Mom needs a dad's perspective...please!! — The Bump
Dads & Dads-to-be

Mom needs a dad's perspective...please!!

I feel as though my husband and I are going through a difficult time in our relationship.  I am very much into gentle discipline, kindness, respect, etc. I always have been and I learned much of it through my schooling and professional experiences in early childhood education. Husband mostly agrees but says that our daughter is not learning from our style of disciplining her.  I am open to trying new things but it is just important that we stay close to firm kindness and respect.

We have a 6-year-old daughter.  Hubby came into our lives when she was 3-years-old (almost 4) and he is "daddy" in every way you can imagine.  She adores and worships him.  Lately, though they are having problems and I truly feel it is in the way he speaks to her.  I believe she feels disrespected and attacked. She is very independent but still loves attention and all the love you will offer.  I believe that correcting her with firm kindness is the way to go. He will often say what I find to be ridiculous (and often hurtful) statements to her such as "Grow up." or "Get over it." or "I make the money and you will follow my rules.  Why don't you just move out and see how far you get."  I try to make him understand that she doesn't understand sentiment like that and that she will just take it as him being mean.  When he lectures her it comes across to me as offensive and I understand why she immediately becomes defensive and disrespectful. 

I would never claim that this does not happen on occasion with me but I choose to handle her behavior (disrespect, talking back, rolling eyes, etc.) by sending her to her room for "chill out" at five-minute intervals and depending on what she is doing.  When she is calm I go to speak to her.  When a behavior is ongoing or truly out of line, she will lose privileges.  Hubby thinks that this is not working and that she needs "real consequences," "punishments," and that our approach is not "severe" enough...That if she doesn't feel sad from the consequence then it has no affect on her.  I think he feels this because she will often laugh if you put her in her room or say "I don't care!"  However, within minutes she is calm and able to talk normally.  If she isn't, I tell her I will come back in a few more minutes.  He believes that our daughter "owns me" and "walks all over me" because I am not severe with her.  He mistakes my patience and kindness as weakness and being a pushover.  He also thinks it's silly when I tell him that I choose my battles because I don't want her to think that she is a terrible kid, which she will often say.  :( 

Now, let me say that when this man does it right, he really does it right!  Sometimes his parenting blows me away and he handles certain things better than I ever could have.  I try to tell him how happy I feel when he behaves in that way and ask him if he sees the difference in her response to him.  He agrees that she responds well but that sometimes she needs a more severe reprimanding because she obviously isn't getting it.  I try to explain that some kids go through stages like this in their emotional development and it is our job to guide her through and just be consistent.  We have to show her through our behavior the way to handle life. I have said to him before that we have to teach her now how to be the woman we want her to become. She will not be truly learning the meaning of it all if she behaves a certain way because she will get in trouble versus behaving a certain way because she respects us and others.

UUUUUGGGHHHHH!!!!!!

Please help me to figure this out. What do I do?  Is there a middle ground?  Do you have any suggestion of consequences that would be fitting but kind that could satisfy us both?

Anything helps...I appreciate all of your feedback!! :)

 

Re: Mom needs a dad's perspective...please!!

  • Well, most of us on the board do not have children that old... one does.  However, some of the things that your husband says to her just isn't going to work.  "Grow up" is never going to be a tact that is going to lead anywhere.

    Being severe for the sake of being severe isn't going to work.  However, if the situation dictates a more severe tact than a 5 minute cool off followed by discussion, then I can see his point.  I'm not talking about taking the belt out and beating the child or anything, but different offenses call for different punishments.  If she knows all she is ever going to get is a 5 minute cool off and a talking to and then everything is cool, then she'll know she can get away with more.  If you establish now that if she breaks major rules or is majorly disrespectful towards people, animals or property and knows she is, then something more severe than a timeout and lecture is probably warranted.  If all she is ever going to receive is a talking to, she'll eventually turn a deaf ear and NOT become the woman you want her to be.

    You two need to sit down and come up with a list of offenses that would warrant a next level punishment and what those punishments would be, i.e. no TV for the evening, no computer (if she uses it much), or what have you.  That way you are both on the same page.

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  • Thanks :)  I have arrived at my views through lots of hours of educating myself and a bit of trial and error.  I know I'm not perfect and I certainly have my bad mommy moments!

