For 15 years, I've stayed home and raised 4 boys, but am still looking for advice on guiding teenagers and young men in the right direction. I'm also willing to help with advice if needed.
Stay at home dad :!
wow, 4 older boys, I think I could use daily advice from you. I have 3 boys, 2, 7 & 8 all next month. My hubby is the oldest of 5 boys & I have always felt WAY out of my league compared to him. I feel like he's the cool dad that gets to come home & play while I have lost all respect & adoration from my boys being the parent that has to enforce all the chores, homework, rules, punishments etc. They don't take me seriously which quite frankly infuriates me, they feed off each other & are at the age now where they are getting the hang of manipulating us & playing us on each other based on how "easy going" dad will be vs. me. I think I am loosing control & very quickly. My grandfather always tell me "one day those boys will be bigger than you so you better get control of them now" I always felt I had it under control but am quickly changing my tune & don't know how to attack the problem. My boys don't do "talks" they tune me out & don't hear a word I say..... If I take their video games away for any type of punishment, the world has ended & they make my life a living hell. If dad takes their video games away for the same reason, they take it & it's no big deal. I don't get it........ I always get the "female" perspective, it will be nice to see what you have to say even if you have no real advice for me :)
I hear you. I have been through all those same things and only now am I getting some appreciation from the older ones. My 16 year old still sees me as his adversary.
I don't know if I can help because I also went through "infuriating" times. I think the parent who stays home has to be more of the disciplinarian and when the spouse arrives home, exhausted from work, they don't want to manage any issues and would just as soon avoid making the call. I do know that you and "hubby" have to be solid and together on the rules. If not, these boys will tear you apart. My boys never responded well to "talks". We had to write out everything in "if" and "then" statements. (ie: If you are not home by 10:00, then you will lose your cell phone for a week) My wife and I were both from the corporate world and we brought some of that home with monthly meetings where we actually printed out agenda's ahead of time and gave everyone some time to speak, but mostly wrote down expectations for the upcoming month. It has since faded to annual meeting, but the boys actually enjoy them now.(I think) Boys need to know that the rules and consequences will be enforced the same from both parents. If your husband and you can agree on a few basic rules and consequences, all you have to do is point it out to the boys and take the emotion out of it.
I hope something helps.
If nothing else works, know that while you're being the "bad cop", you're raising better children. Never give up on them, they will surprise you.
If nothing else I take comfort knowing this is "somewhat normal" or that I'm not the only one dealing with this. That makes me feel much better as a parent, I think we all question at some point "is it something I have done or am doing that caused this?" :) Thanks a ton for your reply, we also do meetings (every sunday to set them up for success since they are so young still) we offer "incentives" or rewards give them a "star chart" to earn different things. I have to say I am very fortunate to have a husband that is so present & willing to "partner" with me on these issues rather than ignore them & deal with it as it comes. I think we have a plan for the current problem that will be implimented as soon as Hubby & I can finalize the details. One thing that I havent quite figured out is how to keep my middle child from getting "brushed off" or lost in the shuffle because he is so good most of the time. He doesn't complain much uses his manners most of the time & is very good natured & kind. When influinced by my oldest things get out of hand quite often & they feed off each other. I know he's not totally innocent but I do feel like he doesn't get as much because he doesn't require or ask for much, whether that is just who he is (reserved) or if it's because he knows his brother gives us such a hard time he doesn't want to rock the boat..... I still feel bad and am not sure how to make it better. I was a second child & at some point I realize it's the "second child syndrome" (not having as many baby pictures, etc.)but also I don't want him to resent his brother or us because we do so much with/for my oldest. Not sure if that makes sense or if I'm rambling now lol thanks again