I will cut to the chase since a lot of people are busy now.
My hubby told my son to "not tell mom .. .but, yes, she likes to lecture". They must've been discussing something and it led to that. this was about a month or more ago and maybe it is a coincidence, but my son had his 8th birthday around that time. . he has hit this incredibly disrespectful.. .stage?
My hubby and i disagree about how to parent and I am guilty of stepping in on occasion. Almost always because i see his attempt at discipline to be incredibly wishy=washy and he acts more like a guy who wants his kid to like him.
I put an end to 'lighting firecrackers,' yes, he allowed our son to do that at age 5 and beyond. He fought me in front of him telling that either 1 of them could be injured. . .i was like. .um. . . your point. . . .
And, i just seem to be the boundary maker.
We argue constantly and I am sure and my son will agree, it bothers him. He could be acting out and interrupting me in mid sentence constantly, for ex. because he is sick of our bickering. We need to figure it out, but with him as an only, when we are home, he is rarely far away and my hubby says no to a counselor. I have pleaded for years.
My hubby's mom refuses to respect my word and has swatted my son on several occasions. My hubby's reply to my concern is that i basically don't have anything better to worry about, I am a stay at home mother, with a tiny bit of work on the side.
I work very hard, but his mom just thinks she would compromise her natural feeling if she always has to think of her words and actions so carefully.
He has said the same.
He recently 'disciplined' our son by taking roller blades away for a week. First, he told him a week (we were having dinner and he was kicking my chair, to get them off apparently)... he refused to stop.. .and got a consequence! I felt as if my hubby finally defined a boundary. But, after about a minute my son protested and he reduced it to " well, at least you won't have them tonight". . .then.. . protest.. .but not much.. .and no one was discussing this at all. . .my hubby says that "well, if you can come up with something to do for Daddy. . .or Mom.. ..maybe i can let you get them back sooner." Can you understand why i sacrifice the unity thing when he gets like this? Would this bother anyone else?
Our son is now, in my opinion, about as sassy and oppositional as can be. Every turn deserves argument in his opinion. I can't ask him if he wants breakfast of an egg/toast without him telling me yes, then a minute later, when i am eating his "No" turns to a yes, and he wants it now. . .and he resents waiting for it. I did notice a slight cold coming on, so that could've added to it this a.m.. .but, it's not far off from the usual behavior.
He stops me in mid sentence, even when i am not 'lecturing' like, i am telling him that i have packed some things so he knows . . . he'll say.. ."yeah, okay" before i am thru.. I have gotten some "whatever"s and such as well. Eye rolling. . . sighing.. .
I am so sad and feel as if he would even choose to live with my hubby if we should ever deem our differences irreconcilable. I hate that he is becoming(hopefully not) a brat. He has always had an edge to him.
I am lost and afraid. My parents are deceased and we live out in the middle of nowhere, in my humble opinion.
can anyone help me out? I don't wanna cave in to be liked, and i don't want to lose my son and have him grow up to show women anything but respect.
There's a lot here, mama. In your shoes, I think I would organize my thoughts and start to plan for a prioritized path to improvement for the family. In law issues, discipline issues, communication improvements - these are all things to address but I think it will be too difficult to address them as a big clump. I would break them down and start on either the biggest ones or those that seem easiest to fix. Also, it's often so much easier to change ourselves. If there are improvements that you can make between you and your son, I would start there. It's hard to give discipline advice to a partner when your child together is struggling. At that point I think it's family meeting time -- get a plan for the three of you together. 8 is plenty old to be part of the solution. He thinks you lecture? Your DH thinks you lecture? Ok, ask them to help you find a solution for that problem. You can do this!!
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I think the volume here is light over the holidays - I just wanted to send an encouraging "hug". I hope someone with some insight into this difficult and painful situation can lend some guidance.
Much of what you describe about your husband would be so frustrating to watch - especially, the consequence, then reduced then eliminated. You wrote something about being the "boundary maker" - good for you, that's a parent's job. I'm so sorry your husband knowingly undercuts you and undermines you with your son.
