to be doubting my parenting skills? Too much discipline/going soft?

(56 Posts)
newmummytobe79 Fri 23-Nov-12 09:29:07

Sorry this is long and rambling! But I’m doubting myself after this morning sad

Since day one we’ve been pretty rigid but loving. Set bed times, routine etc and discipline is something we discussed before little one arrived. Baby is 14 months and does try it on quite often – throwing things, little tantrums, grabbing at faces etc and is pulled up firmly but fairly when these occasions occur.

DH usually gets home when I’m getting tired and cranky – and same for baby! I do shout a little and teach baby to pick up items that have been thrown in anger etc – so he mainly sees me disciplining, and sticks by my decisions. When he comes in baby turns back into angel child and just wants cuddles with daddy – rarely with me.

This morning DH was in a bad mood. Baby was playing up and he shouted when there was the usual highchair tantrum (doesn’t want to go in and pushes legs on the top so you have to struggle to push in!) – I said he didn’t need to shout so loud, baby has just woken up etc etc to which he shouts at me that it’s not my place to stop his disciplining as he sticks up for mine. I just thought he was taking his bad mood out on baby ... but I also know what a pain it is trying to cram baby into the highchair for breakfast!

I’m just wondering if I’m being too hard ... and if DH seeing my disciplining makes him think that’s what we should do all the time? He doesn’t get to see the daft games we play in the daytime when baby is giggling and the nice times we have reading books together.

Don’t get me wrong – he’s a fantastic dad, and is great at being the ‘fun’ one, but I’ve seen both sets of Grandparents roll their eyes slightly when I tell baby off for doing something I think is wrong/dangerous.

I just believe if I set rules now, it will pay off in the long run.

I struggled to bond at first and the rule setting/routines were easy for me as I felt slightly detached – but now I’m head over heels ... and wondering if my reaction to stick up for baby over DH’s discipline means I’m going a bit soft without realising it?

Is 14 months too young to discipline so much or is it a good thing?

And yes ... 1st baby! smile

Bumpsadaisie Fri 23-Nov-12 17:50:23

Ps between 18 months and 3 ish your baby will get much much worse! Sorry grin

Learn how to distract and trust that a time will come when your son will be old enough to "do as he is told".

Rudolphstolemycarrots Fri 23-Nov-12 17:52:11

walk away when he tantrums but think about why he is doing it. If the word 'no' is a trigger to tantrums you could try saying 'you can have xxx after xxx' - so that child knows when xxx will happen. That way you are saying 'later' rather then 'no'.

Bumpsadaisie Fri 23-Nov-12 18:01:29

"I don't think time out would be understood yet, more a firm telling off which is understood as head goes down/looks away/cries!"

You are making a mistake here - you are assuming that your son understands you are telling him off because of whatever it is he has done. No. He cries and looks away as he is upset that you are angry with him. He has no idea why you are angry or that it has anything to do with his behaviour.

We all at times assume little kids think like we do when their mental world is very different to ours. It takes a long time for babies to develop a sophisticated understanding of other people's emotions and what they mean.

I did an experiment on my 3.5 year old the other day. Took two bowls, hid a car under one, and said to DD's dolly - "look, Dolly, the car's under the red bowl!" Then I said to DD, lets take dolly out. Dolly went out to sit on the stairs, while DD and I moved to car to under the blue bowl. I then brought Dolly back in and asked DD where Dolly would look for the car? She of course said under the blue bowl! She was incapable of realising that Dolly's experience was different to her own, that she knew we had moved the car but Dolly did not as she had not been present. Apparently children only get this at 4 yrs ish.

This was a real eye opener for me as I had assumed DD at 3.5, who is so sophisticated in many ways, had pretty much the same understanding of the world as I did. Not so at all.

If 3.5 yr old DD struggles with that, how much more basic must my 13 mth old DS's understanding be?

Food for thought.

Brices Fri 23-Nov-12 18:02:00

I know what you mean, I hear irritation in DH's voice and I think she's only one! But when I'm the one picking food off the floor... She's a justified little bugger grin
God help us we're being told this time it gets worse not better!

If either of my DC scratched my face at that age then I'd put them down or move away - not shout at them. Resisting the high chair etc is easily ignored. Tantrums are best ignored, not given loads of attention. Pick your battles, because as someone else posted you will tire very quickly of it.

RosemaryHoyt Fri 23-Nov-12 18:05:44

Try to ignore feeling attacked (this is AIBU, attacking is the raison d'être) and concentrate on the great advice. A firm 'no' IMO is fine when combined with removing from situation. But am also firm and have one v hard work child. DS2 is an angel an requires nowhere near the same regulation. You cant out every item in your house at picture rail level, it's ridiculous. So am a bit hmm about the 'just keep stuff out the way' advice. Balance is shurely the key. Good luck. You sound very loving if a little harsh. I would describe myself in the same terms if it helps.

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