I get soooo fed up with my DH's parenting sometimes.
I am not claiming to be a perfect parent by ANY means--but I think that I do a pretty good job of maintaining consistency, and having good expectations for DD. Of course, it is easier at times b/c she is so well-behaved and generally is a people-pleaser.
I am just appalled some days at the crap that my DH takes from SS. I really don't get it!
This morning for example:
SS wants a new webkin and DH told him last week that he would get him one after the first week of school, as an incentive for being positive and having a good attitude about school--school has always been a challenge for SS.
Anyway, this weekend marks the first week of school, so SS is excited to get his webkin.
However, his attitude towards DH has been terrible. Last night was constant arguing, backtalk, DH threatening to take this privlige or that privilige away, but never actually doing it.
This morning DH asked SS to get his lunchbox out of his backpack so he could pack his lunch. SS says he doesn't know where it is. DH says "it's in your backpack and from now on, it is YOUR responsibility to get it out when you get home from school and leave it on the counter so Love or I can empty it and pack a lunch." Ok, so this is good. I am all for routine and structure and kids knowing what they need to do.
SS goes in his room, comes out two seconds later and says he can't find it. He says it's not in his backpack. DH gets irritated and tells him to bring the backpack out. He goes to play with the dog instead and a few mins later DH sees he is not doing what he was asked to do. DH yells at him to get it. SS hollers back in an angry tone "I will in a minute DAD!"
UGh. Right there---I thought DH, instead of raising his voice which just excacerbates everything, should have calmly said "I asked you to do something, if you don't do it right when I ask, you will lose _____ privilige."
But he doesn't of course. He just yells back at SS "don't you yell at me!"
And SS rolls his eyes and gives his trademark response of "GEEEZ, you don't have to be so mean."
So---IMO there are two issues going on here---one is SS's disrespect, but the other (and CAUSE IMO) is DH's lack of taking control of the situation.
So then SS stomps off, gets his backpack and gives it to DH. DH opens it and sure enough, the lunchbox is right in there. So DH gets more irritated and says "Here it is, you didn't look."
SS: "I didn't hear you tell me to look."
Then they proceed to aruge about whether or not DH told him to look for it.
It's stuff like this that does make me think there must be some sort of processing disorder or LD. He truly seems to not hear directions or can't remember them.
So DH gets more angry and the whole thing starts again. "Next time I tell you to do something, I want you to do it."
SS says something along the lines again of "GEEEZ, Dad, you are so mean!"
Then it's time to go. DH tells SS to get his backpack and brush his hair. He doesn't want to brush his hair so he whines about it and DH gets angry again. "Listen to me, do it" blah blah blah.
"DAD! I'll do it when I want to do it!"
The whole thing is seriously unreal.
DH finally lays out a consequence and says "if you keep up with the attitude, you will be grounded from tv, Wii and computer tonight and tomorrow night."
SS: "That's fine, I don't care. When can I get my webkin?"
And DH says "I don't know, maybe this weekend."
I mean, some of this is verbatim, some is pretty darn close--you get the gist of what it is like.
The problem is, this is just typical, typical between SS and DH.
The funny thing---SS does not act like this with me. Today I am picking him up b/c DH will be at work until about 8---and I guarantee our night will be much more pleasant and organized, and happy. This sounds TERRIBLE but I find SS so much more pleasant to be around when DH is not home!
I hate this commotion around DD---thankfully, she gets to school much earlier than SS, so she was not around for any of this today---but this is nothing new, and she's seen this all before. I don't like her seeing SS get away with unacceptable behavior, I don't like her hearing DH yell and get angry, etc.
And SS deserves a better send-off in the morning--and he deserves calmer evenings, as well!
I feel like DH is so afraid to be firm and to be a parent---so by not doing anything or just constantly "threatening" he thinks he is being "nice" but he's really doing SS a disservice!
He doesn't need to get angry or yell--all he needs to do is be firm, have clear cut expectations and a good routine, and set SS up for success.
HOW can I help DH realize this? I really cannot talk to him about it b/c he just tells me to let him handle it. Constructive criticism from me just doesn't work---and I can kind of understand that.
BUt this can't go on, he has got to work on his parenting! It is NOT just me that has said this---so many people who are around us have observed that DH does not follow through with much of what he says.