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<p>I was very disturbed to overhear something my husband said to our son yesterday. I was working downstairs but had the monitor on which lets me hear or see his bedroom if I need to. He is 5 and dh was trying to get him to not to get more toys out. Dh will be 50 this year and was raised by parents who were the age of my grandparents generation (born 1920s) since I am younger than him by almost 9 years. He was youngest in his family (6 kids) his dad was a minister so he comes from a very religious background. Although he does not spank or hit and plays wonderfully with our son, there are times he seems to have this strict, disciplinarian, controlling attitude and I can't stand it but also can't say anything about it to him because he gets very upset. He cannot take any form of advice, he interprets it as criticism which he can not take no matter how nicely worded.<br><br>
Its like he wants to drill into our sons head that he is not the boss in the house and that he has to do whatever mama or papa says. He often tells him how important it is to obey Mama and Papa whenever he doesn't listen, which I dont' think is terrible advice really, but its sometimes about things that aren't so important. Its not like he was running out into street but he chose not to obey when dh didnt want him to get a specific toy out that he wanted to get out in order to further his play (my son is very creative and builds elaborate things using his toys)<br><br>
  So my son was happily playing with his toys on the floor of his bedroom making something while dh was resting on his bed. Several times he went out of the room to get another toy he wanted to add. Even though he wasn't doing anything wrong and it wasn't cleanup time (4:30pm) dh decided right then and there that was just enough toys out at once so told him NO he couldn't go get any more toys and that if he did he would see what happens (I dont even think my son understood what he meant by this) Son didn't listen, he went out and returned with something else he needed to finish building and dh says he is going to be punished for a week (no computer games or tv time together) and he will learn to obey next time.<br><br>
Then dh goes out and got quite a few of the toys he was playing with earlier in another room that were still out on the floor and "hid" them somewhere as further punishment.  Then he lectured him on obeying parents, etc. and ended with "I love you" as he often does during punishments. I really hate when he does this as I fear our son will learn to associate the phrase with a loved one hurting him. I was never brought up this way and "I love you" was something that was never said in the context of conflict or disagreements, etc. & was always said during good times not bad actually we didn't use it that much or say this as a daily ritual, we just always knew we were loved. I was also never brought up with fear of punishments. I was never grounded & only learned what the term meant from my friends who were. We didn't do that in our house, we also didnt spank or hit. Got yelled at, maybe sent to room.<br><br>
After he drilled it into his head that HE (dh) was the boss, and that son had to obey him, my son replied with "I am the boss of my toys" at which point dh said "Who's house is this?"  and there was a long pause.  My son finally said "I live here too."<br><br>
 It was a very awkward conversation to listen to and it took everything I had to not to run upstairs and give my son a big hug and tell him that this IS his house. In a matter of minutes he had gone from a happily playing busy little boy content occupying himself while dh rested quietly nearby, to sitting on the floor dawdling his fingers, too afraid to play with anything else! I do think that my husband has good intentions and really believes his way of handling things and controlling our son will teach him good things and help him grow up into a better person. I think he is afraid if he doesn't "teach" him to "obey" in various ways then he will turn out to be a bad person. I think this is ridiculous but this is apparently what dh believes.<br><br>
I was also heartbroken this evening during bath time (dh was relieved by then & I was supervising) when my son while playing in the tub mentioned something about pirates being bad guys and I replied "I wonder why they are bad" and he said "They were bad when they were little and didn't listen and grew up bad" and to which I said "little kids are usually good, they might not always listen but they aren't bad. Sometimes they can grow up to be bad though" and he said "but I am bad"  at which time I told him (& this is not the first time I have had this conversation with him) that he was NOT bad, he was very good. Then he said "But I don't listen or obey" and I replied "sometimes you don't always listen but you're not bad." I don't think he believed me.<br><br>
He has this mindset now that he is a bad boy even though dh never said those words to my knowledge, but this is the message our son is getting. He is also very self conscious about doing some things in front of him. Shortly after this incident (I never told anyone I had the monitor on so nobody knew I had overheard anything) my son & I were eating cheese sticks at the table and I said I wonder if he could separate the orange & white colors or cut them apart or something like that, and he asked if he could cut them with a butterknife and I said yes go get one. But as he crept over slowly to the drawer he kept looking into the living room to see if dh was there (he was) and he came back to the table and asked me to get the knife for him. I went and got it for him but when I got back to the table I asked him why he didnt get it and he said he "didn't want papa to see me getting the butterknife." I think he thought it would meet with his disapproval or something, I don't know if there had been a butterknife incident in the past or if he was still on edge from earlier. I decided to change the subject so we began talking about something else and he was fine after that until the bathtub incident.<br><br>
