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AIBU to be annoyed with dh for instigating a punishment & leaving me to deal with the fallout?(39 Posts)
Bit of background:
Dh & I, although supportive of each other in front of the dds (aged 16 & 14) don't always agree on how to deal with them. He gets massively wound up about "mess & laziness" & is also a bit of a sulker who can be petty (eg dd left the breadboard out this morning, is going to a concert tonight so won't be back tonight until late, but he refused to move it as "she got it out she should put it away"). He has this attitude a lot & if he's annoyed with one of us he's "off" with all of us.
In his defence, I am probably too soft on the dds sometimes, clearing things up myself because it's easier than nagging etc, but I prefer to save battles for the big stuff.
So, over the past couple of days dh has been asking dd2 to clear up the playroom, finally giving her a specific list of things to do and a specific time by which to do it. He made it clear that if she didn't do it there would be consequences. So far, so normal. She hasn't done what he's asked & he has therefore confiscated her laptop.
However, she will only find out about this when she gets home from school and there is only me here to tell her what's happened (dh taking dd1 to the concert mentioned above & won't be back till late). I know how she will react to this & I will bear the brunt of her moaning, stropping and tantrums. I have been ill for the past few days (which is why I'm here not at work) & am annoyed that I've been left to deal with this when I'm not 100% & just want some peace to feel grotty...
I will back him up & will try to ignore her strop, but AIBU to be pissed off at him for putting me in this position & not perhaps deferring the punishment until tomorrow when he can explain it to her & deal with the fallout.
He's being ridiculous. Maybe you should just give up on the idea of a playroom for teenagers, if he's gong to care how tidy they keep it.
What's in there?
yab a bit u. if you are both not seen as a team they take the piss. and at their age tbh if it were me, i would threaten further punishment if she were to act stroppy over it. old enough to know consequences - follow through. or else tell her if she is going to act like that please do so in her room.
I don't think it is fair to threaten vague consequences in the first place. Your dh should have made it clear to your dd that her failure to clear up the playroom would result in the laptop being confiscated - and confiscated for a realistic and specific time, not just taken away without her knowing when it will return or how she can help towards its return - by clearing up the playroom tonight, for instance. That way, your dd knows what to expect if she doesn't do as asked and hasn't really got any grounds for a strop.
However, if this is a course of action decided by your dh then yes, I think he could carry it out and do so when she is present.
Did he tell her exactly what the consequence would be? If not, then HIBVU - if he did then YAB a bit U (maybe) but I don't like consequences being imposed behind the person's back (and the person imposing the punishment should explain it, the other person then just has to maintain it).
Your husband sounds like a buffoon, nay, a Buff-ooon.
I guarantee you this is something your adult children will remember and go what on earth were you thinking - or worse.
The "off with one/off with all" is the Mark of a Twat (in short)
I'm sorry that this appears so unsupportive but he needs a serious confrontation about that behaviour.
Ok, firstly, I have said I will back him up & wouldn't undermine the punishment, so as far as she's aware we are acting as a team.
Secondly I'm not sure if he was clear on the punishment or not ie whether he said "if you don't do it you will get your laptop taken off you" or whether he said "if you don't do it there will be consequences" - as I've been ill. I've been "absent" so not heard the conversations. And he has told her how she can get it back - by clearing up (with a specific list of what that involves).
She's now home from school & already knew as he had texted her, she has cleared up (with the help of her friend) & has asked for the laptop back. I've told her to talk to her dad as a) I don't know where it is and b) he told me that he wanted to see the room for himself before he would give it back. That didn't go down well, but she hasn't as yet stropped or tantrummed.
Thanks Mary, I'm glad it's not just me who feels,like that about his sulking. It does drive me mad. He had an argument with both dds last night, or, in other words lost his temper because they were being annoying / stroppy & has been generally off with me as well today which really pisses me off.
He is incapable of not sweating the small stuff. And as he's not a shouty kind if man, he just sulks instead.
so thread kinda pointless then?
Oh, sorry missed the question about the "playroom" - we call it that because that's what it was when the dds were little. It's more of a teenage sitting room now, with sofas, TV, DVD, etc.
Dd2 does tend to hog it and make it messy so dd1 doesn't like going in there (& they don't have a great relationship at the moment) so it is a bit of a bone of contention in the house.
Well what I thought would happen hasn't, but the general question still stands - should a parent instigate a punishment that they won't be there to enforce / deal with the fallout?
If she has tidied it up, text him, tell him, and then ask him where her laptop is. It sounds quite simple to me.
"should a parent instigate a punishment that they won't be there to enforce / deal with the fallout?"
If they live as a couple in the same house, and are both supposedly parenting the child of course they should!
If teens know that they can play one off against the other, then they will take full advantage of it.
I think is's mildly annoying to have to do so, butit strikes me that you are more worried about upsetting her than perhaps you should be.
I think you need to be firm with messy dd - as she is getting the teen room all to herself by being messy which isn't fair.
This sounds very like my own family, and (I never thought I'd say this) but I feel sorry for your DH. Living with a family of women can be hard, especially when it feels like they're ganging up on you. My Dad calls my mum, sister and I, "The Coven" when he feels like that's happening
not always without foundation. I get where you're coming from with the pettiness though, I wish my mum would crack down on that.
Anyway. Your DD needs to learn that she has to treat all the rooms in your house, especially those which are communal, with respect. If she shares it with her sister and her hogging/messing it up is contributing to them not getting along, then it's a battle worth having in my view.
a) I don't know where it is and b) he told me that he wanted to see the room for himself before he would give it back.
That's not really a team, is it?
I'd be very cross with him and would refuse to play along next time. Unless a) I knew where the confiscated item was and I had the authority to both apply and remove the punishment.
Otherwise, he's undermining your authority.
I don't think he is out of line on this one. The punishment was due when it was due, he didn't choose to be out deliberately. So yes, you had to cop for it.
Sounds like the real issue is his overreaction and "sweating the small stuff". DH used to be like this when our kids were small. He is miles better now he is on anti-depressants. I had no idea back then that he was depressed, thought he was just grumpy and stressed. Now I'm sure he was actually depressed.
My dad's depression started like that, too.
"I've told her to talk to her dad as a) I don't know where it is and b) he told me that he wanted to see the room for himself before he would give it back."
That is very disrespectful of you: "your mother isn't capable of making a parenting decision so you will have to wait until I, the capable one, come home".
Otoh your dd needs to be firmly disciplined for stropping.
Otoh the "I won't put the breadboard away because somebody else got it out" models a dreadful attitude of unhelpfulness and surliness. If she copies that and takes it out into RL, it will hamper her terribly in the workplace.
Your dh needs to reflect that he is not only the dealer out of discipline: his most important job is as a model of pleasant and attractive manners. If she doesn't see both her parents modelling those she is unlikely to pick them up.
Yes, actually you are right about b) - that is excessively authoritarian
It's not just authoritarian; the breadboard thing is petty and ungenerous and everything you don't want your teenager to grow up into. Imagine if she mimics that attitude in a work placement in a few years time and tells the boss she won't sort out the paperwork/tidy up the office/carry the files because it wasn't her who got them out in the first place: she's never going to get a job offer, is she?
Otoh, nothing wrong with firm discipline for disobedience and failing to respect other people's living space- she deserved picking up on that.
I think its fair enough to be honest.He gave her fair warning of what she had to do and she didn't do it.
Are you frightened of disciplining your kids?
You should have told her that it was both of you confiscating it and that she had to tidy the room straight away.
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