chart without me having to constantly remind her (simple things...making her bed, putting her lunch box away, putting her shoes in the closet). Basically she sits in a chair with a grumpy look on her face.

by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 4:40 PM
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Replies (1-10):
lilangilyn
by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 5:14 PM

So if he disciplines her, he think he will make her behavior worse? Well, you have something that may not be budged then. If he cannot see his way out of his mindset, you may have a very tempermental little girl on your hands that neither one of you can stand to be around.

E_is_4_Ethan
by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 5:49 PM
4 moms liked this

I had the same thing going on with my SD, but we have her 100%. DH didn't want to discipline her. After me disengaging from her and DH having to do everything. Things started to change really fast. If she doesn't do her chores and other things, show DH. Let him take care of it. I remember when I 1st started doing that DH just did it himself instead of telling SD....lol. I didn't care as long as it was not me having to handle the shit. He eventually got sick of doing it himself and got on SD. She wants a snack then she can go ask DH. If he is not welling to fix the problems then he can deal with everything!

If I were you I wouldn't let my parents watch her either. That is his child. That is not fair to them either.

Dear DH,

You need to figure out that your daughters behavior is unacceptable and disruptive. The women that you married is your wife not your nanny. You should listen to what your wife has to say, and you guys need to sit down and come up with a game plan. If not.....then you should deal with SD alone. You are not doing anyone any good by ignoring the situation. Your wife is going to start resenting you...if she hasn't already. Your daughter is going to start thinking you don't care what she does or how she acts....if she doesn't already. 



Andie646
by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 6:27 PM

This growling thing must be learned from TV or something because my little sister will growl when my mom tells her to do something (it's playful and she still goes and does what she was told ... but it's still annoying to me) and DS has picked up on that habit. I don't remember ever growling, it just seems a bit odd, lol.

LoriDeen
by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 7:28 PM

To be honest, the statement, "does not know how to parent a child whose parents don't live together," mystifies me. How is the girl living with parents who don't live together changing the way you discipline?  In one house, two houses, or ten houses, you simply make rules for YOUR house, be firm about the behavior you expect, and follow through with discipline when your child doesn't do what she's told.  Having to live with parents who don't live together is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT, but it seems to be a handy excuse for parents who aren't willing to step up to the plate.  DH needs to step up.

mikiemom
by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 8:11 PM

Your dh should take a parenting class, the local hospital, county may have something for free that he can attend. go to the library check out a book. This is the last site that you want to get advice from.

paladinmom
by on Jan. 15, 2012 at 8:54 PM

You only say that bc you disagree so much with others.  And, when you do say something positive - it is really good advice.

Think of it this way mm... If your kid needed more attention from ExH, how would you prefer him to handle the situation.  And, do be all pessimistic about it either.  I really would like to hear your honest opinion in a positive manner.

Quoting mikiemom:

Your dh should take a parenting class, the local hospital, county may have something for free that he can attend. go to the library check out a book. This is the last site that you want to get advice from.


crs2442
by on Jan. 16, 2012 at 11:47 AM

He has always been weird about discipline when it comes to SD. He has an excuse for every form of discipline. Time out? "She'll just laugh at me" (Not true! I put her in time out and she pouts!) Take away something? "Well it doesn't make sense to take away her DS just because she didn't do her chores."

When we had her 50/50 he would tell me that he didn't want to be the "bad" parent. Somehow he just knew that BM let SD run wild all over the house, and since SD was only with us a week at a time he didn't want to make her stay horrible. In reality though, SD throws horrible tantrums at BMs house. BM can't control her (this all came straight from BM). Now that we have her about 90% of the time, he simply doesn't want to be her parent.

We had another fight last night about it. SD lost a brand new Thomas the train movie my mom had bought for my 2yo son. I contantly have to remind her to put stuff where it belongs. Since she doesn't do her chores, I figure the least she can do is put a dvd back in the case. So, I "threw" away her favorite movie, The Smurfs. I actually got a reaction out of her, which isn't normal for her. I told her until she found the Thomas movie, she didn't get the Smurfs back. (I really think this is a normal punishment, no?) DH was across the street painting in the new house, but I dont' keep him in the dark about the kids so I told him what happened. He flipped. His favorite thing to say is, "What were YOU like when you were 7?!" Well, I don't remember. But I know I had chores, and I know I would never dream of acting like SD does. Then he tells me I must have been "perfect".