Ok so this brings me to why I came here.  I need some advice about what to say to my son to heal the damage that the comment about "Whos house is this?" might have caused.  That really bothers me. I don't want to bring up the incident or to let him know I overheard but I want him to believe that this is his house and not always feel like this is his parents house. I don't EVER remember hearing this phrase growing up and I'm quite horrified. My son is very sensitive and I know he's never going to forget that comment made by his father.  Am I making too much out of this? Do I just let it go?  Would you ever say that to your young child to get them to do what you wanted or to behave a certain way or to prove a point about something? I think his point was that he (dh) lives in the house too and doesnt like too many toys on the floor and son should have some respect and pick up the toys when asked and not to get more out when asked (even if it is in his own room!)<br><br>
Also, I want to know if there any cds or dvds that may help with better parenting techniques or alternatives? (dh would never read a book) - I am getting so sick of hearing about punishments.  This was a non issue when I grew up and a word we didn't even use. I don't ever rememeber being punished but I remember once my sister was (she didn't get to go to a movie as she hit me while we were going out the door to the movies!) but it was sort of a spur of the moment thing and not something thought up carefully. This was the only time I ever remember a punishment dished out and there were 4 kids. Apparently dh grew up in a family with lots of discipline and punishment is a word he heard lots of (he uses it a lot) I'm just very grateful that none of it involved physical abuse although he does hold our son and make him sit on his lap when he feels he needs to although he calls it a hug and says its to help him calm down, it only ends with our son crying and them hugging each other. My son always resists and I know he hates it. Dh always says "you aren't stronger than me" when he's trying to get out from his grip. I feel this is a "punishment" for him although dh would deny that.<br><br>
  I never hold my son against his will but I will send him to his room for punishment and I also raise my voice and yell when I'm angry or frustrated which dh has repeatedly called abuse (which I think is absurd). I guess he was raised in a house where nobody ever raised their voice even when they were angry! Seems like it would be unhealthy to hold all that inside but I'm trying to be more conscious of it & to not do that anymore since I recently bought one of the parenting books that had been on my want list for a long time and yelling was mentioned as being bad! (seriously I can't even yell? sheesh!)  But it seems to me like what he is doing is so much worse! He also stops playing with our son if he doesn't do what dh wants (if he gets out too many toys for example) and sometimes when my son & I are together my son says to me "well I won't play with you" when he's angry about something.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>newmum35</strong> <a href="/community/t/1374764/advice-please-dh-strict-controlling-attitude#post_17268048"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p><br>
After he drilled it into his head that HE (dh) was the boss, and that son had to obey him, my son replied with "I am the boss of my toys" at which point dh said "Who's house is this?"  and there was a long pause.  My son finally said "I live here too."<br>
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<p><br>
Your ds is a very bright little boy. A 5 year old standing up to a 50 y/o man and actually outsmarting him... wow! Don't raise that little boy to be obedient, it would change his spirit!</p>
<p>(Just a side remark, I loathe the word obedient. Just the other day I heard MIL telling my 3 y/o dd after her swimming lesson: Wow, you did so well, you were a good, obedient little girl and listened to your teacher! Argh!)</p>
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<p>Your post sounds very sad. Your dh must have a lot of hurt inside since he was a kid and is trying to justify it by inflicting it on his ds. He's playing mind games with both you and his ds. He is actually making him believe he's bad, and wants to make YOU believe that you are abusing him whenever you yell at him.</p>
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<p>I don't actually think you can do anything to make your ds believe he's a good boy when his father is undermining this. You would have to change his dad's attitude.</p>
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<p>My dh doesn't read parenting books either, but we are having long discussions since ds was a little baby. You could start by asking your dh what he wants to accomplish by making your ds obedient. Look around and find examples of obedient adults, how do they cope with life? Why does he have to prove that he's stronger than a 5 y/o? He won't be for long... would he like to be treated the same in 10-15 years?</p>
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<p>You can relate the knife incident to your dh and point out that punishment doesn't make a kid obedient, it just makes him afraid. You could ask your dh if he wants his own son to be afraid of him and hide things from him when he gets older.</p>
 

