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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.
Sorry meant to add once she has done it he should tell you where it is - you have the same authority - agree with the pps on that.
Well, I've found the laptop & given it back to her, after checking she'd tidied the room. Dh is now uncontactable, so I made the decision that as he'd told her she could have the laptop back when she'd tidied the room (he said this in a text and didnt say anything about him having to inspect it) then she had kept her side of the deal.
No doubt I will be "punished" for this when dh finds out, by him sulking with me. I do really worry about him alienating himself from the dd's with his behaviour, but he can't seem to get past his annoyance at them being lazy and messy and thoughtless. Which they are, but no more than other teens IMO.
TBH if you're a team then you should be able to check that the room is tidy and then give the laptop back if it is . I would think ,particularly with daughters that you will give them the impression that the man is in charge ,IMO not a positive image to present.
"should a parent instigate a punishment that they won't be there to enforce / deal with the fallout? "
Yes. Cos it doesn't matter which one of you dishes out the punishment, it is from both of you and so either of you can oversee it.
if one of you was always giving out punishments with the intention of not being there, because they want to make the other parent the bad guy and avoid dealing with discipline, that's a problem. But it doesn't sound like that's what's going on here.
re the sulking - that would piss me right off. I HATE sulkers. It's such manipulative behaviour.
fair enough. She met the criteria for getting the laptop back and so she got it back.
His sulking is another issue altogether. Bloody childish sod. I have bugger all respect for sulkers. I feel my lip curling as I look at them.
It's worrying that such a small thing should leave you feeling you have to check with him, at risk of him sulking. How long has he been like this?
The sulking is a problem.
However, I don't see any problems with teaching children and especially teenagers cleanliness and giving them chores to do and if they don't do them, there will be consequences. Its getting them ready for the "adult world".
You tidying up after them is not good either. They will eventually live on their own and have a family. You can't always be there to clean after them.
I definitely don't think it's wrong to expect children and teens to clean up after themselves and do have that expectation of the dds. However, I also don't think it's worth "falling out" with someone over a glass left in a room.
I have talked to dh about this and asked him to not get so wound up about these minor things. The result is that he doesn't get wound up as often, but he just ignores things that he hasn't left out / on etc. For example, dd2 often leaves the light on in the playroom when she leaves it to go to bed. She shouldn't and should remember to turn it off I do agree. However, dh's response is to leave it on all night, even if he has been the last person to go to bed. When I asked him about this he said "well you told me not to go on about it to her, so I don't. But I didn't turn it on, so why should I turn it off?"
My attitude in the house is to just tidy things up if they're not in the right place (within reason), but dh seems to have taken the general stance of "I didn't put it there so I'm not moving it"
So now I have 3 people ignoring things in the house
To be fair to dh he is concerned that they will grow up selfish & incapable of looking after themselves & this is his way of dealing with it.
He should be more concerned that they'll grow up to be sulkers, like him, because he shows them its a way to get what you want!
Tbh, I think you both need to agree on strategy regarding your dc.
You can easily decide what kind of punishments to give and what rules you both expect to be followed.
And tell the dc too!
I suspect it will be easier for everyone.
And agree will ALL that sulking is not on.
I wouldnt wait two days for my toddler to tidy up, so i certainly would not tolerate a teenager not bothering.
United front is something we fail at in this house where i am the resident bad cop, it fucking hurts. You need to be on the same page as if not, the soft one isnt respected and the strict one isnt liked.
Your H is behaving like a petulant pre-teen child.
The two of you need to sit down and talk about your parenting approach. If he won't do this at home in a reasonable way then you should go to Relate and hammer out an agreement there.
This is an important issue. The problem is him thinking Me is We and the lack of communication that goes with taking someone else for granted.
One day soon there will only be you and H left facing each other across the kitchen table and you will need to like each other when that time comes.
The sulking is the thing that will leave you not really liking him very much. He needs to stop that.
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