Regarding the breakfast - let your son resent waiting or get something himself. It don't have to be a power play. Perhaps calmly saying: "I asked you earlier, you didn't respond. I'll get you something when I'm done eating or you can get something yourself (from an acceptable list of items - ex. apple and cheese)". I have a rote phrase for my 5 yo - "first things first" and "you snooze you lose" - it's never said meanly, but merely to reinforce a point with as few words possible?
Regarding the lecturing, do you think you lecture? Do you use more than a few words to ask your son to do something? Ex. - "Please take out the trash" or "TV after homework (and if he argues) I love you, but I'm not going to argue with you"
mama there is no one right way of parenting. there are many. you need to stop interfering with your dh's method.
i did not find the roller blades incident as a reason for you to step in. i thought your dh was reasonable in demanding some consequence - that both your son and dh could agree upon. i think that's actually very healthy.
your son being disrespectful - that is the age. trying things out. time for you to put up your boundaries and let your dh set up his. the key is you dont tell ur dh how to parent and neither should he tell you how.
i totally agree with pps who have pointed out that your son and dh can figure out when you are lecturing. dd has helped me work on that. i am terrible at it. i constantly in my protective mood would state the obvious making dd feel horrible. one of the things i'd get from her at that age is ma i am no longer a child. i can do this. you dont have to tell me how over and over again.
your son is 8. why not have him make bfast? why cant he cook bfast for all of you. you can be the sous chef keeping an eye on things.
get rid of the fear that your son will become a brat. remember it is a GOOD thing that he is a brat NOW because that really helps with your guidance for him not to be a brat. he is testing. and you have to help him with setting up boundaries without belittling him.
it pains me to see ur dh wont see a counsellor. it sounds like couples counselling would be really good for all of you.
i totally agree with pp. treat yourself. go do something for yourself. perhaps even get a part time job maybe. just to have something of your own.
mama dont worry now about who your son is going to live with. just focus on taking care of yourself. and you'll be surprised how much it takes care of everything else.
Thank you Meemee, for your insight.
It is interesting to hear a different point of view.
I try to not 'lecture' but, when the same things happen time and time again, my words will be the same. I am really working on that. I think you are awesome for pointing out your own faults and i am sure that when i am overdone, i lecture.
It is hard to not step in with the incident of roller blades. When he at first stated a consequence, then lessened it with hardly any provacation but his own guilt, then lessened it again. I think the final consequence of "maybe you can do something really nice for mom or i" was almost, to me, like hearing that he could suck up or just go through the motions of validating father so that father could be relieved of his own guilt in having limited our son. I have a hard time conveying the entitled tone that our son uses when he is treated more like a guy friend at this age. My hubby is changing that somewhat, but he continues to be called by his first name, and i have always been just 'mom'.
It is more to clarify that i wrote, because i have a hard time with wishy washiness. If i am the only parent who sticks to consequences, it can be a totally imbalanced family. I have to step in when safety is concerned i.e. with firecracker lighting at 5-7 years of age. . . .it's enough to make me scream and tell my hubby that it is not fair at all to me. I hope that i make this clear. It is not that i want to control, rather i want to have a healthy relationship with everyone, but help my hubby to realize that even CPS would question his negligence on some safety issues. They are not worth the risk because i think the only payoff is a dad who feels like he has a bud that is cool, perhaps cooler than others his age and the risk is unthinkable. Who knows when a bottle rocket as wide as my thumb is going to be made incorrectly, or when my son will bend over and fall when lighting it? I fought him on this for too long and eventually, he gave in but insisted that our son light one last one because he had promised him. things like this drive me crazy. I am no psych major, but i believe that my hubby relives his past that never was with his father, wanting to be the coolest ever. . at the risk of raising a too entitled somewhat out of control kid.
He is an awesome boy, but boundaries are easier to maintain when 2 parents are enforcing them.
Thanks a lot. I hope i made that more clear.
In this specific case I think a week for kicking a chair is excessive. (Just my opinion for what I would be comfortable with myself.) But if he had said no skates for the rest of the night initially, there wouldn't be anything wishy washy going on. That might help tackle that one issue.
Is there anything your husband thinks you do wrong with your child? How do you handle that? Are you able to have a conversation about it when something like that comes up?