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<p>Ouch.  I don't even refer to my dogs as obedient, that's how much of a negative connotation I feel that word has.  Obedience brings to mind people who do what they are told and are miserable for doing so - they have no free will.  Your LO sounds amazingly bright and the fact that he's sensitive makes it much more likely for him to become hurt by remarks like "who's house is this" and "who's the boss".  He will internailize it, as most sensative kids do, and like you said, even though your DH didn't call him a bad kid, your son is smart enough to make the connection that being 'disobedient' is bad.  I agree with PP that until you can talk to your DH and change things with him, all the support in the world from you won't be able to combat the negative digs he's going to be getting behind your back.</p>
 

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<p>Your husband sounds like my father. I left home as soon as I could, while still a teen, and I very seldom go back.</p>
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<p>You cannot fix the horrible things your husband says to your child. If something drastic doesn't change, your son will hear "this isn't your house" over and over and over while he grows up. I know I did, and it impacted my choice to get out as quick as a I could.</p>
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<p>My advice is to stand up to your husband and get into relationship counseling immediately.<br>
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<p>"I can't stand it but also can't say anything about it to him because he gets very upset. He cannot take any form of advice, he interprets it as criticism which he can not take no matter how nicely worded."</p>
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<p>This has to change for your own sake and for the sake of your son. And if it doesn't change, the best thing you can do is take your son and get out. Make a plan, and get out.</p>
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<p>My mother chose to stay, so she seldom sees me or my children (only once every 2 or 3 years). My older sister has seriously mental health problems because living with a father like that takes a deep toll. My mother is now living her life alone with a man who is horrid to be around and can't be spoken to. If she had had the guts to get me and my sister out while we were still little, everything would be different now.</p>
 
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<p>I keep thinking about this post and coming back here and not knowing what to say. I'm so glad Linda on the Move posted from her own experience. </p>
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<p>You need to talk to your DH. </p>
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<p>You are your son's mother, and you have a right to raise him according to your values. I would even say, you have an obligation to do that. His father's values, whether good or bad, do not trump yours. </p>
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<p>One focus of gentle discipline for me has been, what will equip the child to be an effective, well-adjusted and happy adult. Your husband is right that at this age, respecting parents and learning to conform to adult expectations is important, but first, it is not the end goal, and second, what your husband is doing is obviously going to backfire spectacularly even on its own terms. He will not keep his child's natural respect and affection if he is capricious and only wants obedience for its own sake.</p>
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<p>The interim goal is safety and learning life skills, like putting away toys, and obeying parents is a way to get to those interim goals. The end goal is independence. The theory is that feeling secure and protected in your home as a child, and getting explicit life-skills instruction from the parents, will help the adult person to function. </p>
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<p>I know you don't want to admit that you eavesdropped on that awful conversation you heard over the baby monitor. I suspect that the minute you tell him you overheard the whole thing, he's going to react as though you'd already criticized him for it, because he didn't mean for you to hear that. There's no way that he wants you to know that he's parenting with a "you must obey me, even if I'm not enforcing a rule and what I'm asking doesn't seem to make any sense." Or maybe THAT is the way he was raised, with that old theory that the child's spirit must be broken. I really hope not! It reminds me of something out of Alice ******. (She was a child psychologist who published theories about how abuse makes children into violent or cruel adults--that Alice ******.) </p>
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<p>Perhaps that's the way into the conversation--asking your husband about what from his own childhood he's hoping to duplicate and which things he wants to do differently than his parents. </p>
 

