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arguments about parenting

(15 Posts)
tostaky Mon 11-Jul-11 14:04:24

We have lots of arguments about how to bring up our two DSs.
To the point where I threaten DP to leave (with the kids) last night because I find him far too strict.
DSs are 2.5 and 16 months and very active and well they are toddlers so a healthy level of naughtiness and tantrums are to be expected.
Two weeks ago we gave a bike to the older DS in exchange of his dummies. He is still adjusting and last evening after a day with no sleep and a toddler party he had a big tantrum asking for his dummy, screaming etc…
According to my DP we should throw away the bike, I should have not gone in DS bedroom to settle him and should have waited for him to fall asleep for tiredness. I was not allowed in the car to hold DS's hand either. DP kept saying that DS "had to pay for this behaviour" and I said to DP that "to pay for" is not an appropriate wording.

I suggested last night that we go to family councelling but DP is against it (well he was against everything last night)

Is it normal to have blazing row with your partner about dscipline and education? My instinct tells me that my DP is really in the wrong and that for the sake of my children I should flee. Of course my instinct could be rubbish and I should be more strict.
The thing is also DP doesn’t see the kids during the week as he works a lot - he only sees them at the weekend, I on the other end, take care of them every morning and evening + every fridays. So I am a bit more in tune with them than he is.

Any tips/advice on how to make it work better between us?


holyShmoley Mon 11-Jul-11 14:10:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

trixie123 Mon 11-Jul-11 16:12:21

I think right and wrong are always going to be subjective on this kind of issue. I think you need to pick your moment, NOT when the kids are present or a situation is actually unfolding but after they've gone to bed when you are both relaxed and unhurried. Try to calmly talk about what you feel the issues are and why his approach feels over the top. It is perfectly valid to say that he probably doesn't have the same "feel" for it as you as he sees them less but this is not his fault so try to let him use that as a reason for why he may not appreciate the best way to deal with them IYSWIM. Blame and ultimatums I think will not advance the situation in any positive way, unless of course you are looking for a reason to leave?

naturalbaby Mon 11-Jul-11 16:24:27

there are 2 issues - your relationship and his parenting.

if you are on the verge of leaving him what does that say about your relationship? if there were no parenting/discipline issues then would you have a good relationship or still be thinking about leaving?

he is being far too strict for any age, let alone a 2yr old. i have finally taken away my 3yr old and 23month old's dummies and it has been very very hard on them. my 23month old asks for it sometimes when upset and my 3yr old has been waking up crying for it. you can't punish a child for being upset - they didn't ask you to give them a dummy in the first place let alone take it away so how is that the child's fault?

when you think he's being too strict you need to point out why your ds's are behaving the way they are. i find my boys' 'bad' behaviour is mostly down to circumstances (overexcited after a party) or when they are very tired/hungry. it is a parent's job to make sure the child is well fed and rested, that the home is child proofed enough to prevent accidents and kids getting hold of things they shouldn't. a lot of my kids fighting happens when i'm not watching them properly so things get out of hand. they are only little and need adults to help them through pretty much everything at this age!

is his parenting style a reflection on how he was brought up? try and talk to him about how his parents disciplined him and how he feels about that and see if you can make him understand how/why you do things.

tostaky Mon 11-Jul-11 16:50:42

Thank you for your reply - It really helps...

I am not looking for a reason to leave him - but for me emotional abuse is the same as physical abuse and I will not let my children get abused. I want respect and fairness in the way we treat our children. I feel like he bullies them sometimes and I am really worried about the impact on their self-esteem..
But as you say right and wrong are subjective and I do not hold the key to the Truth.

When I ask him about when he was little he said he was always behaving, yet when I point out that his mum tells us otherwise he says SHE doesn’t remember well. My DP is great but he has this enormous ego that sometimes he even thinks books (even academics books) are wrong (ie he cannot be wrong, the book must be…). But I accept him the way he is, though sometimes, it is difficult to deal with him…

I did point to him yesterday that DS was super-tired + over-excited from the party + no more dummies but he still said he had "to pay". I drew the analogy that in court you have sometimes circumstances that will lower the sentence (say if you have mental issue, you might get less time in prison or something) and while he agrees with it, it is different for his son.
DS1 has always been very wilful and challenging, DS2 is very calm and independent so to me it is a proof that it is not MY parenting that is detrimental to DS1, it is just his nature that makes him a bit more difficult to deal with and we have to work with that, not two child are the same. (yes DP thinks it is all my fault because I am too lax and I stopped the dummy)

So you see, I can never win. He always want to have the top. Maybe that is the underlying problem. And maybe because he feels left out of bringing up the children because he doesn’t see them, he is trying to have "an impact" on them…
It is nice I can write this up, it helps me understand the situation.

