Long Letter-discipline beliefs - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 14 Old 03-27-2010, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
Encinalien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: South Texas
Posts: 490
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm going to post a letter here just to air my conflicting feelings. *It's to dh but I'm still weighing things and playing it by ear as life is ever changing. *I probably won't bring this up to him, just keep doing what I've always done and if I'm right time will tell.
If we argue about it I'm afraid he'll say "fine we'll do it your way.". We really don't argue much, mainly because we believe when someone's wrong "give them enough leash they'll hang themselves.". So that would be like him giving up his vested interest in this joint parenting venture. *So far we're both putting a lot into it and working hard togeather.
Encinalien is offline  
#2 of 14 Old 03-27-2010, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
Encinalien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: South Texas
Posts: 490
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't want to punish Wyatt. *When I was younger and I wanted kids it was I believed I knew how to raise them better than most parents did. *It involved believing that they were intelligent and good and didn't need correction. *Living life togeather, helping them, but not controlling them. *Exploring the world togeather. *Letting the world revolve around us. *This goes against everything you believe in. *Oh well. *Everything you believe is wrong. *

You believe in "kids need a lot of discipline", "get control of your child while you still can or you'll be sorry.". You sound like my mother. *It's an old-fashioned way of raising kids and I'm not impressed.

What can I do? *You pay the bills. *You go to work, work hard, and come straight home. * You do love me. *But we'll never be on the same page on discipline. *I told you every bit of this when we first met, when I fell in love with you, when I really thought you were listening to what I was saying.

We don't yell at each other. *We're drama free with each other. *Why do you want us to be in constant conflict with a two year old? *What are you trying to prove?

I know what you're trying to do but it's going to backfire. *You're trying to prove to him that you're in control of him so that when he's a teenager he'll still think you're in control of him and won't be wild. *But all it's doing is making him angrier and making him throw bigger tantrums. *When he's a teenager he will not have learned his lesson and there will be a fight and he will be out of the house. *You were out of the house at 16, I was out of the house at 14. *And it was not for lack of discipline. *Look how my mom is raising my nephew. *It doesn't look wrong. *She raised all three of us girls the same way. *She was constantly getting complimented on how well she was doing. *None of us turned out all right.

You think that your family and my mother just didn't discipline correctly. *That we will do a better job by disciplining better. *

I would never leave you over this, trying to be the best parent you can in the way you think is right. *A strict dad who loves you isn't the worst thing to happen to a kid. *I just don't know how to tell you it isn't the best thing either.

And I'm not going to tell you. *Working the long hours that you do in the hot Texas sun so many hours that it cuts into your sleep you deserve to come home and not be told how to thi k and how to act (within reason) or nagged or badgered into changing with piles of proof.
Right now you and Wyatt adore each other. *You're relationship togeather is enviable and almost perfect. *You can tell when you punish him it is because you care how he turns out. *You stand up to me for him when I'm ignoring him. *You obviously want to provide him the best things in life, a SAHM, go outside and play, eat good homecooking, not junk food.

Here's my problem. *I don't want to tell you not to be strict with him. *I have my own beliefs, but honestly neither one of us have done this so far so we don't KNOW. *We can both point to kids who were raised either way that turned out good or bad. *There's too many other variables in one's life and everybody's different anyway.

But you're starting to get upset that we're not on the same page about this. You tell me it won't work if we don't both do it. *Well we're not on the same page. *Should I change? *Should I try to change you? *You want to raise the kids Mexican, I want to raise them Hippy. *
Encinalien is offline  
#3 of 14 Old 03-28-2010, 08:57 AM
 
coffeegirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: a glaxy far, far away
Posts: 839
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's good that you're able to get your feelings and thoughts out. Hope you and your husband are able to come to some sort of agreement.

caffix.gif
coffeegirl is offline  
#4 of 14 Old 03-29-2010, 10:57 AM
 
nd_deadhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,149
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Aw, sweetie, I can hear the pain in your words.

I agree with your DH about one thing: kids need lots of discipline. But our definition of the word is different. Discipline actually means "to teach", and kids certainly need a lot of teaching. What they don't need is a lot of punishment.

It sounds like your DH believes that you either raise your children with an iron fist, or they will walk all over you. While there certainly are parents who let their children run wild, there are a lot of wonderful, well-behaved children who have never been spanked or yelled at (two of them live with me).

What punishment tends to do is no so much teach a child not to do something, but teach them not to get caught, or not do it when the parents are around. But what I want for my kids is that they act appropriately because it's the right thing to do - NOT because they are afraid of the consequences. To do this, parents must set a good example of how to deal with strong emotions, and how to treat other people.

It's hard to learn a new parenting style - after all, we learn how to parent from our own parents. My DH used to say "I'm going to be the world's greatest Dad - all I have to do is the opposite of what my parents did". It was good that he realized that his parents' style wasn't the best - but it wasn't that easy. Knowing what not to do is not the same as knowing what TO do.