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<p>My husband (my son's father) is also in his fifties, was raised by parents born in the '20s and tends to be harsh, strict or authoritarian though he dearly loves his son. I can't say much to him usually as he considers himself to be the "head" of the house and almost anything unsavory comes across to him as insubmissive. Recently my son (two years old) started protesting strongly about Mommy leaving him with Daddy "because Daddy hits me with the fly swatter" I was seriuosly alarmed that my son wanted to be less and less with his daddy, and even more alarmed that Daddy didn't think there was a problem (other than Mommy). I must admit I prayed A LOT and I'm sure God answered. I found something on the Internet at Parenting Freedom (I think) that showed  that the original Hebrew words in the "rod" verses in Proverbs do not refer to any child less than 10 years old (but possibly a teenager or young adult), etc. It refered to a book by Samuel Martin "Thy Rod and thy Staff They Comfort Me" We were able to get the ebook at no cost but have since also gotten a paperback through Amazon. Since my husband loves studying the Bible and loves getting to know what the original words were and what they mean, this book effected him deeply. He does not spank our son anymore, and our son is no longer scared to be left with Daddy. But, though my husband is now convinced that the Bible way is teaching and instructing rather than punishing, he still tends to be kinda aloof and very authoritarian, so my son still prefers me. All the same, I strongly recommend this  book if you at all think your husband might take it to heart.</p>
 

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<p>I think I would have told him I heard the conversation. The knowledge of that conversation would have been lying there as a disturbance for me, and any way to deal with it while hiding from my DH that I heard it, would have felt very complicated and dishonest.</p>
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<p>To read your post made me very sad. I can imagine how your son must feel, basically being told he has no rights at all, and that he doesn't really even have a home. Also my own DH is a bit the same, he can be quite insensitive and a bit too strict, but not as unreasonable as your DH was in that situation. He does have the attitude that children must learn to do what they are told, or else something bad will happen (I don't really know what he is imagining will happen, things will be "out of control" or something) and it is very difficult to change. It is a kind of under-estimating of children as persons, I think. I don't know how to solve this, however I am very sure you are not over-reacting, and your son is lucky to have a mum who understands and sees him as the good, sensitive boy that he is.</p>
 

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<p>I want to thank everyone who commented. I've come back a few times to read the replies, unfortunately I've done nothing about it yet, except order a dvd which hasn't yet arrived. I have almost zero free time because I overwork myself (trying to improve my financial situation) and me and dh are not on good terms so my time spent talking to him is pretty much near zero. Nothing to do with this, but our relationship started crumbling 2 or 3 years ago.<br><br>
I found a parenting dvd that will arrive soon and I plan to watch it soon as I can. Hoping it will be good and that dh will watch it also.<br><br>
I know if I confronted him about what was overheard he would have no shame or remorse - yes he does feel children should "obey"  "just because" no matter how ridiculous, if the parent asks then the child should do it period. I was with my son & his cousin most of the day yesterday which I enjoyed because I usually work sundays but later in the evening I left to take my nephew home so dh was with our son from that point. I was gone only 1 hr when I got back ds was being punished sitting "on his bed" with dh watching him (making sure he wouldn't get off the bed) I guess he had talked back to him or said something dh felt was disrespectful. I don't know what was said but pretty sure it was probably nothing.<br><br>
Last night at bath time my son says to me "I know what I'm going to do next time I'm angry at Papa" and I said What? and he says he is going to not let Papa in his bedroom for a whole week! and I said "Oh is that what happened?" So I found out that part of his punishment is not being allowed in dh room for the next week. And so my son plans to do the same thing the next time he gets angry! lol<br><br>
My son also said to ME this morning "If you don't do what I want, I'm going to do something bad to you!"  I can't even remember what it was he wanted but he was very literal about it using those same words. I just ignored it and it passed and then he was the normal 5 year old he usually is.  My husband would have never ignored this. IT would have started a huge power struggle ending in a punishment. Its like every word that comes out of his mouth is scrutinized and has to be said the right way and in the right tone. Its one reason I rarely talk to him anymore. I think he's suffering from depression or something and he has gotten offended over replies I've made that in no way were anything anyone would have found offensive. He never used to be like this, I could say anything at anytime and was completely free to be myself. I have no idea what happened or why but I'm still trying to figure it out maybe when I have more time I can come back for opinions (seriously I've considered things like male menopause, early Alzheimers, mini-stroke etc) my dh personality did a complete 360 it started maybe 3 years ago I'm sure if I havent been spending all my time working I would have addressed this by now but anyway thats a whole another thread!)<br><br>
I'm just SO grateful for 2 things:  1) dh has never hit or shown an interest in spanking and 2) our son really is a great kid and is NOT a problem child at all! dh could never handle a truly challenging kid!<br>