I am looking at parenting workshop I can drag him in, but there's no much happening in our area… and he wont read a parenting book (he doesn’t see the point)
Reading my post DP seems to be this awful guy but really he is very loving and sweet dad and a great DP. Just very stubborn and egotistic!!

susiesheep2 Tue 12-Jul-11 10:19:43

I hate to say this, and i hope its not totally true, but I think this is the case with many men :/ certainly with mine, and my friends partners etc. I too feel the level of strictness and lack of patients is fundamentally wrong (me being judge and jury) and worry about how it effects the children in the long term.

Talking to them when they men are in a rant seems pointless. As I believe the whole episode is not over the children but about them wanting to be in charge over you and If they dont get there own way they complain that they dont get any say in the children. It annoys the hell out of me. If they behaved rationally and talked there wouldnt be an issue, but I think some men are so incredible egotisitic / arrogant the actually believe they are right ALL of the time. Like you my dp is a great dad, but when hes lost his patients or becomes ridiculously strict over the most trivial of things, I cant bare to have him anywhere near me or the kids, usually I go out somewhere and leave him to stew and wait for the apology for behaving like a arsehole (although he will never admit to being wrong about his strictness, he always thinks im too soft. I probably am lol, but Ill never admit that either ;) I think thats why it kind of balances in the middle, at least thats the conclusion I have drawn to, after all I doubt anyone else in this world will treat my babies (big and small) with the same level of patients and tolerance as me. <shurgs> not much help sorry x

happygilmore Tue 12-Jul-11 10:35:57

I don't think it sounds like many men at all, from what you've posted he sounds very controlling. "Make him pay" is not normal language for discussing a toddler. And you shouldn't have to 'educate' him about children.

It sounds like you need to trust your instincts more.

naturalbaby Tue 12-Jul-11 14:26:05

It sounds like your boys have a very rough/tough ride ahead of them!

When I go a bit over the top and am too tough on my boys then they just get very, very upset and cry and I do then discuss things with my dh (when he's around) and say i was too tough on them or it's not their fault/they don't understand. the other thing is when i do go too far then they are very quick to copy my behaviour later on to each other.
the main rule i try to work with is to respect them. i have to earn their respect then i will get happy kids and good behaviour. i always try to speak to them and treat them the way i want them to treat each other and the kids they will be in nursery with. if you think you dh is being too hard then you could always ask him if that's how he wants your son to talk and behave. tell him plain and simple you would be very upset if he spoke to you like that so why do your kids deserve to be spoken to like that.

I still don't see how your dh thinks your ds needs to pay for having his dummy taken away!?

tostaky Tue 12-Jul-11 22:03:40

naturalbaby - for having a tantrum, not for having his dummy taken away iyswim

susiesheep - yes that is exactly the situation you described.... some men are like this, not all of them of course, but mine is def like yours...
i got three books on parenting from the library today and im going to pick the pages that are relevant to our situation and tell him to read them... although im not sure he will do it... he is such a pain sometimes!!!!

naturalbaby Wed 13-Jul-11 08:48:20

i see. but a toddler tantrum is their way of saying they can't cope/understand/deal with the situation and they just have an overload and break down. we all do it! (don't we?!)

tostaky Wed 13-Jul-11 10:08:38

i know... but DP just doesnt get it!!!

naturalbaby Wed 13-Jul-11 14:56:58

you could always say you need a bit of a cry sometimes when life gets a bit too much to deal with so what's wrong with your ds having bit of a cry when he can't deal with things?
or you could be really extremely over the top and tell him that the only kids who don't cry/have tantrums are victims of abuse sad.

Fuzzled Wed 13-Jul-11 17:18:29

Maybe try to offer an alternative - rather than take away the bike, bed him early instead (which is probably what he needs anyway?)
I have the other problem, my hubby is just too soft! blush

Octaviapink Thu 14-Jul-11 10:06:22

He's talking shit and someone if not you or a book needs to tell him so. It wouldn't matter so much if it wasn't for the impact it's going to have on your children. He won't have a relationship with them at all if all he wants are seen-not-heard, regimented little silent soldiers.

exoticfruits Thu 14-Jul-11 10:20:34

I don't think it sounds like many men!
I would say that you have very different backgrounds yourselves in the way you were brought up.
I think that you need to sit down when both calm (after they are in bed) and say that it isn't working. You either need to both go to parenting classes or agree on discipline first. I wouldn't have exchanged dummies for bike in the first place but having done so you can't take it away from such a young and tired DC.

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