    I keep asking him to read and offer me solutions he would like to see but he just repeats the same over and over again.  I will keep suggesting though...maybe start sending him some articles or definitions of things that I have read.  Then he can see the proof and that I'm not going by one particular style or book but adapting it all into my own style.

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  • imageColtsdad:

    Well, most of us on the board do not have children that old... one does.  However, some of the things that your husband says to her just isn't going to work.  "Grow up" is never going to be a tact that is going to lead anywhere.

    Being severe for the sake of being severe isn't going to work.  However, if the situation dictates a more severe tact than a 5 minute cool off followed by discussion, then I can see his point.  I'm not talking about taking the belt out and beating the child or anything, but different offenses call for different punishments.  If she knows all she is ever going to get is a 5 minute cool off and a talking to and then everything is cool, then she'll know she can get away with more. 

     He said this last night actually...and I completely agree!  But he doesn't offer up his ideas for a solution. I want him to read so he can gain his own educated opinion but I am unsure of how to get him to do it.

     

    If you establish now that if she breaks major rules or is majorly disrespectful towards people, animals or property and knows she is, then something more severe than a timeout and lecture is probably warranted.  If all she is ever going to receive is a talking to, she'll eventually turn a deaf ear and NOT become the woman you want her to be.

    Agreed!

     

    You two need to sit down and come up with a list of offenses that would warrant a next level punishment and what those punishments would be, i.e. no TV for the evening, no computer (if she uses it much), or what have you.  That way you are both on the same page.

    I LOVE this!  I want to do it and I think he would be down to as well.  I think putting it up with our family house rules would be effective and tell us all what steps to expect.  However, I think we are both at a loss as to what types of consequences we can apply.  She only gets TV privileges on the weekends. She actually did get that taken away for the entire weekend this coming weekend as well as all electronics for a whole week because of something that happened at school. I am at a loss as to what other types of consequences there are!

  • As was stated, most of us do not have children that old.  That said, in no way is six years old an appropriate age to engage in such hard tactics. A 6 year old does not have the emotional development, discipline, or an understanding of self to engage in such interaction.

    Until the teens arrive, and by teens I mean age ten and up, trying to communicate with a child as if they are a fully functional, emotionally stable person is certainly not wise parenting. A six year old still needs to learn those lessons in communication, empathy and focus, as it applies to how they interact with everyone around them. That can only be done through calm, loving patience...it is our duty as parents.

    I look at my 4 month old boy and I can never imagine getting so frustrated that I would not be able to control my temper. I cannot say that with any other person in my life, even my wife. Our children need our love and education leading up to their teen years, when they begin to take over more of that responsibility on their own.

    "Grow up." or "Get over it." or "I make the money and you will follow my rules. Why don't you just move out and see how far you get."

    Those words are simply unacceptable for a child of that age, especially a girl. Parents cannot, for any reason, respond to a young child that way, ever!

    You praise him for being a good father in other areas...sorry.....I cannot do the same knowing that is how he speaks to this child. I take being a father very seriously, and I do not know how anyone who calls themself a father would ever speak to a young child that way. He needs to be made to understand that, or he will cause some issues with your daughter. At the end of the day, you have to protect her FIRST.

    image

  • Potential options that could be offered:

    - No snacks

    - No friends over

    - Loss of favorite toy

    - Early bed time... maybe not asleep, but in her room early, lights out (doesn't work as well if she has most of her toys in her room)

    Not super severe punishments to where it should scar the child emotionally or psychologically, but to where she will definitely know that what she did is wrong and yields consequences.  Most of these punishments would likely be a 1 night thing, except the TV like you did for this weekend.

    Posting the rules and the consequences up on a board for all to see should help keep the discipline clear for all.  I would talk to him though about his choice of words towards her, the phrases you listed him as saying are simply not appropriate, at any age, but especially for a 6 year old as she isn't going to be able to handle that emotionally or psychologically.

     

  • imageladyjenna13:

    I look at my 4 month old boy and I can never imagine getting so frustrated that I would not be able to control my temper. I cannot say that with any other person in my life, even my wife. Our children need our love and education leading up to their teen years, when they begin to take over more of that responsibility on their own.

    ...

