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Parenting help?

Posted by lovehadley (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 20, 09 at 9:52

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."

AUGHHHHHH!!!!!!

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.

HELP!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Parenting help?

I hear you, I understand how you feel especially since you have your DD seeing bad examples.

But I don't really have any advice. I am generally not a very consistent parent myself. I let DD get away with things when she was young.

Your DH probably feels guilty. I know I felt guilty when i tried to reenforce something wiht DD, I remember having these thoughts: i only have one child, life is hard enough, she will grow up and will deal with crap, why do i need to give her crap. I actually never grounded, maybe 1-2 times in life. I never had any patience to ground, and I did fell guilty every time i tried. Plus DD never had much stuff, there was very little to take away.

The thing is DD grew up a nice adult, she is responsible and very independent, she is a nice human being, not nasty, so far didn't do anything too ridicilous, she doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, doesn't party (she goes to museums and library on Saturdays, not clubing LOL who else does that at 21?), doesn't hook up with wrong people, goes to school, works, and overall makes OK choices in life.

I have good relationship wiht DD so far, yet i was very permissive parent. Maybe if I would be more consistent and more demanding, she would get to better college, maybe something else would be better, i don't know. But maybe she would make poor choices in life, as often kids of strict parents do. maybe she would not be close to me, as often kids of strict parents are not. I don't know. I think I understand how your DH feels when he does not follow through.

The other thing is your SS might actually have auditory processing issue or ADD, since he is doing poorly in school i think it is all related. I wonder if he does not process directions properly.


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RE: Parenting help?

He really needs a parenting class or a counselor to tell him that he's doing it wrong. When my kids were younger, I was not so consistent... a little guilty parenting... etc. I had the same problem, the kids would ignore what I told them, I would get frustrated and give up.. not follow through. They learned all about empty threats... they knew how to wear me down to where it was easier to give in than follow through. Of course, I was a single parent... there were three of them.. and they took advantage of a tired mom after working a 10 hour day. (and they were older... Jr. High age)

I took a parenting class when they were teenagers and I wish I had taken it before they were born.. or at least when they were younger. Honestly, I thought it was too late to make changes with my kids because they were practically grown. It was probably tougher than if they were 5 or 6, but things improved immensely with just being consistent and never saying anything I didn't really mean (ie. empty threats that they knew I would likely not follow through with)

Your SS doesn't take his dad seriously because dad flakes on follow through. I can't say it's not a LD, but it sounds like he knows what he's doing... he's got dad's number.

What I would suggest is that instead of telling DH that he needs a parenting class... because he rejects your advice or input... I would suggest that you approach it as a couple thing. "WE need to take a parenting class" My husband took it with me and it opened his eyes to a lot. Sometimes it takes an uninvolved third party to say it. He doesn't want to hear it from you. He may know that you are better with your DD than he is with his DS... so you telling him what he's doing wrong might be interpreted that you are better than him. (or make him feel that way) If you tell him you don't have all the answers and you would benefit from the class too, maybe he'd be more receptive to the idea.

One thing to stress is that it only gets harder/worse... when they become older, smarter and learn new ways to manipulate. When they are teens, they also can become rebellious. He may have a teenager that borrows the car, breaks the rules regarding the car, brings it back late, dirty, broken down, gets tickets and dad will say never again! Then a week later, dad will give him the keys...

It doesn't resolve itself.


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RE: Parenting help?

"He may know that you are better with your DD than he is with his DS"

I think he perceives it that way at times, but really, I cannot stress how much easier she is than SS. I think a lot is because she is a GIRL. I was talking with our neighbors who have a 7 yr old DD and a 5 yr old DS, and they were saying they used to REALLY worry about their DS because he seemed so much farther behind than their DD at the same ages.....they said it finally took the pediatrician and diff. teachers reassuring them they boys progress differently than girls.

So that is some of it. Then DD doesn't have the issues that SS does--two homes, two different sets of rules, etc. Then throw in SS's mom's behavior/drinking and the different schools he's attended---of COURSE he is going to act differently than DD. He's been through a lot. :(

DD is also gifted, and her school has had to help accomodate her needs. She attends a private school that already works a grade above the public school curriculum, but in reading and math, she is even ahead of that. So last year, in 1st grade, she was doing a lot of 3rd grade reading and math.

I think sometimes the fact that she is so gifted makes her come across as extraordinarily mature, especially in comparison to SS.

Anyway, my point is, DH gets down about it, but it's not that I am doing a better job by any means, just that she has always been an easy child to parent, she is pretty easy-going, etc.

Ima, a parenting class together is a good idea! I could probably get him to go for that.

FD, I also wonder about sensory processing disorder or something. I have mentioned that and ADD to DH and he just maintains that SS needs "discipline." HAHA, which is really funny because DH is all talk when it comes to that!

I really wonder about the ADD stuff b/c it seems to me---SS does better one on one, but when he is in a classroom, he gets overwhelmed and seems to tune stuff out. Then again, he tunes DH out, as well.

