Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

How do you handle being mediator between your partner and child

(36 Posts)
StrumpersPlunkett Tue 17-May-16 21:20:10

Dh and ds are locking horns again.
I can feel both of their hurt and anger so acutely
I can't fix it.
It makes my heart ache.

Lilaclily Tue 17-May-16 21:20:52

How old ? Ds not dh 😊

StrumpersPlunkett Tue 17-May-16 21:25:49

45 and 12

goddessofsmallthings Tue 17-May-16 22:04:11

What's to mediate? Your ds's welfare and wellbeing is paramount and he deserves far more than a father, or stepfather, who "locks horns" with him.

Jeez, they're not a pair of rutting stags! Your 12yo is being put at serious disadvantage by a 45yo who wields all of the authority while, not for the first time, you stand around wringing your hands in anguish

Tell your dh to back off and grow the fuck up or fuck off out of your home.

pocketsaviour Tue 17-May-16 22:04:53

Is this his dad?

You need to protect your child. What's the cause of this "locking horns" crap?

BertrandRussell Tue 17-May-16 22:05:36

What's actually happening?

StrumpersPlunkett Tue 17-May-16 22:28:26

Oh dear. No no no he is in no physical or serious harm

It is about homework and interest in school and boring stuff. When I say they lock horns it is that dh (and I) is trying to get him to look at his school work as an opportunity and rather than doing the whole Kevin and Perry grunting.
I can see that he is 12 and had a loooong day at school so although he will do his homework it isn't without a huff and puff.
His dad my dh feels a real sense of disappointment that he doesn't appreciate the opportunity he has.
I genuinely understand both points of view.
Dh wants ds to apologise for grunting about homework and I can see why ds should but is unlikely to do it spontaneously and yet dh has asked me not to nudge ds and is sitting waiting for the apology from Sunday. Which I have assured dh will not come without nudging as ds is over it. He did the homework and has got on with his life.

Smorgasboard Tue 17-May-16 23:05:34

I think your DH needs to accept that a little grunting about homework is par for the course. He did it in the end, it's the homework he's grunting about, not your DH, so he shouldn't take it personally. He will be waiting a long time for an apology, as you say, DS will have moved on ages ago, time moves slower for youngsters, he will already see the issue as done ages ago, and likely, many homeworks ago.

HeddaGarbled Tue 17-May-16 23:08:49

Ludicrous to expect a 12 year old to apologise for being reluctant to do his homework a few days ago, especially since that homework has now been done.

Understandable for a 12 year old to sometimes be reluctant to do homework. Of course he doesn't see every bit of homework as an "opportunity". He sees it as a barrier to something more interesting and enjoyable. What does "grunting" mean? A bit of a grumble or a full scale tantrum with violence and swearing?

What do you mean by your H is sitting waiting? Do you mean he is sulking? In which case, he's being an immature twat and an emotional bully and is actually behaving worse than your son.

My own view is don't mediate. Tell your son when he is being annoying. Tell your H when he is being a prat. Then leave them to sort out their relationship between them. Unless you think your H is bullying your son.

pinkbraces Tue 17-May-16 23:14:34

Your DH is seriously waiting for an apology from a12 yr old for huffing and puffing about homework? And you can see his POV?
You want your DS to see homework as an opportunity, why?
Unless you stop the 'horn locking' now you are going to have a horrible time during the teen yearshmm

StrumpersPlunkett Tue 17-May-16 23:21:11

When he is grunting it is mostly stereotypical orangutan pose v long arms and rounded shoulders with mumbling grunting swearing and sometimes shouting.

I can see dh' point of view that not wanting to do homework is one thing being rude/disrespectful is another. And yes to be honest I would love him to be grateful that he has parents who give a shit. Although with that one I know I am onto a loser🙂
Stepping back it is.
Will try to not get too involved.

HeddaGarbled Tue 17-May-16 23:27:37

Like this?

Isetan Wed 18-May-16 06:23:00

Pick your battles, ignore the grunting but the swearing and shouting is absolute no no.

ShebaShimmyShake Wed 18-May-16 06:33:52

Oh this sounds familiar. Your son did his homework as required, your husband needs to remember he's the grown up and the parent and stop sulking and demanding redundant apologies as if he isn't 33 years older than the child.

I can't stand it when parents expect children to act as if they're 25 years older than they are, can't stand it when they think parenting is about face saving and point scoring and their own egos, can't stand it when they make anguished cries about adult sulks regarding homework the child has bloody done two days ago.

But for the fact there's no physical violence from the father, this could have been my adolescent home, and what a nightmare of childish, martyred, melodramatic parenting that was. You and your husband are the grown ups. Stop bloody harping on.

StrumpersPlunkett Wed 18-May-16 06:42:11

😀 perfect Hedda
Sheba. I am harping on about it on a parenting site where I was asking for ideas.
I appreciate your input but as a result of my childhood (we are each the product of how we were treated) I am hype sensitive to trying to get things right for my boys.

Merd Wed 18-May-16 06:52:34

dh (and I) is trying to get him to look at his school work as an opportunity

Um ... Are you kidding? Homework isn't some glorious opportunity, it's homework - when you're a teen or about to be one it's the worst thing in the world. It stops you relaxing, doing something fun; it's usually difficult and requires you to think hard.