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<p>It IS your son's house too, and toys are meant to be played with. It sounds like your husband likes making up arbitrary rules for your son to follow so he can play his little mind games when your son inevitably messes up. This is very worrisome and a huge red flag.</p>
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<p>If he's doing it to you, too, get out.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>newmum35</strong> <a href="/community/t/1374764/advice-please-dh-strict-controlling-attitude#post_17284747"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p><br>
I know if I confronted him about what was overheard he would have no shame or remorse ....</p>
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<p><span style="color:#800080;">It sounds like communication has completely broken down between your and your husband. You don't bother telling him your thoughts, feelings or concerns.</span><br><br>
My son also said to ME this morning <strong>"If you don't do what I want, I'm going to do something bad to you!" </strong> I can't even remember what it was he wanted but he was very literal about it using those same words.....</p>
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<p><span style="color:#800080;">He's just repeating what he has heard. BTW, your DH is setting your son up to be a very compliant victim of a child molester. This is conditioning. It's teaching a child to do what they are told without having to smack them around. Some molesters really prefer this to a child they need to struggle with.  YOU NEED TO GET OUT .</span></p>
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<p>Its one reason I rarely talk to him anymore. I think he's suffering from depression or something and he has gotten offended over replies I've made that in no way were anything anyone would have found offensive. He never used to be like this, <strong>I could say anything at anytime and was completely free to be myself.</strong></p>
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<p><span style="color:#800080;">You are not free to be yourself. Neither is your son.</span></p>
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<p>I have no idea what happened or why but I'm still trying to figure it out maybe when I have more time I can come back for opinions (seriously I've considered things like male menopause, early Alzheimers, mini-stroke etc) my dh personality did a complete 360 it started maybe 3 years ago I'm sure if I havent been spending all my time working I would have addressed this by now but anyway thats a whole another thread!)....<br><br>
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<p>it doesn't matter why your husband is like this. This is how he is and he has no interest in changing, so this is how he is staying. Three years ago your son was transitioning from the baby stage to the child stage -- may be this is just what your husband thinks one does when they have a child to raise.</p>
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<p>I think you need an exit plan.</p>
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<p>Your husband is emotional abusive to you and your son.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>newmum35</strong> <a href="/community/t/1374764/advice-please-dh-strict-controlling-attitude#post_17284747"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p>I want to thank everyone who commented. I've come back a few times to read the replies, unfortunately I've done nothing about it yet, except order a dvd which hasn't yet arrived. I have almost zero free time because I overwork myself (trying to improve my financial situation) and me and dh are not on good terms so my time spent talking to him is pretty much near zero. Nothing to do with this, but our relationship started crumbling 2 or 3 years ago.<br><br>
I found a parenting dvd that will arrive soon and I plan to watch it soon as I can. Hoping it will be good and that dh will watch it also.<br><br>
I know if I confronted him about what was overheard he would have no shame or remorse - yes he does feel children should "obey"  "just because" no matter how ridiculous, if the parent asks then the child should do it period. I was with my son & his cousin most of the day yesterday which I enjoyed because I usually work sundays but later in the evening I left to take my nephew home so dh was with our son from that point. I was gone only 1 hr when I got back ds was being punished sitting "on his bed" with dh watching him (making sure he wouldn't get off the bed) I guess he had talked back to him or said something dh felt was disrespectful. I don't know what was said but pretty sure it was probably nothing.<br><br>
Last night at bath time my son says to me "I know what I'm going to do next time I'm angry at Papa" and I said What? and he says he is going to not let Papa in his bedroom for a whole week! and I said "Oh is that what happened?" So I found out that part of his punishment is not being allowed in dh room for the next week. And so my son plans to do the same thing the next time he gets angry! lol<br><br>
My son also said to ME this morning "If you don't do what I want, I'm going to do something bad to you!"  I can't even remember what it was he wanted but he was very literal about it using those same words. I just ignored it and it passed and then he was the normal 5 year old he usually is.  My husband would have never ignored this. IT would have started a huge power struggle ending in a punishment. Its like every word that comes out of his mouth is scrutinized and has to be said the right way and in the right tone. Its one reason I rarely talk to him anymore. I think he's suffering from depression or something and he has gotten offended over replies I've made that in no way were anything anyone would have found offensive. He never used to be like this, I could say anything at anytime and was completely free to be myself. I have no idea what happened or why but I'm still trying to figure it out maybe when I have more time I can come back for opinions (seriously I've considered things like male menopause, early Alzheimers, mini-stroke etc) my dh personality did a complete 360 it started maybe 3 years ago I'm sure if I havent been spending all my time working I would have addressed this by now but anyway thats a whole another thread!)<br><br>
