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How do I talk with DH about GD?

481 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Camellia
Dh and I have come a long way in our parenting. We have our DS who is 5 and a half and DD is 6 weeks. I don't think we were ever "bad" parents, but have learned a lot from parenting seminars offered through our sons pre-school co-op and from just exploring the uniquness of our son etc...

There are a few things I would really like to change after exploring AP and GD further. I feel like both of us need to respect our son more as a human being - in general. We tend to forget that he wants to please us, and isn't out to "get in trouble" so to speak. The one thing my DH does that just irritates the crap out of me is say stuff like "How many times a day do we ask you to not do x?" I feel all this does is induce guilt over something he isn't intentionally doing. For example, he has a habit of driving his toy cars on our arm, heads, legs, etc... We ask that he not do that as it isn't enjoyable for us. I would think that asking him a few times a day (and not every day even) isn't that big a deal. DH can, at times, get overly irritated by this behavior - but he is 5 - its normal.

Sorry I'm rambling. DH is taking his finals tomorrow and then I have asked that we talk about some parenting tactics that I have been researching and would like to implement. We both take our parenting very seriously, but I have more time to read up on different theories, and I am also a Human Development major in college so I feel like I have to convince him on some issues.

Another one is he doesn't want our daughter sleeping with us "until shes 5" he says. I agree, I would like her in her own bed by 2 or so, but not if it involves tears. I *gasp* used the Ferber method with our son when he was 14 months. (I had DS before I married DH). I told DH about the method long ago, and he seemed impressed with how well it worked. I have pangs of nausea over doing that to DS now that I know more, and I WILL NOT use that method with DD. But, I have to convince DH. I don't think it will be too hard. He has never had an infant and he can't stand to hear her cry for a second. I'm just scared that when she's a year-old he is going to want her to sleep in her crib.

I guess I just need help on how to go about introducing him to AP. He is completely on board with ebf, slinging, and we do not use any physical types of punishment, or yelling etc... I would just love to see both of talking to DS in a more consistenly respectful manner. I have been modeling this and have briefly mentioned my ideas. I haven't wanted to overload him in the midst of finals, so on Tuesday I want him and I to discuss some things. I feel more composed just writing this, but would love any advice.

Have any Moms had to "introduce" their DH's to AP?

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I think it is an evolving process. My DH did not wake up one morning and tell me that he agrees with all that I have been doing (trying to do) with our DD. He still treats her in ways that absolutely irritate me to no end - one example is that he tends to "mock" her if she is being whiny.


I have to look at the bigger picture with DH. He was raised in probably the most non-AP environment you could imagine. His mom is a very difficult woman and totally clueless about what it means to treat ANYBODY in a non-humiliating, respectful way, let alone how to treat a *gasp* CHILD that way. After all, children are literally your property and a 2-year old should grasp that he/she is being rude/disrespectful/non-compliant because they have the cognitive reasoning of a full grown adult!

So I have to look at how far DH has come and remind myself all the time that he used to think spanking would be okay (although he has never laid a finger on DD and would never dream of it now), he used to think long lectures were effective, he used to think "good girl" and "bad girl" were proper descriptions, he used to think breastfeeding was just plain wrong (after all, his mother didn't do it and he turned out fine!), he used to think that a 3-year old slamming the door *knew* she was being rude (now he gets that she's just expressing her anger and while it's okay to correct that, we need to let go of the assumption that she is doing it TO US), etc. etc.

I think that if your DH has gotten this far, he's making wonderful progress and I think it's important for you to remind him of the great things that he is doing rather than being frustrated for the things that are taking longer. I also have had to learn to compromise certain things - DH does not want to co-sleep any longer because DD is constantly flinging herself around the bed and waking us up so we have her in her own bed or she can sleep on a mattress on the floor next to us if she wishes. She sometimes snores pretty loudly so sometimes we have to move her even if she's on the floor. I respect that he doesn't want to co-sleep, that it makes him feel angry with her and that does not promote the attachment that we're trying to build.

I agree to wait until after DH's finals and maybe just talk about some of the ways you want to do things differently. I usually start off by saying, "you know, it occurred to me the other day that DD doesn't understand the expression 'you aren't listening to me'. After all, she is "listening", she's just not "obeying". Maybe we can say something like, "you aren't being cooperative with me" and she'll get the message better." When I phrase things that way, DH is much more willing to listen.

Good luck!
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Thank-so much. Those are great insights and suggestions. My DH is an amazing father and I'm glad you reminded me to let him know I see that.

My DH is kinda naturally AP in philosophy but gets a little confused as to the methods...

He does a lot of baby wearing and such and seems to get it when it comes to infants but then Sophia starts touching things and he says "no" to everything...

She understands "No"

I know he is a wonderful loving dad and a first time dad and kinda doubts his abilities sometimes but I say "lets save NO for danger situations" and just redirect or she will start ignoring it...

He was so impressed by this theory and tells everyone that But I think it was the way I addressed a "You are doing this wrong"

But Let's us as parents together do it this way...he was very open to it. He is such a good father naturally, he has the instinct but his own parents methods are bound to sneak in and also he is new to this(I have 2 older girls)

So when making suggestions make it "lets do it this way as a team, what do you think" statement...

'Good luck..sounds like you have a good man there who wants to do the best for the kids and that's the main thing.
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Thanks again for the great suggestions everyone. DH brought it up last night on his very own! I wasn't terribly suprprised as he is a wonderful father and is always looking for ways to improve our parenting.

I didn't want to overwhelm him. I feel like I have learned so much recently! I talked to him about how some of our wording could really be humiliating to Jackson - he always wants to please us and when we demean him and his behavior it 1) isn't helping either party and 2) its humiliating for him. Dh agreed we need to be consistent in treating Jackson how we would like him to treat us.

He thanked me for the reminder on that topic.

The other was we have fallen into an awful time-out pattern and agreed to start offering time-out but renaming them "a minute to cool down". That way he still has the option to collect himself, but isn't being punished for his emotions, or mishaps in hi behavior. My son is such an amazing and sweet kid and I truly feel awful that he hasn't always been treated fairly. I am so glad I found some new skills early in his life. I guess with the second child just arriving I am also feeling some guilt that she will get the benefits right from the start, and Jackson has gotten the eveolution of our parenting. I know we did a lot of things right, but I guess we all want to be perfect for our children

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