I'm not saying all homework is a stupid idea - but if you think about it it's a really weird concept - study all day, home and eat, study again. I sure don't miss it - as adults it's not like we all expect to come home from work and start a few hours of training for tomorrow (although sure there's housework etc and of course I bet a bunch of ambitious go-getters do evening courses while scanning The Times and blogging!)

For the most part your son needs to figure this stuff out for himself and he will once he's been told off by a teacher or something. You just need to be his encouragement and give him confidence, not nag constantly. Pushing kids too hard will backfire.

I'm also a tiny bit worried at the way you say "DH (and I)" - it's clearly more DH's issue than yours and although you need to be joint parents etc, you don't have to back him up on everything; you can be your son's advocate. That's allowed!

Merd Wed 18-May-16 06:55:54

*you can be your sons advocate, AND you can have thoughts and opinions of your own which equal your DH's, that should have been. You don't need to come to MN to justify voicing your own opinion, I hope you know smile

X-post with your other one - it sounds like you had difficult childhoods which I sympathise with. If so maybe you've worked hard at making theirs better - is this the first time you're seeing "rebellion" start in some form? Because that's normal and you need to control your reactions to it and not take it so personally. Counselling could help here.

ShebaShimmyShake Wed 18-May-16 06:58:53

I really understand you want what's best for your family, and as a product of this kind of dynamic (though admittedly with abuse and violence thrown in), I am imploring you both to stop bloody escalating it as my parents always bloody did.

You had a tiff about homework with your 12 year old. So far, so irritatingly normal. He did his homework. Two days later your husband is still stropping over it as if he were the adolescent. Not because homework has not been done (it has) but because he is sulking because he feels the incident is all about DISRESPECTING MAH AUTHORITAAAAY (cue Cartman gif) and you're hand wringing and crying out your heartache.

I'm sure this is not an isolated incident and that your son can be a right royal pain in the arse, but Christ your home will be almost as exhausting as mine was if every minor spat drags on for days like this and becomes all about your husband's feelings. I've been that 12 year old. It is bloody draining. Parents need to set an example and not expect 12 year olds to have the emotional maturity of 22 year olds.

As for the swearing from your son, that's a separate matter. But before deciding what to do about it, check to see where he picked it up. Again, my father resolved all issues by screaming, shouting, swearing and being violent, yet my parents could never work out why my siblings and I did the same in our squabbles. I'm not saying you and your husband do this, just asking you to look for the source.

As for his simian posture, that's teenage boys. It's great not to be a teenage girl any more, isn't it?

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 18-May-16 07:10:16

If you as a couple are very much a product of your own upbringings have either of you ever properly addressed the ongoing issues surrounding that through therapy?. Do you really want to reteach what you were yourselves taught as children to your own now?.

I think your DHs conflict resolution skills are very lacking; presumably his parents taught him this as well.

Your H remains unreasonable by still wanting an apology days after your son did his homework anyway. Its not about him.
His actions to me are all about power and control not just over him but you as well. He comes across to me as wanting to be "The Big Man" in his home. You are not there either to mediate or be a mediator.

On a far wider level just what are your children learning about relationships here?.

Merd Wed 18-May-16 07:14:35

It's great not to be a teenage girl any more, isn't it? oh god yes, for so many reasons! smile

MissMargie Wed 18-May-16 07:29:44

Is DS the eldest?
We nattered and nagged eldest DD about schoolwork, tried bribery etc. She did poorly but just by skin of teeth got into uni where she did ok. Other two did better without the nagging.

You could try an adult talk with DS.
Apologise for nagging him but ............ 'DF had always wanted to be a blah and realizes he could have done that if he'd worked harder at school'..... 'DM was bullied by DPs and always tried to please which means blahblah' - I mean some honesty and if you DID both study hard at school, be honest to yourselves as to why? I can't believe it was because your DPs nagged you.

helhathnofury Wed 18-May-16 07:31:47

No advice but can empathise entirely with the locking horns description. my ds is 13 and have same problems with him and dh. I just have to bite my tongue as often get accused of taking ds side - trying to explain its not about sides and just remembering what its like to be a teen. Soon as dh is "challenged" though he tries to become all alpha male.

Costacoffeeplease Wed 18-May-16 07:37:39

You'd better buckle up - this is just the start if he's 12 - have you ever met a teenage boy before?

Your husband sounds childish and immature, holding grudges and waiting for days for an apology

And as pp have said - school and homework is not an 'opportunity' to a 12 year old boy - it's a chore to be endured

ShebaShimmyShake Wed 18-May-16 07:59:59

So many homes where everything has to be all about Dad.....

BertrandRussell Wed 18-May-16 08:12:23

I'm really worried about the "locking horns" image.

He's a 12 year old who had a bit of a whinge about his homework, not a young stag challenging the old stag for the supremacy of the herd.

School and homework are usually,frankly, pretty boring. Acknowledging this, but reinforcing that it's just something you have to get through is the best way forward. Expecting gratitude and appreciation is asking too much. Expecting not to be sworn at, however,miss not asking too much at all. Separate the issues, establish some ground rules, and tell your dp to stop trying to be the boss.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now