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Help!!!!! mom of 3 needing advice of the wise

Posted by on Feb. 17, 2013 at 9:26 PM
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   hi there, my name is janie. As of early this month i just turned 28 and i have three children ages 8, 7 and 5.  I work as a cashier in a convenience store while i take classes and spend lots of time with my kids.  I recently got married last september to a wonderful man who has no children of his own and he will soon be 23. The 5 year difference between us is not an issue. I have noticed that most people you encounter in life, especially men, tend to try and raise children the way that they were brought up themselves.  (which is not always a good thing)  I desperately need help with one thing ladies:  How do I teach him different methods of discipline with the kids and how to use them effectively and how do I get him to to understand children and their needs and the way that they think. I have tried to find parenting classes or something but there is nothing unless you are about to give birth or dont already have a child.  My 5 year old is my only son and this is his kindergarten year and he is getting notes home like crazy because add and adhd run in my family...we are a wind-open and hyper bunch ;D and even though i know it is hard for any child to control themselves all the time, its especially hard for him and my husband isnt taking it so well and we arent seeing eye-to-eye on much of anything lately because of it.  plz help 

by on Feb. 17, 2013 at 9:26 PM
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by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 6:25 AM
I was going to suggest parenting classes as well, so I hope you're able to find something. Just try not to be dh's mother figure with this- telling him what to do and how to do it. Maybe even look into a child development or child psychology class that you two can take together (if you just tell him to take it, he may be less receptive to it and feel you're looking down on him as a parent). Best of luck!
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by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 9:14 AM
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I am not sure. I know that I had step dads (many) in my life and they always did the discipline. I grew to hate them. All of them. And I felt that my mother wasn't an authority figure. 
So I would say, make sure both of you enforce the rules.
I would sit down with your family (kids too) and lay out the rules, and consequences. Start a reward and consequence board for each child.
Good luck 

by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 11:12 AM

First of all you are getting notes because, IMO, schools have no idea how to deal with little boys. Every single male child in my son's 5-K was recommended to be held back and medicated. My son doesn't have ADD or ADHD but my daugther does. She was recommended for the gifted group and never tagged as having ADD or ADHD. That's how schools are.

Second, take some time away from the kids with your husband on a monthly basis. It will help your relationship so much to do that. No talk of kids then either.

Third, these kids are YOURS, your husband must NOT use his discipline on them if you don't agree with his methods. Men are often VERY harsh that way. He needs to let you take the lead.

by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 10:39 AM
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I commend you on recognizing there is something that needs to be addressed. If you have insurance I would suggest you contact your rep to find out counseling options you may have on your plan. My oldest son will be 23 in April and I honestly don't know if I could see him handling 3 children at once. Your dh has taken on a HUGE role by becoming your mate and I applaud him for doing so. Having a one on one with him and asking HIM to give his expectations on the children's behavior is a good place to start. Communicate as best you can away from the children so they don't get caught in the cross fire. One day at a time. Hang in there!
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by Ivy on Feb. 19, 2013 at 12:16 PM
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 I think you two need to sit down and discuss the situation - away from the kids.  Try to come up with a reasonable solution or way to handle it, then present a united front.  You might want to contact your children's pediatrician and ask about parenting classes.  They might be able to help you find something.

by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 12:47 PM

My DH also has a tendency to want to raise the way he was raised... While I don't entirely disagree with him, I like to take a more gentle (but still quite firm and serious) approach. I am the one who does the vast majority of the disciplining/teaching because I'm a SAHM and he used to work out of town, so I set up the way I know is best. Then, he watches what I do. And sometimes I like to tell him (in a way that doesn't make it feel like I'm teaching him like he's a child or something): "I read about this parenting strategy... or I heard about this technique... and this is what I'm doing and this is why I'm doing it/what I'd like to accomplish with it." He doesn't say much at the time, but then I watch over the next couple weeks and see that he's starting to incorporate the same things. Because all he would know is the way he saw growing up, until I model for him a better way.