Yes. He thinks i lecture.
I am guilty of that.
The delayed reactions are painful, especially if there is a need to get out the door, go to bed or what have you. Draggin around until 11 to brush your teeth as you have been asked to is okay if it is a do nothing on schedule kind of day. . . but, i believe that my son is conditioned to hearing one thing, and knowing that it is not really going to be enforced. I lecture and i too think that a week is excessive. It was the kicking, the ignoring, the walking over to dink around with the laptop which was opened by the dinner table, reapeated asking to come eat dinner, finally sitting to eat, and just one challenge after another, including "no" many times over. . .to our requests for a reasonable meal together. He sort of rules the roost, and i guess sometimes it is my opinion that to turn around that idea, consequences are mentioned and enforced according to the severity of the way it affects our every minute of life. It seems we cannot come down for breakfast without so many power struggles, and i feel that my hubby tries always to tailor these really simple requests to fit the mood of our child . In a way, it is compasisonate, but in a way, i feel as if our son is being asked to live up to lower expectations. Brushing teeth, getting dressed, etc. . .it's as if we have to sell ourselves when we ask these things of him, esp if he is used to the caving in and only child attention. I know we could never live like this if we had one more.
I can change myself, and little by little, i am trying to be so much better than i was yesterday.
Thanks for your time.
Annie L - i hope more posters who have different parenting styles amongst themselves will reply here. i am going to just talk about my family.
i want you to know that you matter to your son. that what you do DOES make a difference. all the things that you write about your 8 year old is somewhat age appropriate. the insisting his way. ignoring. the no's. 8 is when their consciousness develops so they try to figure out what to do.
a lot of parenting is based on trust. trust that what you say matters. trust that no matter what your dh is doing is not harming your son. its just another way.
in our house my ex is like you and i am like your dh. i see with my dd how important it is to have both ways. she gets along with people easier because she can go both ways. i have had to accept that no matter what i think of how ex parents, its his way and no matter what our dd loves us both equally - even though she does not handle one type of parenting v. well.
if your dh is ridiculing you or belittling you in front of your son then that is absolutely NOT ok.
but its so so so hard when there is two kinds of parenting in the same house. but please take care of yourself.
and another point. please please dont see this as me criticizing you. i am only saying this coz u feel you are guilty of it. if they feel you are lecturing - then cut down on the words. my dd is now 11. i tell you the last two years has been the hardest because i have had to do more silent parenting than talking. imho few words has been most effective. what matters to me is what my dd thinks of me. not what my ex did. so i changed. dd called me a yeller, old fashioned, etc. so i learnt to talk less and not say a lot - though inside i was YELLING!!!! I've had to trust and it has helped. the only reason why i say this is coz your son is getting to that age and boy oh boy - moving to another level of parenting is v. hard. nobody really talks about this so its not really out there. but there is a book which i think your son is the right age for is - How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk - i think that's the name.
I really appreciate your insight and i feel as if it's time to learn new methods.
When i do lecture, it is not too frequent, i am out of ideas, like when we are late for school, but i am trying to just relax.
the entitlement tone is hard to just ignore, since it might be a permanent thing, but even that is not something to worry about so much as providing love and understanding.
It is really hard because if he is hungry, and i know it, and he is bossing us and telling how stupid everything is around him, and just plain mean, and we have a friend coming over, and he will not eat or put on clothes, and then he won't take a minute in his room to regroup, and he is in a vicious mood. . .and . . well, like i said.. .how to balance it all is very difficult.
When his dad does say enough is enough, he just doesn't go and take a time out. then, it becomes,. ..well ..stand right here a minute then. . .and .. he does not. he rarely if ever takes a time out when his dad asks. it all boils over, and i see that.. .is it the goal, to get over the hard stuff.. . just end it however you can. ..or is it the goal to not accept the tone and words and at a certain point, demand that the child go to regroup, without pushing us around so much. Are we paving the way for a rough teenager/ parent relationship?
The most important is to just remain calm, i am getting better. And, my self worth needs to be so separate from how they treat me.
It is not so bad, after all.
Thanks for your words