The biggest thing in our house is to treat the children with respect. We have essentially the same rules for everybody - if the kids can't eat messy food in the living room, neither can the parents. If the kids have to wear bike helmets, so do the parents. If we want the kids to say please, thank you, and I'm sorry, we need to say it to them.

I feel for you, hablame. Parenting is a hard enough job already, without the added stress of having two very different parenting styles. I wish you the best of luck.

If the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.

nd_deadhead is offline  
#5 of 14 Old 03-29-2010, 04:08 PM
 
coffeegirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: a glaxy far, far away
Posts: 839
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nd_deadhead View Post
What punishment tends to do is no so much teach a child not to do something, but teach them not to get caught, or not do it when the parents are around. But what I want for my kids is that they act appropriately because it's the right thing to do - NOT because they are afraid of the consequences. To do this, parents must set a good example of how to deal with strong emotions, and how to treat other people.
I agree, with the clarification that I don't think the two things are mutually exclusive. Meaning, you can utilize punishments (and rewards) as a method of discipline AND teach children to act appropriately because it's the right thing to do. And because they want to do it; because they have been taught the reasoning behind why doing the right thing is its own reward, and have seen the behavior modelled by people they respect, etc. That was the result of how I was raised. Only saying, it is possible.

caffix.gif
coffeegirl is offline  
#6 of 14 Old 03-29-2010, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
Encinalien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: South Texas
Posts: 490
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, honestly I think that's his goal. *I can see that. *The discipline to look compliant really is kind of a life skill.*

Like when we were talking about kindergarten. *I said if the teacher's good with little kids DS will listen to her even though I've taught him at home one way and she'll probably have a different method. *Dh says "ds needs to listen weither she's good with kids or not.". I'm assuming most kindergarten teachers are good with little kids.*
Encinalien is offline  
#7 of 14 Old 03-29-2010, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
Encinalien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: South Texas
Posts: 490
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sorry about all the asteriks, I type on word pad then cut and paste to make sure I have my thoughts togeather. The little stars just show up automatically.
Encinalien is offline  
#8 of 14 Old 03-30-2010, 03:39 AM
 
simplymother's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 82
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That was such a sweet letter, thank you for posting it. I hope you work things out.

When I first started reading Gentle Discipline books (esp. Unconditional Parenting) four years ago, my husband was kind of on board (we weren't nearly as different as you and your husband), but not completely. It took a couple of years and lots and LOTS of talking and figuring things out as we went along, but now he is very supportive and probably better at doing what I want to do than I am!

I think it's definitely harder, but you can have two different parenting styles and the kids can handle it--as long as you develop some rules about not stepping in and incapacitating the other parent. And there's a really good chance, if you continue to parent the way you feel is right, and let him do things his way, he will see the way your son responds to you, and he may slowly start to adapt.

Good luck!

--Kate, home/unschooling mom two three girls (6, 3, and Tiny)
simplymother is offline  
#9 of 14 Old 03-30-2010, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
Encinalien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: South Texas
Posts: 490
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nd_deadhead View Post
It sounds like your DH believes that you either raise your children with an iron fist, or they will walk all over you. While there certainly are parents who let their children run wild, there are a lot of wonderful, well-behaved children who have never been spanked or yelled at (two of them live with me).
I'm packing up my husband and kids and moving to your house to see how it's done.
Encinalien is offline  
#10 of 14 Old 03-30-2010, 11:26 AM
 
nd_deadhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,149
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
You're sweet!

It isn't easy. Strict discipline and punishment - even spanking - can work in the short term. Gentle discipline can take more time - but the payoff is tremendous.

My sons are 15 years old, and they both trust DH and me, because we'e never given them a reason to not trust us. We haven't given them mixed signals (such as "it's OK for me to yell at you or hit you, but you can't hit anyone else"). We admit when we make mistakes in our parenting decisions, and apologize for those mistakes. We give them a voice in the family, and treated them like important members of the family, even when they were small. We respect their opinions and listen to their ideas, thoughts, and dreams.

We have never tried to be our kids' "best friends" - that's what they have friends for. But we do try to do fun things together, like skiing, hunting, going to concerts. They actually are not ashamed to be seen in public with us!

I do hope that you and your DH are able to come a little closer on this. I remember reading a great question a long time ago: "If you can raise polite, respectful, happy kids without hitting them or making them feel terrible about themselves, wouldn't you want to?"

If the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.

nd_deadhead is offline  
#11 of 14 Old 03-30-2010, 12:10 PM
 
hakeber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Bogota, Colombia
Posts: 3,817
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm glad you're venting here.

Writing letters is a good way to sort out your feelings and make sense of things.

It sounds like you both have the same aim but have different paths of getting there.