    You praise him for being a good father in other areas...sorry.....I cannot do the same knowing that is how he speaks to this child. I take being a father very seriously, and I do not know how anyone who calls themself a father would ever speak to a young child that way. He needs to be made to understand that, or he will cause some issues with your daughter. At the end of the day, you have to protect her FIRST.

    I wouldn't be so quick to rush to judgement here.  She says he does a great job sometimes and other times falters.  That sounds pretty human to me.  No one is a perfect parent.  Everyone has faults.  I'm sure he is still learning as he goes.  She is also not his biological daughter, so I wouldn't expect the exact same connection you feel with your son.

    I don't have any advice to add that wasn't already given, but I am expecting a parenting style difference in my own house once my son is born.  I know it is different, but my wife and I have very different ways of dealing with our dog.  I am curious to see how our different styles translate to our child.


    image
  • imageColtsdad:

    Potential options that could be offered:

    - No snacks

    - No friends over

    - Loss of favorite toy

    - Early bed time... maybe not asleep, but in her room early, lights out (doesn't work as well if she has most of her toys in her room)

    Not super severe punishments to where it should scar the child emotionally or psychologically, but to where she will definitely know that what she did is wrong and yields consequences.  Most of these punishments would likely be a 1 night thing, except the TV like you did for this weekend.

    Posting the rules and the consequences up on a board for all to see should help keep the discipline clear for all.  I would talk to him though about his choice of words towards her, the phrases you listed him as saying are simply not appropriate, at any age, but especially for a 6 year old as she isn't going to be able to handle that emotionally or psychologically.

    My wife already talks about the day when she will have to eat ice cream or something like that in front of a pouty Jake who cannot have any because he did wrong.

    She knows the power of such consequences already, thank God!!

    image

  • imageladyjenna13:
    imageColtsdad:

    Potential options that could be offered:

    - No snacks

    - No friends over

    - Loss of favorite toy

    - Early bed time... maybe not asleep, but in her room early, lights out (doesn't work as well if she has most of her toys in her room)

    Not super severe punishments to where it should scar the child emotionally or psychologically, but to where she will definitely know that what she did is wrong and yields consequences.  Most of these punishments would likely be a 1 night thing, except the TV like you did for this weekend.

    Posting the rules and the consequences up on a board for all to see should help keep the discipline clear for all.  I would talk to him though about his choice of words towards her, the phrases you listed him as saying are simply not appropriate, at any age, but especially for a 6 year old as she isn't going to be able to handle that emotionally or psychologically.

    My wife already talks about the day when she will have to eat ice cream or something like that in front of a pouty Jake who cannot have any because he did wrong.

    She knows the power of such consequences already, thank God!!

    Definitely!  Consequences have their place...I am simply trying to make hubby understand the difference between:

    Child has lost dessert due to behavior.  It is now dessert time and we still get our ice cream while she doesn't.

    VERSUS

     Child has lost dessert due to behavior.  It is now dessert time and we still get our ice cream while she doesn't.  Husband goes out of his way to oooooh and ahhhh about the ice cream and repeat how next time she should act correctly and she will get some too. 

    The difference is that I find the latter to be over the top and mean.

    Just an example.  I believe consequences are needed.  We need help in figuring out consequences that she will still "feel" (as another poster said) but are not mean and really not teaching any lesson at all.

  • imagePrime:
    imageladyjenna13:

    I look at my 4 month old boy and I can never imagine getting so frustrated that I would not be able to control my temper. I cannot say that with any other person in my life, even my wife. Our children need our love and education leading up to their teen years, when they begin to take over more of that responsibility on their own.

    ...

    You praise him for being a good father in other areas...sorry.....I cannot do the same knowing that is how he speaks to this child. I take being a father very seriously, and I do not know how anyone who calls themself a father would ever speak to a young child that way. He needs to be made to understand that, or he will cause some issues with your daughter. At the end of the day, you have to protect her FIRST.

    I wouldn't be so quick to rush to judgement here.  She says he does a great job sometimes and other times falters.  That sounds pretty human to me.  No one is a perfect parent.  Everyone has faults.  I'm sure he is still learning as he goes.  She is also not his biological daughter, so I wouldn't expect the exact same connection you feel with your son.

    I don't have any advice to add that wasn't already given, but I am expecting a parenting style difference in my own house once my son is born.  I know it is different, but my wife and I have very different ways of dealing with our dog.  I am curious to see how our different styles translate to our child.