I wish I could take him to get tested. :(


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RE: Parenting help?

Parenting classes really help. I attended a parenting group with DD when she was 1 or so for about a year and it taught me a lot. Now, I am still not terribly consistent, but I do a lot of the things I learned and recognize when I am making mistakes and fall back on some of the things I learned so many years ago from those classes. I actually even still have many of the handouts. But overall, DD is a very easy child to raise. She is also quite the people pleaser. Her teachers amuse me sometimes in that they get alarmed if one day out of the year she doesn't immediately do what they ask and send me emails or call to see if everything is ok with her. She may push the envelope at times at home, and I admit that I allow her to get away with quite a bit. Her dad is like a drill sergeant and she hates that and I don't want to be like that with her. And I don't think your DH needs to be that way with SS. Its all about balance. Kids aren't perfect and we can't expect them to be. They will talk back at times. They will not do something immediately when you ask them to. Etc. Sounds like your DH needs to be firmer, yes, but its ok not to follow through with a punishment for everything. Pick your battles, I always say. And I agree with finedreams, the strictest parents aren't always the most successful ones as most kids raised in overly strict homes have many issues as adults and generally are not very close to their parents. Parenting classes dont advocate being very strict but finding a good balance that works with your child's personality so that they grow up to be happy and healthy good people with good childhood memories.


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RE: Parenting help?

I totally agree finding a balance is good and I also don't think there is a one-size-fits-all parenting plan.

I am not at all advocating that DH needs to be a "drill sergeant" with SS. But I do think he needs to be consistent.


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reply

" its ok not to follow through with a punishment for everything"

I disagree with this.

I think it's FINE to pick your battles. I think there are times it's fine to let a little backtalking slide, or to ignore a crabby attitude, etc. Usually, kids act out becaue they are trying to "tell us something." IE--I'm tired, I'm stressed, I'm worried, etc.

BUT I don't think it's ever okay to tell your child one thing (ie--lay out a consequence) and not follow through. That's why, as parents, it is so important to think before we speak. If I say "if your room is not picked up, we will not go to the movie" then I better be prepared to not go to that movie!

I think this is what's really detrimental to DH's parenting of SS. He says/threatens conseuqneces all the time but RARELY follows through. So it's no surprise that his word doesn't seem to hold much weight with SS.

So--like I said---I think it's fine for a parent to think to him or herself "I'm going to let this slide." But if you SAY something to your child, you then need to be prepared to follow through. Once it's out there, you can't really take it back.

So yes, picking your battles is most certainly important.


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RE: Parenting help?

"but really, I cannot stress how much easier she is than SS. I think a lot is because she is a GIRL."

just wait till she turns 13-14. haha not to scare you....:)

on a different topic, it is interesting how different some kids are at home and at school. DD never had behavior problems at school, like ever, never rebelled or argued with teachers, her teachers always said the nicest things about her. She wasn't this way with us, she was very argumentative preteen and teenager.

As i think of msyelf, i was very easy at home, never argued and was a very easy child. My behavior at school was awful though. I was a good student academically but had behavior issues, very argumentative and opinionated, teachers always complained about me. My brother was the same way. I think partially it is because my parents are way stricter than i am as a parent, we couldn't rebel at home so we rebelled at school. I honestly prefer DD was an angel at school, i could tolerate her at home but didn't want to get phone calls from school. LOL i wonder if other parents notice thsi difference too.


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RE: Parenting help?

Finedreams, I swear sometimes I think I am really related to you, or couldve been your daughter in another lifetime lol.

I am a fairly relaxed parent as well. I dont think it is guilt, however. I just find somethings not to be worth it. DD is argumentative with me, bossy, demanding, but at school she is considered a leader and trustworthy. All of her daycare providers always commented on how she was so social/outgoing, extremely pleasant, leader of the bunch etc. And I always stood there staring and hoping they got the right kid with the right parent, lol.

Love, I think you know you cant change him. Im not even sure a parenting class would change this philosphy. My guess is he has a ton on his plate and this stuff is just low on the totem pole for now.


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RE: Parenting help?

Love, have him evaluated by a psychologist for a processing delay. My SS's BM is treating him for what is supposed to be a VERY MILD case of ADHD (according to his physician's notes). However, he has had 3 medication changes in 2 months, changing in both strength and frequency. We took him to a psychologist for a second opinion. The psychologist asked him to repeat a very simple, 5 word phrase. After 4 repeats, he still could not say the sentence. The psychologist said that there is a common language processing delay that mimics ADD/ADHD, and is very frequently misdiagnosed.


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RE: Parenting help?

"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".

And there-in lies the problem he's not "handling" it.
Every single time he tells you that he's going to handle it, remind him that it isn't being "handled". Because if it were? The challenge would be minimal as it is when you're alone with SS.
And it's obvious your hubby discounts your parenting skills from the bits I've read...that for me would be one of the 1st things I'd get squared.

I'd get a video camera, set it up, let it run for a few days. Play it back and see how those apples look from the video's point of view.


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