I'm just SO grateful for 2 things:  1) dh has never hit or shown an interest in spanking and 2) our son really is a great kid and is NOT a problem child at all! dh could never handle a truly challenging kid!<br>
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Newmum35, I just want to give you a hug! This sounds like such a difficult situation for you to be in.</p>
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<p>Your dh is damaging your son and he knows that what he's doing is not ok, that's why he's hiding it from you and you have to find out about his new mind games from your son.</p>
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<p>I would not be grateful for the two things you mentioned. No 1: emotional games might be more damaging than an occasional spanking coming from a frustrated and exhausted parent. (Speaking from my own experience; my mom spanked me a couple of times out of frustration, and I don't hold it against her. My dad, on the other hand, had very inventive ways to punish us, like shaming or calling us names, and I carry the scars into my adulthood.) No 2: you don't see your son acting out, but he is assimilating and internalizing what his dad is telling him. He's a bad boy and he's going to do bad things to people who don't obey him.</p>
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<p>Just my 2 cents. If it was me, I would let my mama bear lash out at dh and tell him he was NOT to play his little mind games with my son. Period.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Linda on the move</strong> <a href="/community/t/1374764/advice-please-dh-strict-controlling-attitude#post_17284988"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p>it doesn't matter why your husband is like this. This is how he is and he has no interest in changing, so this is how he is staying. </p>
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<p>I think this is right.</p>
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<p>It is sometimes helpful to us to have labels to slap on behavior, labels like, "depressive" or "abusive" or "narcissistic" or "alcoholic." We like to have explanations when our partners start acting weird--a disease, an injury, a missing vitamin, or even a mental illness. </p>
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<p>But you know, without any labels, this behavior you've described is unacceptable. </p>
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<p>It sounds like the only reason you have not confronted him and insisted on different parenting behavior is that you are afraid of him. Is that right? I don't think you have a reason to protect your husband's feelings in this matter. If you are not afraid of him, confront him. If you are afraid of him, that's information for you that you should credit and on which you should act. </p>
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<p>Don't blame yourself for working hard or trusting him or not realizing. Don't blame yourself, except to the extent that it helps you feel powerful enough to stop this. </p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Linda on the move</strong> <a href="/community/t/1374764/advice-please-dh-strict-controlling-attitude#post_17284988"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p>it doesn't matter why your husband is like this. This is how he is and he has no interest in changing, so this is how he is staying. Three years ago your son was transitioning from the baby stage to the child stage -- may be this is just what your husband thinks one does when they have a child to raise.</p>
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<p>I think you need an exit plan.</p>
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<p>Your husband is emotional abusive to you and your son.</p>
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<p>This.</p>
 

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It sounds to me that your DH'S mindset is a bit skewed. He seems to feel that His child is his possession rather than this person that he now has a relationship with. It really boils down to that. Dh is harder on DS than I am, but I really tend to micromanage their relationships a bit since I'm with the kids all day and he's not. I'll give him advice under my breath or ask him to come talk to me for a minute to help him get control of the situation. I always try to explain to DH that our 4 year old is a person too, and he's only going to get more opinionated and independent as he gets older, and that's a good thing. We don't want to crush his spirit. He usually agrees, but just has a hard time coming up with the right thing to say or do when DS is challenging him. He's a smart kid. If your hubby's mindset can't be changed and if your relationship with him isn't great, he's neither going to have the respect for you to do what's best for his child nor have the respect for his child to do what's best for him. I would suggest How to Talk so kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk, and The Five Love Languages. PM me if you need to talk.