So, I'm taking EI4E's advice and stepping back for awhile. The hardest thing for me is not being in control. But, she will either learn how much I actually do for her...or she will drive DH insane. I really feel like this is something that could split DH and I up though. He is seriously offended if I don't do my duty and pick SD up from her mom EOWE...so who knows how he'll act when I stop running myself into the ground for her.

whatIknownow
by on Jan. 16, 2012 at 12:00 PM


Quoting crs2442:

We had another fight last night about it. SD lost a brand new Thomas the train movie my mom had bought for my 2yo son. I contantly have to remind her to put stuff where it belongs. Since she doesn't do her chores, I figure the least she can do is put a dvd back in the case. So, I "threw" away her favorite movie, The Smurfs. I actually got a reaction out of her, which isn't normal for her. I told her until she found the Thomas movie, she didn't get the Smurfs back. (I really think this is a normal punishment, no?)

how did she lose the DVD? was she watching the movie? was she allowed to watch it?

7yo's lose things. Did you help her look for it?

DH needs to just go spend time with her. Take her rollerskating. Take her to the park. Take her to feed the ducks or look at the animals at the zoo. Take her to her EC (whatever she's into) and stay and watch her practice basketball, or whatever she does. Volunteer in her classroom. Chaperone her class trip. Bake cupcakes with her (yes, men can bake).  Bring the cupcakes into school.

It's almost valentine's day - he can fill out her class valentines with her.

Sit and do her homework with her. Watch a movie with her, sitting on the couch with her, the whole time. Take her with him when he goes grocery shopping. Or when  he goes to fill up the tank with gas. Or when he goes to the home depot to get screws.  Have her help him assemble furniture, she can hold the flashlight for him.  Have her be his furniture tester after he assembles something. Take her and her friend to the movies.  Take her bowling. Take her ice skating. Take her sledding. Take her to buy new sneakers. Play shoots n' ladders with her. Color with her. Help her clean her room. Help her figure out which toys to donate to the poor kids. Take her to the library for story hour. Sit next to her and listen to the story with her, then discuss the story on the way home. Ask her what kind of animal she would be. Discuss being different kinds of animals....

that should get him started.

snikees
by on Jan. 16, 2012 at 12:59 PM

I think, in general, men are not natural when it comes to parenting.  Then there is the guilt thing that rules the divorced dad-the fear that their child will not love them if they are disciplinarians.  The problem for us as SM is that we are trying to create an environment that meets with the rules we have for ourselves and our households and other children.  If your SD does not look to you as an authority you have a bad situation.  You are beating your head against a brick wall if you think your DH will change how he interacts with her.  You might try to look at this differently-if he is not interferring with your discipline, you should continue to do what you do as a mother. (and lets face it, being a mother is hard work-if you resent having to take care of her then this is not the appropriate response.)  If he interferes with your discipline, then you need to have a heart to heart with him about what the rules of the house are going to be.  It might involve some give and take on your part.  Your SD is going to be moody-kids are.  Some kids are better at being responsible than other kids.  I don't think she is trying to be naughty or irresponsible to "get your goat".  She is too young to do that right now; but, if you don't get a handle on it she is positioned to learn to be very manipulative and your future will be hell.  It is my opinion that what you need from your husband is the authority to be the mother of your household and the assurance that he will back you no matter whether he thinks you are right or wrong.  The rules apply to all kids and they are fair and equitable.  Consequences should be pre-determined so that he is not surprised when you take something from her as punishment for being irresponsible.  Of course, out of fairness, he should be able to ask you to reconsider when you are out of earshot of the kids-and you should be reasonable enough to consider his request, but not obligated.  As parenting partners he gets 49% and you get 51%-any disagreement should be discussed in the "board room" but you are the ultimate decision maker.

This is an ideal theory that did not work for me because my husband was so afraid of his daughter rejecting him that he would never back me up-my rules were not the rules that applied to SD, but as time has gone by and our own children have grown, many of the issues that came up back then are coming up again.  Example: boys in the bedroom-he allowed it with SD but is not even willing to consider it with our daughters.  I truly believe that it is all embedded in guilt and that the guilt rules.  It is sad when the fathers are unable to recognize that it is not one on one attention or something special that their kids want-they want consistency and discipline!

ShannaBee
by on Jan. 16, 2012 at 2:08 PM
Maybe he can attend a parenting class for blended families to help with this. He needs to step up.
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