I do my dandiest not to correct or argue over parenting issues in front of my children. They learn manipulation points. My dh and I both step in but we have learn to watch how we do it, neither of us are perfect.
Stop and think before you talk. If you think she miss understood something ask your husband like you are confused yourself. It points out the flaw with out making him the bad guy. See in this situation I would of calmly said something like “Dear did you say put a couple back or all but a couple?” When he would respond “All but a couple” I would of said “Oh, I thought you said put a couple back.” Then I would of looked at the child and said put all but a couple back, that means you need to keep 2 or 3 and put the rest back. This way you are standing by dad and helping your child to listen and question something that is not clear.
Or if he is already on a triad ask him why, she put a couple back. “When he said because I told her to put all but a couple back.” Act stupid say “OHHHHH, I thought you said --.” Then give your child more clear instructions but say "Your Dad wants you to ----" That way you are backing your husband's authority/decission"***.
DH and I had our issues with this. Luckily my dh was easier to convince that he needed to watch how he worded things (I should say my second husband was, first one is a different story). He figured out that kids could be manipulative and if you are not exact it can really blow up in your face. One day my dh told my son to pick up the toys. My son did and put them all on the couch. My son did exactly what he was told. After my dh stop laughing he helped my son put them up.
I agree on the book How to Talk so Kids will listen. To put it bluntly, that book opened my eyes to how I affected my first marriage. How my communication skills sucked and were part of the problem. It did not help my ex was and is still a total insensitive jerk.
***I don't like the word authority in an dictatoral since. But I think you need to show a united front even if you disagree or can sympathise with your child's misunderstanding. I bet you 10-1 his parents talked to him this way. My second husband's mom did/does. He sees now how much confussion is can cause.
|I also think that my husband has been making it worse by screwing up everything he handles....
Something I had to learn myself, because your husband does not do it your way does not make it wrong. Sometimes this might mean biting your tongue and instincts and keeping your mouth shut. I know with my first husband I did have a tendency to have this attitude and it did affect his relationship/bonding with his child. Your husband will not have the same relationship with your daughter, as you will. Some times we just have to learn to be less critical and realize because it is not our way does not necessary make it the wrong way.
On another note you don’t have to respond to me just ask yourself: Has your husband ever dealt with the issues that caused his first divorce? Does he blame her all? Can he see what his faults were? After my first divorce I took a good look at myself and saw what I did to contribute to are problems and I learned from them. Many people do not do this.
Also try to take an objective look at how he parented his other kids. My mom talks about my step-dad’s ( R ) ex-wife always stepping in and not allowing R parent. Well after some time my husband made a very accurate observation. R has a tendency to jump off the handle and discipline wrong and be verbally smart. R’s ex-wife always jumped in to protect and manage the situation better. Unfortunately she might of at out habit carried it to far and created a bigger wedge than why R was doing himself. My husband and I have discussed this greatly. We work on having are parental disagreements not in front of the children. When we do feel the need to step in we still back each other’s decision, even if we don’t like it, just help defuse the situation.