 

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<p>I can relate newmum-- My DH grew up in a small town in Latin America. The values in his family and community were very "traditional" and conservative-- kids are to be seen and not heard, they should always obey...especially the girls.  DH was spanked (and more...) as punishment and grew up fearing his father. He left home at 15 and still has a very tense relationship with his dad. And yet, despite wanting to raise our DS (3) dramatically differently than his own upbringing, I still see DH slipping into thought patterns and beliefs he was raised with. A lot of the time, I feel like the "punishments" he gives to DS are unreasonable-- and I call him on it. Thankfully, my DH is willing to compromise and listen to my point of view. Most of the time he agrees with me and opts for gentle discipline techniques. </p>
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<p>I think it would be very difficult to raise a child with someone whose parenting "philosophy" differed greatly from mine. :(</p>
<p>I hope you and DH can see eye to eye. It sounds like you have a very wise and independent son-- keep his spirit strong!!</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MichelleZB</strong> <a href="/community/t/1374764/advice-please-dh-strict-controlling-attitude#post_17284871"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p>It IS your son's house too, and toys are meant to be played with. It sounds like your husband likes making up arbitrary rules for your son to follow so he can play his little mind games when your son inevitably messes up. This is very worrisome and a huge red flag.</p>
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<p>This.  So much this.  My dad did this to me as a kid and it was very, very damaging.  My dad also started doing it with my kids, this invent-a-rule-to-create-an-opportunity-to-punish thing, and it's one of the reasons my family has had no contact with my dad for well over a year.  It is emotional manipulation, and it's not healthy at all.  It really messes with your head when you can't have set rules that work the same all the time.</p>
 

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<p>I just want to thank everyone who responded to my post. I've had an incredibly busy year with working so not a lot of free time to get online for advice. (and a very depressing year as well so I never did bring myself back for an update) I did read all the replies several times and they helped a lot although I think I was in denial about some of it because it hadn't yet escalated to be obvious until our anniversary. At the time I posted I was also unaware that I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. I posted question about our son but we also have major problems in our own relationship as I learned this summer he is passive aggressive and emotionally abusive to me for 3 or 4 years.</p>
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<p> I'm in the middle of trying to figure out what to do about that and its very difficult.  There has not been more instances of the "Who's house is this" remark that I'm aware of. Even though I had not confronted him of this.  Yes, I was afraid of him, as it turns out in retrospect... But at the time I did not think I was, I thought that was silly I knew he wouldn't hit me or anything so I planned to confront him indirectly by just suggesting we watch dvd together.. However when my parenting dvd arrived, he refused to watch it with me and was very defensive. So defensive we had a little fight or argument about it which had me depressed for hours and I think I couldn't sleep half the night and I realized THATS why I do not confront him about things that bother me. I lose sleep afterwards, get a headache, lose hours of work (I work from home)... it is so emotionally draining... I'm not afraid physically but I pay the price emotionally so I tended to avoid him most of this year. I'm starting to understand our relationship dynamics I just don't know how to get it to stop and I'm not convinced we would all be better off without each other yet (when I confront him with how he is treating me is abusive, as the things he's  doing to me are listed on websites emotional abuse, he immediately states that what I'm doing to HIM is abusive I won't go into it here but I'm trying to get help elsewhere)</p>
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<p> When he first refused to watch the dvd with me I found this baffling. Its not like he was familiar with it, he only knew the title. We used to always watch stuff together.  It was the Alfie Kohn Unconditional Parenting dvd.  So I end up watching it alone and enjoyed it.  I do think our brief discussion about it did something and he tried not to be so strict after that as I did sense a change after that.. Or maybe its my imagination. He said life is all about rewards and punishments, if he doesn't show up for work, he gets fired. If he does, he gets a paycheck. He had a point and it was almost like he won the argument as I really didn't have any good comebacks but it still didn't feel right to me.</p>
