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To ask how you address it when you and DH disagree on how to deal with bad behaviour?

(92 Posts)
holliedaze Wed 31-May-17 10:11:10

DD aged 3 is difficult ... DH blames me for this and thinks we should be stricter.

She tantrums, she exclusively wants me to the point where her younger sister doesn't get a look in and her sleep is poor.

Dh is a stricter parent but as a result I feel I always have to be the neutral parent - he shouts and smacks (not hard but I've told him again and again I hate it and it's out of order. He's from the 'it did me no harm' school of parenting.)

Can anyone advise? It's so tense.

HerRoyalFattyness Wed 31-May-17 10:13:45

Honestly? I'd leave him. No one would ever be able to raise their hand to my child and think it acceptable.
There's a difference between strict and abusive.
It may not be hard but it obviously happens enough for you to be bothered, so imagine how your DD feels? She won't understand why her daddy is hurting her.
That's probably why she's so clingy to you. She needs to know she is safe.

Trb17 Wed 31-May-17 10:19:47

In your post you say Dh is a stricter parent but as a result I feel I always have to be the neutral parent

This means you are choosing to parent differently from him.

Perhaps sit down and talk to him to explain that smacking is a no go from you but that if he can compromise not to smack, you will compromise and be a little firmer where you need to be.

Children are very clever at using differences in parenting like this and it may be that your DD knows your are the softer parent and hence why she is clingy to you.

It's hard but you need to sit down with your DH and find a way to be on the same page.

thatverynightinmaxsroom Wed 31-May-17 10:20:08

Sorry, I agree with HerRoyal - no way would I stay with my DH if he smacked one of our children.

3 is a challenging age. It's normal for a 3 year old to tantrum sometimes - they don't have full control over their emotions yet, it's not naughty. What are the triggers? Poor sleep also normal; again, not naughty, not her fault.

How old is her younger sister? Does she get 1-1 time with you? My DD is 3 and DS is 1 and I find that if DD starts getting aggressive or unpleasant towards DS it basically means she needs time alone with me and that restores balance.

holliedaze Wed 31-May-17 10:20:29

I think it may be one of those easier said than done herroyal

thatverynightinmaxsroom Wed 31-May-17 10:25:31

Well, of course it's easier said than done but do you really want your kids subjected to physical abuse throughout their childhoods?

More constructively - have you shown him the science behind why smacking is harmful?

holliedaze Wed 31-May-17 10:26:26

Yes. He agrees but then does it anyway ... not often.

HerRoyalFattyness Wed 31-May-17 10:29:19

Of course it's easier said than done. It always is.

If your husband agrees then does it anyway maybe you should look into ways to manage his temper?
Smacking is not a result of the child's bad behaviour, it's a result of the parents lack of control and allowing their frustration to become physical.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 31-May-17 10:30:06

There's no way I would let me husband near the children if he ever smacked them. No way!!!

How on earth can you trust him to be alone with them??

I can't imagine ever leaving my DH alone with our son if I thought there was a chance he'd ever hit him.

What lesson does he think he's teaching them? That it's ok for girls to be hit by men if they don't do as they're told? What a lovely mindset to provide them with....

holliedaze Wed 31-May-17 10:31:23

They aren't alone with him much, tbh.

hottotrotsky Wed 31-May-17 10:31:29

"bad behaviour" is physically abusing a tot. End of. Your dh is a cruel twat. Your poor dd.

This will only get worse. Issue him an ultimatum.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 31-May-17 10:33:14

They aren't alone with him much, tbh.

So instead they see their mother just stand back and allow their father to hurt them. Even better....

You have to put a stop to it OP or make him leave because allowing him to treat your children like this is so wrong sad

holliedaze Wed 31-May-17 10:34:56

Think about what you're saying for a minute, Writer

BeingATwatItsABingThing Wed 31-May-17 10:35:57

If anyone ever raised a hand to my DD (also 3), they would face hell from me (and my DP because he would lose his shit about it too!). For what it's worth, my DD is also very clingy to me, more than DP. Some children are just like that. Both DP and I have the same parenting method.

DawnOfTheMombie Wed 31-May-17 10:36:35

Op writer absolutely has a point. You are allowing your child to be abused. Sort it out.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 31-May-17 10:38:40

Think about what you're saying for a minute, Writer

What do you mean?