And I don't always expect him to agree with me. It isn't "my way or the highway." He's a capable adult too. And he makes comments sometimes too and I see his reactions to certain behaviors and know I better crack down a little more. We are both very respectful of each other.

But one other thing--if your child is getting constant notes home from school and it sounds like you are making excuses for him ("add and adhd run in my family... we are a wind-open and hyper bunch") then maybe you need to listen to your DH a little more when he is saying this kind of behavior is not acceptable.

by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 1:30 PM
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The first thing that needs to happen is you and your hubby MUST see eye to eye. How do you do that? Well, each of you should write down discipline forms that you believe will work on your own. Then come together and share your ideas and choose (together) which methods you both agree on. After you guys are on the same page, so will the kids. This will also help your hubby feel appreciated in your marriage (even if you don't like his idea). He may feel like the kids are your kids and whatever he says goes flying out the window because you don't like it. I'm not saying that you are doing this, but guys think differently than we do. Once you guys are on one accord about discipline, it will be all good.

by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 1:50 PM
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 Parenting books?

by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 2:01 PM

It seems like an Alpha male issue?  Is he trying to assert his dominance over the other "man" in the house? 

Your DH won't learn anything he doesn't want to, so is he searching for parenting classes?  Is he interested in learning how his past has affected him?  If so, you could suggest therapy for him.  

Just try to remember that being a good husband means being a good father.  The two go hand in hand.  If he's not willing to be a better stepfather, then I would take that as a statement about his dedication to you as a husband.   ...just my humble opinion  

by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Start with a list of rules and consequences for  breaking the rules.  Think about this on your own, and mention to your husband and children that they should also think about it.  Then sit down at the table some afternoon and have a Family Council.  Keep it informal, keep it pleasant.  Serve a favorite cookie or juice.  Write down all ideas and brainstorm.  Let the kids be a part of the discussion.  Make a simple list to start with - keep it no more than 8 or 10 items on the list, adding more later as the need arises.  List the things that bug you most, but also, you cannot punish a child for being active.  Little boys ARE active!  My suggestion - if your son and your school don't get along, find another school.  Consider a Montessori school, which is activity based, a country day school, a charter school, or a home-school.  Boys NEED activity and most kids who are believed to be adhd are really just normal... the rest of the world needs to realize that.

Keep rules listed in the positive.  Instead of "don't hit", write, "hands are for loving touches".  Instead of "don't kick" write, "feet belong on the floor".  Then let your husband and children help you decide on APPROPRIATE consequences for misbehavior.  If someone hits once, they need to immediately appolologize. If they hit again, a time out.  If they hit a third time in the same day, a loss of priviliedges - like no video games for a week or something.  WHat you come up with isn't as important as the fact that you come up with SOMETHING. 

Next, write the rules and consequences DOWN.  Make multiple copies.  Post them on the fridge, the bathroom, the bedroom doors, in the babysitter handbook, and send copies to the grandparents, or anyone else who watches your kids.  This way, you and your husband can be consistent, and the kids know what is expected of them.  And since the kids had a hand in coming up with the consequences, they'll be far more motivated, than if the laws were handed down from on high.  Besides, kids may come up with more severe consequences than parents - and you may have to temper their ideas with wisdom.

You cannot tell your husband of a better way to raise kids, but you can model it.  You can be a loving, kind, and gentle leader.  Also, PRAISE your husband for any small step he makes in the right direction of the way you want to go.  Instead of yelling at him for losing his patience, if you see him being gentle, tell him how much it means to you, how much you love the way he was with your son when he was so understanding and gentle.  Training a husband is a bit like training a dog.  Praise goes a long way!  Scolding and yelling gets you nothing but a lot of "shit".  When you praise him, he will feel good about himself, and he will want to do the right thing again.   When you correct him, you emmasculate him and make him feel worthless.

Finally, if you find some parenting classes, take them together.  Don't send your husband, but do this together, showing him that you don't have all the answers either... but this is something you are committed to learning.

Good luck!

Raising Creative Children

Nurturing Creative Young Minds and Wiggly Bodies

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