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Discipline affecting relationship(18 Posts)
I need some external perspective please. Myself and dh have different parenting styles. I'm the laid back easy going one he is the disciplinarian, except they appear not to listen very well to either of us. General things like getting ready in the morning they appear to need reminding/prompting every single day brush teeth, shower, get dressed socks shoes breakfast etc feel like we are always on at them. They are 7&8 so should be pretty used to the routine now. I tell him this is normal family problems. We have problems the other end of the day as little one cannot get to sleep very well. They take a while to settle and do will not do stories 🙁 Plus we are both desperate for quiet kid free time. He feels stories just drags out bed time routine and he is of course tired after working all day. I am pt and can work a 12-14hour day/night, so sometimes I am not there to help or if I am I'm really wiped out. We both lost a parent last year so anniversaries are coming round which is maybe an influence adding to stress levels. He lost it with them the other night(I was at work) told them he hates them hates living here and wants to go away!!! I tried talking to him about being so mean but he says he's giving up and leaving it all to me to sort them out as I know best! Sarcasm! and he knows I wont succeed on my own wants me to fail. This is a backlash of a recent trip away where he was a right miserable git constantly on at the dcs they could do no right and I had a go at him about it. I've told him I'm taking the kids to see family at the weekend to give us all a break. Just feeling pretty unloved unsupported and insulted to be honest. Not sure where to go from here really. Any suggestions?
Are they his children? And he told them he hates them and hates living with them?
OP don't feel bad. We all have times where we flip out and lose it for a bit. It. It sounds like your DP is struggling with work pressure, the loss of a parent and feeling exhausted. And you too! What he said wasn't great - bud I know I've lost the plot sometimes, and young children can be very trying.
It's a good idea to go away for a few days to get a break.
By the way - all children are as you describe - I've lost count of the number of times I have to ask mine to brush teeth, get shoes on, wash hands etc. Fairly normal - and drives me mad too!!
Good luck OP.
He has gone over the top definitely but I wonder why an 8 and 9 year old are so demanding. They are not small children and should be able to get themselves more sorted at that age.
We didn't do stories at that age, just bath each evening. Then they could potter if they didn't want to sleep yet but weren't allowed to come downstairs.
Have you discussed all this with them? What do they say?
He lost it with them the other night(I was at work) told them he hates them hates living here and wants to go away!!!
I know children can be annoying, but that sounds like the sort of stuff that would seriously affect a child for years.
I have a couple of friends who have very different parenting styles. Their children are older (14 and 9) but they have similar issues. The older one isn't too bad, but the younger one has pretty appalling behaviour IMO.
He is the disciplinarian and she is far more 'easy going'. From an outside perspective (I spend a lot of time with them), the problem is the disparity between the approaches of the parents more then anything. He is quick to sanction and demand obedience, she is quick to find any explanation for the child's behaviour to excuse it. There is no consistency for the child and, tbh, neither of their approaches work.
I wouldn't assume that he is wrong and you are right because your approach is 'softer', what I would say is that my friends' parenting approach have become more extreme and polarised over the years as they each try to overcompensate for what they feel is lacking in the other. So the mum doesn't discipline at all because she thinks they get enough of that from the dad, and the dad is frustrated by the mum's approach and feels he has to discipline for both of them.
From an outside perspective, they are equally the problem, but if they worked together, they could equally be the solution!
Thanks for your replies. Yes they are his children . What he said makes me worry for their mental health. The ds's will often go up for quiet reading time but then they start to mess around giggle run around and get out of control a bit so definitely not wanting to sleep. They know what's expected each day but get so easily distracted. I don't know why he's so harsh on them. He had a blast as a kid no discipline at all now he's complete opposite.
Feeling I think some adults have an unrealistic expectation of their children because they have an inaccurate recollection of their own childhood. If he remembers his as easy going and without grief, then he might well feel that was down to his 'good behaviour'. Alternatively, he might feel his parents should have been stricter but just can't see where the boundary should be.