    Yes, please do not assume that this man is not a wonderful father. He is loving, playful, supportive, and just amazing! Everyone has their bumps in the road and this one is ours. :)

    He has a very strong connection with our daughter. As soon as adoption is possible for us, he will be doing so.  He is dad in every way except on paper...unless of course you count all the "I love you da-da" notes he gets from her ;)

  • "Child has lost dessert due to behavior. It is now dessert time and we still get our ice cream while she doesn't. Husband goes out of his way to oooooh and ahhhh about the ice cream and repeat how next time she should act correctly and she will get some too."

    You classify this as "mean".

    I classify it as much more than that. I would expect a 6 year old to act like that, not a husband and father.

    Sorry if you don't care for my opinion on that, but I think there is something very disturbing in such behavior, and it is perhaps a signal of a much deeper issue.

    Does he have any birthchildren of his own? If he does, does he deal with them in that manner? How about his father? Does his father treat him like that?

    I cannot imagine someone who engages in this behavior not having it present in other areas of their life. Mocking and belittling are things that teen boys do, not grown men. It is certainly learned behavior, and therefore can be unlearned. But that is 100% on him.

    image

  • I am adopted.  My father never once talked to me in such a way.

    I am not trying to sound cold and heartless.  I am trying to offer objective insights based on my standards.  That is all I can really do.

    I think this is 100% learned behavior.  So I think it can be reversed, but it sounds like when it comes to communicating disappointment and frustration, he has problems with it. He may have learned that from his own relationship with his father. That is really all we have to go by as we learn to become our own type of parent.

    But I strongly believe that our children develop self confidence and self awareness based on our relationship with them as parents. An environment that nurtures and provides a safe environment for us to make mistakes, and learn from them, will go a long way in how our children communicate and respond in the outside world. Your husbands behavior, even if it is from caring, is not teaching your daughter how to interact in a caring way. That is your husbands number one job as a father, helping to teach your daughter how to be a confident person who can be comfortable communicating with others.

    Unless your husband sees how important that is, I don't know how change happens. He learned that behavior somewhere....

    image

  • imageladyjenna13:

    I am adopted.  My father never once talked to me in such a way.

    I am not trying to sound cold and heartless.  I am trying to offer objective insights based on my standards.  That is all I can really do.

    I think this is 100% learned behavior.  So I think it can be reversed, but it sounds like when it comes to communicating disappointment and frustration, he has problems with it. He may have learned that from his own relationship with his father. That is really all we have to go by as we learn to become our own type of parent.

    But I strongly believe that our children develop self confidence and self awareness based on our relationship with them as parents. An environment that nurtures and provides a safe environment for us to make mistakes, and learn from them, will go a long way in how our children communicate and respond in the outside world. Your husbands behavior, even if it is from caring, is not teaching your daughter how to interact in a caring way. That is your husbands number one job as a father, helping to teach your daughter how to be a confident person who can be comfortable communicating with others.

    Unless your husband sees how important that is, I don't know how change happens. He learned that behavior somewhere....

     BINGO!! Oh how wise you are...that is exactly where he learned it from and his mother was not any better.  In fact, there are still issues with both to this day...

    Also, I am expecting at the end of May...a baby girl! I believe that is another reason this is all coming to a head because if he thinks I give to much and am too kind/patient in my discipline with our 6-year-old, I am worried to think how he will feel when the next comes along!

     I completely agree with you.  We are working on these issues.  I am tempted to show him the responses I have gotten so that he can see that I am not the only one who feels this way.  Thoughts on that?

     