I'm just saying what everyone else is, that your husband shouldn't be smacking his children and you shouldn't be letting him. If he keeps telling you he won't but does it anyway then he's clearly not bothered about your feelings or about the fact he's abusing his children.

As another poster said, you should give him an ultimatum so he knows how serious you are about it.

I really feel for you (my DH is also a stricter parent than I am) and I know it's not an easy situation to be in but something has to change.

hottotrotsky Wed 31-May-17 10:43:09

Your h punishes her because she wants you and sleeps poorly? The more I think about this the more I'm upset by it and consider him an abusive bully. Tantrums are normal, her wanting mummy is normal, having sleep probs is normal and you let him punish her?

Tell him to get some compassionate, balanced parenting on the go or to fuck off and stop damaging his DD FOREVER. Would u forgive yourself?

I've had huge barnies with dh over his at times overly harsh attitude to our ds and I even left him over it. He's never raised a hand to him tho. He's now more relaxed than me tbh.

Get assertive and lay down the law over this.

JoshLymanJr Wed 31-May-17 10:44:59

DW is much stricter than I am, and I have often just ignored her when she asks me to discipline our DDs in a way that I am uncomfortable with (sometimes physically, more often taking away toys or putting them in their rooms when I don't feel the situation calls for it).

Not ideal, I know, but I feel better going with my own instincts on how to behave towards them.

Finola1step Wed 31-May-17 10:45:02

To answer your original question... essentially you have to agree to present a united front and keep any disagreements away from the dc.

But your situation isn't about run of the mill parenting differences. You are modifying your behaviour (by taking in the neutral parent role). You are doing this in response to his behaviour. Your dd is suffering because she is caught in the middle of this.

The situation suggests that there is a problem in your relationship which is manifesting itself as differences over how to discipline a 3 year old.

Fidoandacupoftea Wed 31-May-17 10:45:59

She clings to you and he smacks her, she will cling harder. 3 is difficult for you the parents as well as for the kids. They are becoming individuals, it is a scary world for a child and children react in ways they know. Tantrums are not good, and draining but violence is not the answer. Lots and lots and lots of patience and love are needed as well as reassurance that a new sibling does not change anything is needed. Set the boundaries in a firm but supportive manner.

pointythings Wed 31-May-17 11:02:24

Finola I disagree that parents should always present a united front. When one parent is being manifestly harsh and unreasonable, the other parent should not go along with this at the time. No, no, no, no. The other parent needs to put the brakes on, stand up for their child and let the unreasonable parent know that a red line has been crossed and will not be crossed again.

OP, you need to lay down the law to your DH. Either he stops overreacting violently to perfectly normal 3yo behaviour or he is out. You are allowing him to abuse your DD. And you can bet that when your lovely easy new baby becomes a toddler, he will do exactly the same to them.

HerRoyalFattyness Wed 31-May-17 11:04:04

They aren't alone with him much, tbh

But they're still alone with him.

It doesn't matter how often he smacks of how often he's alone with them. He is still abusing your dd.

holliedaze Wed 31-May-17 11:04:36

Writerwannabe83 - "what do you mean"

You believe I should leave my husband because he smacks. You believe that my daughter is not safe alone with him.

You can surely see how that's a complete contradiction.

hottro no it's a bit more than that. If I try to pick up DD2 or carry her or cuddle her DD1 interjects herself and tantrums. It does mean DD2 gets shoved out.

At any rate it's very rare for him to smack. But it has happened, it's not unheard of. Mostly he shouts.

thatverynightinmaxsroom Wed 31-May-17 11:05:33

I also feel sad about your comment that he isn't alone with them much.

DH adores his time alone with the kids and they adore their special Daddy time. I have every faith when he is with them that he is looking after them in the same way I do.

Resolving this is SO important for your children and also for you.

HerRoyalFattyness Wed 31-May-17 11:06:41

It's not a contradiction at all.
If this haooened to my children I would leave my husband and he would not be having unsupervised contact. No contradiction at all.

And as I said how often isn't the point. The poibt is he is abusing her. He is violent towards her and you are allowing this to happen.

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