I wonder why you are so 'easy going'?
Children are easily distracted, especially at their ages, and there are strategies you can use to make them more independent. Punishing them won't work, but neither will letting them get away with it and assuming that it'll all just come together when they're older.
They are still so young. How can he possibly expect them to behave quietly and do everything by the book?? Children have their way of doing things and you and him better understand this, or else problems will escalate. Please, have a talk with him and try to be reasonable.
I say I'm easy going...I talk and discuss with them reasons for doing and not doing certain things. I do tell them off but I'm very much a believer of treat others how you would like to be treated. Of course I talk to their level of understanding. DH just gets so annoyed with having to repeat him self so much. He says he feels disrespected by them. I've tried telling he to give respect to receive it. Trying also for him to give positive praise even for simple things then they may start feeling good about doing things. His reply was they never do anything good to praise them for...ughhh. I think time apart will be a benefit, me and the kids can have a bit of fun without worrying about the grump
I think YoungWillieMcBride has a point, I have friends with similarly contrasting parenting styles, though it is the man who is the softy, and it is problematic, but I have never, ever heard the mother say such horrible things to or about the children.
Sorry, I've just been thinking about this more and I am more and more upset about your dh's treatment of his children. I am not even particularly a child-oriented person I would be hard put to find a child I didn't like anything about, how can he say those things?
That's disgusting what he said to his own children, words from parents stay with you for years, believe me, I know! You are right to be concerned for their well being.
He also now wants to walk away from his responsibilities and leave it all to you, he actually sounds about the same age as his kids.
Don't tolerate it, I'm concerned about what effect he is having on their development, he sounds completely useless at raising happy children.
Years and years ago my mother told my younger sister and I that she hated us.
We had been squabbling a bit but were close and still are so never had huge fights or anything and got on very well.
I still haven't forgotten it (obviously) but it hasn't affected my mental health or anything.
If it became constant however, it would be a different story.
My mother was so apologetic and she was mortified. Your dh doesn't sound particularly remorseful and in fact sounds like quite the arsehole.
I think a couple of days away is a good idea but it won't fix anything if he really feels that way about his children.
I still haven't forgotten it (obviously) but it hasn't affected my mental health or anything
Well she did apologise, that makes a big difference.
Indeed very child like. Very sad isn't it. Not sure what will come of this. Dh is very stressed at the mo but I'm really angry with him right now. It doesn't help that eldest ds teacher had a word with me about his lack of attention and chatting in class becoming a bit of an issue.
I could have written your post, this is just like our family except we only have our daughter. My feelings towards dh have really been effected, everything was fine when she was a baby / toddler and too young to do or say anything that disagreeable, then when dd was about 4 and her behaviour and our different parenting styles came into play things started to change. Yes she is a very full on child but with that she's bright, curious, funny, very sociable and kind hearted. He focuses on the bad behaviour whereas I focus on her as a whole, I see all the little achievements and of course I get fed up with the "challenging" behaviour at times but I have a lot of patience and can see things from her child's point of view sometimes. I suppose that makes me the softer parent but she responds to that so much more, when she's told off straight away or shouted at she just loses her temper and then they both feel angry.
I can't bear the way he is almost waiting for her to do or say something he sees as naughty, he's always in Sargeant Major mode barking orders and shouting, he has no patience and they both have short fuses. I feel stuck in the middle of my two hot heads, he says his parents were soft on him and didn't shout so I don't know why he does it and why silly little things wind him up, but it's like we're in a triangle and me and him are polar opposites in the way we see dd and how we parent, it's making me sad and stressed and has really effected our relationship.
7 & 8 is still very young, I have a 7 yo who is like fucking dizzy daydream & needs a few reminders of what she should be doing despite it being everyday routine...
I think you should remind DH that they are children & to stop placing such high expectations on them, he may then relax a bit?
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