  • I am in full agreeance with your technique to discipline. Taking away privilages, and giving the child "chill out" times is a good thing. For 1. Taking away privilages: teaches the child that with bad behavior things go buhbye, with good behavior you get new things. 2. Chill out time is healthy for a child. An adult can gain more control over their behavior and anger, and all those emotions a lot better than a child can. They need time to cool down and to be honest so does a parent. This isn't just a time for your daughter to take to cool down it is a time for you to cool down to. The worst thing a parent can do is discipline a child while they are angry. you lose control and make very stupid descisions when angry. I bet your husband is a wonderful father, but making comments like that to child is not very appropriate, she is after all only 6. She can't comprehend earnings, money, responsibility as easily as a teenager can. Your techniques will earn you a beautiful relationship with your child, one where she will be open with you always because you give her the time to be able to talk to you. Your also showing her that you are a strong person who can stand by her word. So long as you are not giving in to her crying and sill tantrums you are not being walked all over. She is a child, she's not perfect. She will misbehave no matter how severe the punishment may be. Consistency, taking away privilages when they are naughty, telling them what they've done wrong and why they are being punished, give them a reward when the day was good, point out the good qualities, those are really good parenting techniques, now I know I am not a parent myself yet, but I have 4 younger siblings ( 2 girls, 2 boys) all throw the age of 3-11. They are hyper, crazy, angry, violent, dramatic, strange, but also loving, sweet, playful, funny. Parents have a lot on their plate, I know mine do. It gets really tough watching them battle their kids and try to pay the bills and keep the house clean and keep their business running smoothly while having a good relationship with one another. I've become their "back up parent". When my siblings come to my house I use the same techniques that you use and i've realized that each of my siblings is different. one is a brat who thinks she is a princess, one likes to make wierd noises when your trying to talk to her, another argues and tries to be an adult, and the other cries dramatically and refuses any resolution. So I've had to learn how to deal with each one of them differently. Oddly enough I've been helping my parents realize this too and they've been improving from the "this is my house, my rules, you don't deserve anything" comments of anger and frustrations, to the talking, taking away privilages, and making time for the kids. It's been alot better.

  • imagepolooo26:

    I remember one lady who showed responses to her SO other on this site a few months ago and she said it really helped.

    It probably depends on your husband. Would he be the type to get offended that you told a bunch of people on the internet your problems or could he get past that and benefit from the responses.

    Very good point...I think since true identity is unknown, he wouldn't be upset that I asked for advice.  I am more wondering if he will be offended if I show him or feel the need to show him...almost like an "I told ya so!" type of move.

    I'm thinking that I may say to him what I did and offer to show him if he wants to see it.

  • Great response...thanks so much for taking the time to write that!  You will be an awesome parent.  You're getting lots of practice!! :)

    imageccamp93:

    I am in full agreeance with your technique to discipline. Taking away privilages, and giving the child "chill out" times is a good thing. For 1. Taking away privilages: teaches the child that with bad behavior things go buhbye, with good behavior you get new things. 2. Chill out time is healthy for a child. An adult can gain more control over their behavior and anger, and all those emotions a lot better than a child can. They need time to cool down and to be honest so does a parent. This isn't just a time for your daughter to take to cool down it is a time for you to cool down to. The worst thing a parent can do is discipline a child while they are angry. you lose control and make very stupid descisions when angry. I bet your husband is a wonderful father, but making comments like that to child is not very appropriate, she is after all only 6. She can't comprehend earnings, money, responsibility as easily as a teenager can. Your techniques will earn you a beautiful relationship with your child, one where she will be open with you always because you give her the time to be able to talk to you. Your also showing her that you are a strong person who can stand by her word. So long as you are not giving in to her crying and sill tantrums you are not being walked all over. She is a child, she's not perfect. She will misbehave no matter how severe the punishment may be. Consistency, taking away privilages when they are naughty, telling them what they've done wrong and why they are being punished, give them a reward when the day was good, point out the good qualities, those are really good parenting techniques, now I know I am not a parent myself yet, but I have 4 younger siblings ( 2 girls, 2 boys) all throw the age of 3-11. They are hyper, crazy, angry, violent, dramatic, strange, but also loving, sweet, playful, funny. Parents have a lot on their plate, I know mine do. It gets really tough watching them battle their kids and try to pay the bills and keep the house clean and keep their business running smoothly while having a good relationship with one another. I've become their "back up parent". When my siblings come to my house I use the same techniques that you use and i've realized that each of my siblings is different. one is a brat who thinks she is a princess, one likes to make wierd noises when your trying to talk to her, another argues and tries to be an adult, and the other cries dramatically and refuses any resolution. So I've had to learn how to deal with each one of them differently. Oddly enough I've been helping my parents realize this too and they've been improving from the "this is my house, my rules, you don't deserve anything" comments of anger and frustrations, to the talking, taking away privilages, and making time for the kids. It's been alot better.

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