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<p>He was very angry that I challenged him on something to do with parenting, he is always like this, he will be very upset if I don't like his way of doing things...</p>
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<p>  What he's done this year and I'm a bit sad that when I read my original post I remember how hearing "obey" and "punishment" used to bother me so much, yes I remember those days I guess they are over.. Unfortunately I've heard them so often this year its become normal for us and I don't even cringe anymore.  I feel defeated but I've been too emotionally drained trying to figure out whats going on in my own life & relationship and bringing myself out of depression that I've been too distracted to put any energy into figuring out better parenting techniques than stressing obedience & punishments..  I managed to talk dh into signing up for a local parenting class (he thinks its me the worse parent, so he was happy to go for me, I think) but we only went to the 1st one. He did not wish to continue after that as he did not like the instructor methods (she gave childish stickers for class participation) and although I planned to continue on my own, I end up missing next few weeks due to other events going on, and they require you to "make up" every class you miss so I decided to just stop (it was at least 12 session I think) and maybe try again next spring when they had it next. They did give us each a book with everything they go over, so I'm hoping to read it this winter even if I don't go back I have the book..</p>
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<p>Anyway this is what dh does now if our son does something he does not like, whether its not do something he's asked to do timely enough or if he talks back or anything dh deems fit for a punishment which is usually because he didn't listen to something he was told to do, he says he "owes him 6 minutes" (because he's 6 yrs old now, I think he got that idea from watching nanny show) it used to be 5 minutes.. so until he does his 6 minutes (he must sit on his bed and do nothing and think about what he done and his dad talks to him during this time to be sure  he understands why he is being punished and didn't forget what he did) then my husband will not play with him or do any fun stuff with him until that 6 min. is done.</p>
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<p> Its up to my son when he does his minutes.. it can be that day or the next week but he doesn't get to do any fun stuff with his dad until then.  Sometimes he gets multiple times in one day, today he got 3 of them :( Some days he gets none. He does them one at a time though, and usually on different days... not 2 back to back... I am not sure what to think of it all, thats not how I was raised, and my husband does seem to be adapting his approach and trying to better himself as a father (he used to make him sit right then against his will trying to hold him or make him stay on the bed, now he no longer does that, and its up to DS when he is ready to and this seems to be working much better) but he does seem to get a lot of them sometimes (I don't think a week goes by without at least a few) and I just wanted to get some input on this.  What does everyone else do when their kid misbehaves or doesn't do something parent has asked them to do? How does everyone else handle it? Is there a better way?</p>
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<p> I personally don't do the 6 min, I just send him to his room and I'm somewhat flexible about it, he can sometimes come out early for good behavior.. I also don't go with him, he doesn't have to sit on the bed he can play if he wants to. But the time varies from 5min-30min depending on how cooperative he is at going on his own, because I do not physically make him go but just tell him to, sometimes he doesn't listen right away but for the most part I think he's pretty good about it all. When he comes out I try to remind him why he went in the first place so he doesn't forget, because he does play in there, so I know he is not thinking about it the entire time, which is ok with me.</p>
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<p>Again, thank you to all who responded. There are some very wise women here, you have been very experienced and I appreciate the input, even now in retrospect it is still helpful to me as I try to untangle myself from the mess I am in.</p>
 
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