My husband gets really angry and yelling and punitive as well. He takes every challenge as a personal attack and can't seem to recall that he too likes to challenge authority and rules.

He grew up in a very punitive, aggressive household, where nothing was explained, it just WAS and you got in line or got hit. He didn't like it, but he feels he "turned out okay" (which is debatable if you ask me), so why not go with tradition. The more at the end of his rope with his own life he is the more this seems to be true.

At some points I prefer him to detach entirely and let me take over, because what he is doing is not safe in my POV, to which I usually hear I am being dramatic.

I think it would be a good idea to discuss this issue. It seems your DH has a need to feel in control, especially if the rest of his life is spent working in oppressive conditions as you describe. he does deserve that. Everyone deserve autonomy and a sense of control over their own lives. But his two year old cannot be controlled and neither can you. This is a serious issue if he is going to insist that he deserves to control YOU and YOUR actions (you plural, not just you, Hablame)

Ya know how we redirect and distract toddlers? I have found this technique works well with adults as well. Your husband is requesting you and your son to fall into the domain of his power, because he pays the bills and he works all day and he is the man. Just because he works hard to provide a SAHM lifestyle for you and his son, doesn't mean he owns you or can call all the shots. He wants to feel in control, but he is going to HAVE to find another way to do that. Perhaps you can help.

Let him control in ways he can. He can pick the dinner, he can pick the movies and TV shows when he is home, he can control the bedtimes, and he can go out and control his own actions some times...

There has to be another way of expressing his autonomy without being a tyrant to a 2 year old...ya know?

It isn't easy, but I agree with your husband about one thing. You DO both have to be on the same page about discipline for it to work, no matter how you approach it. Even if you got a divorce this would still be true. Co-parents need to parent from the same place or it really won't work.

Good luck!

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
hakeber is offline  
#12 of 14 Old 03-30-2010, 03:11 PM
 
Melanie_7773's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 67
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post
I agree, with the clarification that I don't think the two things are mutually exclusive. Meaning, you can utilize punishments (and rewards) as a method of discipline AND teach children to act appropriately because it's the right thing to do. And because they want to do it; because they have been taught the reasoning behind why doing the right thing is its own reward, and have seen the behavior modelled by people they respect, etc. That was the result of how I was raised. Only saying, it is possible.
This doesn't make a great deal of sense to me. If you can teach children to act appropriately independently of punishment (which appears to be your position?)... then why would you bother to punish?

Sure, you could use controlling parenting tactics and still produce a morally and socially responsible adult. But I would argue that it happens in spite of those particular disipline methods, not because of them.
Melanie_7773 is offline  
#13 of 14 Old 03-30-2010, 05:56 PM
 
coffeegirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: a glaxy far, far away
Posts: 839
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melanie_7773 View Post
This doesn't make a great deal of sense to me. If you can teach children to act appropriately independently of punishment (which appears to be your position?)... then why would you bother to punish?

Sure, you could use controlling parenting tactics and still produce a morally and socially responsible adult. But I would argue that it happens in spite of those particular disipline methods, not because of them.
Sorry that I was unclear. I believe that you can teach a child to behave independently of punishments only because of the people on this board who insist that they've done it or experienced it, and I don't assume that they're lying. But I believe that utilizing punishments can sometimes be the most reasonable or most natural (or straightforward) way to teach a child.

Some people believe that some punishments can teach children tangibly about the negative consequences of their actions, or of misbehaviour that is undesired but doesn't give tanglible negative consequences at the moment, at least not on the level that a child can understand. Also it can illustrate the concept of justice and/or penance, which some parents believe is important and natural. I don't see how it's unnecessarily controlling. It's just parenting.

caffix.gif
coffeegirl is offline  
#14 of 14 Old 03-31-2010, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
Encinalien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: South Texas
Posts: 490
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't have an unlimited budget. *I thought "the happiest toddler on the block" was a waste of money. *I just bought "How to Talk so Your kids will Listen", so far it has more substance. *

Thanks for listening to me vent.
Ds is not out of control, a little toddler silliness, but a really good kid. *I asked for a non-violent household and dh has agreed to a non-violent household.

I can see how worried dh is that he's agreed to something for me that he doesn't understand or like you say have the parenting skills to confidently pull off.

I've told Ds to put his shirt in the laundry after he's asked me to take it off. *Dh will tell him "listen to your mother. *You've got one more chance, do what your mother says or you're going to your room."*
Dh doesn't understand why I don't MAKE ds listen. *I know how many times that day ds had already listened. *So I let it go after I ask him a few times. *Then i ask again thirty minutes later. *Usually ds will put it away on his own after I've quit asking but before the half hour is up. *
I'm on toddler time. *It bothers me more that Dh is making a big deal out of nothing than that ds is dragging his feet taking his sweet time to do what I ask.
Encinalien is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off