Dr. Laura Markham,
I am writing for guidance in regards to my husband.
We have two children; a 2 1/2 year old son and a 1 1/2 year old daughter.
From my analysis and observation, my husband is very tough on our son. I realize fathers often feel a need to toughen their boys up but it's not so much that as it is, he is super critical and easily loses his patience.
Instead of encouraging words, he is very critical of him and always rushing him. If our son is trying to walk down steps, he tells him to hurry up. Of course, he is two and doing the best he can not to fall. If he steps in someones yard on a walk, he'll yell and yank him out. I agree he shouldn't trample in the neighbor's yard but it seems a little severe. A gentle, no no, would be enough. My mother and my husband's mother notice it as well.
I have tried numerous times to talk with him about it but he refuses to see it. He says, "he never listens!" But our son knows all his shapes, colors, numbers, letters, and is fully potty trained. I am a stay at home mom who plans on home educating and I am a true believer in gentle discipline. The fact he knows all this, I tell my husband, proves he DOES listen but like any 2 year old, when you tell them time to go inside...they don't want to and they throw a fit. That doesn't mean he didn't hear you, but he just doesn't want to go inside.
I feel like I need some outside proof on child development or being overly critical as a parent for my husband to understand and see what he is doing. He says I just give the kids whatever they want or am too easy on them.
Of course, it is very hard on our marriage as well because it makes me see him as the enemy when he's supposed to be a companion. He is not like this at all with our daughter-- she can do no wrong in his eyes.
That being said, my husband's father is, for lack of better words, a real jerk and I am sure he was raised in a similar way.
Thank you for any feedback.