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I am very much for grace based parenting. So was my husband up until about 5 or 6 months ago. Our daughter is three, she is as sweet as can be except when she does not get her way (like most children), then the outright fit begins.

My husband and I are now on completely different pages when it comes to parenting. He believes that because she is having uncontrollable fits that our parenting style has failed. He mostly blames this on me, since it was me who researched grace based parenting (gentle parenting) in the first place. I am the one who read and read and read and read some more about the approach and it seemed so much like Jesus to me that I couldn't figure out any better way.

But now, when she is uncontrollable and having an all out fit because she was given a warning and told what would happen if she did not follow the warning, she then received the consequence. Example (tonight):

Daddy reading a book to her when bedtime came.
Daughter listening, but getting distracted.
Daddy asked her to quietly listen to the story or they would have to be done and go to bed soon. Also asked if she wanted a different story.
Daughter quiets. But then gets distracted again and starts goofing around on the couch and talking and interrupting. Normally an avid listener.
Daddy then says. Okay well, it sounds like you don't really want to listen to the story tonight so it's time to go to bed.
She pleads, no daddy, no daddy, I want to listen. Please read the story.
He gives one more chance.
She continues the goofy behavior.
He then gives her the consequence of no more story.
So he puts the book away.
Of course my daughter falls apart.
She is uncontrollable at this point. Screaming, says she will listen, please please I will listen, I change my mind Daddy, I will listen.
He reminds her that he is done, that she was not listening to him and that there will be no more of the story he read. He told her that he would read a different one if she wanted to choose one, but that he was not going to read the one they were reading.
She didn't want a different one.
So the fit continued. Her following him around the house, screaming, crying, upset.
---------interjection of thought: Husband listened to a parenting session on focus on the family radio the last three days (don't even get me started on that) and the teacher (if you want to call him that), stated to put your child in their room when they are uncontrollably screaming in a tantrum and close the door and hold the door until they stop screaming. Yes you read that right.

Back to the story:
So the next thing I know I hear her in her room, sound muffled, he is holding the door.
THen things got heated, because I was ticked and hurting, not going to allow him to treat my child like a caged animal. I mean, that had to make her feel completely trapped and alone. Not what she needed.
So it took him away from the door and told him that I did not agree. He then backed away because he was angry with me. I took it from there.
I put her jammies on after some discussion. She is still upset at this point.
Took her upstairs with me. She sleeps in our room.
Offered her other stories to read. She was still upset and not listening.
So I put her in bed and told her it was time to go to sleep.
I of course spoke to her this whole time about her feelings, taking deep breaths and all of the rational methods of calming a child.
She then said she had to go potty.
We talked some more in the bathroom.
After that she calmed.
She told me her belly hurt, so I gave her a piece of bread with butter and some milk. We talked. Her calming but still huffing.
I read her a different story while she ate bread and she completely calmed down.
She then went upstairs with me and went right to sleep.
It just seems to me, you need to ride out the storm with them and comfort when they are in these fits....being patient and calm. The storm passes. Of course I believe in consequences....she didn't get the book they put away. But my husband, wants to discipline the fit. I am just not sure what to say to that. She is three (three last Oct)...so a young three.

So needless to say, after she went to bed, he came to me very angry, saying that I did not support him, that I disrespected him and basically canceled out all that he did. He is outraged to say the least.

I am hurting right now. My husband and I are arguing and completely separated.

Three days ago he took her to his parents and had the same type of experience with her because she didn't want to clean up before leaving. But he allowed her to get involved in something 20 min before they were going to leave. He doesn't understand that this was not a wise choice. It hardly gave her time to explore and play long enough and then she was upset when she was expected to put it all away. He continues to tell me that I don't respect him and that my ways of parenting are failing and that our daughter is going to grow up out of control with a lack of respect for her parents.

I really need support right now. I am feeling very alone. Maybe I am to leaniant. Maybe I don't put me foot down long enough. Maybe I translate grace based parenting for push over.....I don't know. I am trying my best though and am willing to hear and listen to any suggestions or opinions.

J.
 

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Sounds like pretty normal behaviour to me. She's just letting out her frustration about not being able to do something etc.

To me a push over is a parent that says no, then gives in because of the tantrum. I think what you're doing is great.

I'd probably just tell your DH to ignore her when she's throwing a tantrum and if he feels like he needs to get away from the screaming, just tell her that he needs some time alone because he's getting grumpy and shut himself in the bedroom or something.

That's what I do, but then I'm not the most gentle of GP. I do use time outs and yell more than I should.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Learning_Mum View Post
To me a push over is a parent that says no, then gives in because of the tantrum. I think what you're doing is great.
:

It sounds like DH is frustrated, too. I feel like I'm in a similar situation with co-sleeping: that it's much different than my DH expected now that it's tough. Gentle parenting is wonderful, but it is incredibly difficult sometimes to remember the long run of gentle choices in the moment. I think if you're feeling frustrated, it could be much easier and more rewarding in the actual moment to pick up a screaming child and lock them in their room, just to feel as if you've really DONE SOMETHING. I also feel like our default is to replay the scripts we've been given by our parents, and so we do fall back on them sometimes (esp. if they have just been reinforced by having them repeated, like on the radio show.).

I don't know if this makes much sense - it's 5 a.m. here and I am (finally) holding a sleeping baby - but I think you are doing a fantastic job, too, and that maybe your DH has lost sight of what you are doing in light of the hurricane that is having a 3yo. Maybe reminding him of the qualities that you are preserving in her - her thoroughness when learning new skills while playing, or her openness with emotions when she's disappointed - will help?
 

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I just one-handedly typed a long response and somehow lost it. Ugh.

Hugs to you. You are not alone. I came out of "lurkdom" because I couldn't read your struggle and not repond.

A couple of thoughts:
1.) Lead by example. As much as you want to protest to dh and call him a jerk, just keep calm, gentle and consistent with dh and dd.
2.) Be sympathetic. It sounds like your dh is trying to do right by his family. Assume positive intent. Quite honestly, in my opinion, you were disrespectful to dh by not supporting him.
3.) Step Away from the the Father-Child relationship. This one is so very difficult for me. Your dh is 50% of the parenting team. Let him figure out his parenting journey. Respect your dh and daughter enough not to save her from her father. Don't micromanage.
4.) Pray

Ok. That's my 2 cents. I had a lot to say on this subject, but lost the post.
I really, really feel for you. You will get through this. It will get better.
 

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hugs to you, mama. that is a hard one. my dh and i parent differently too. he is much more strict than i am and will also use time-outs. i can honestly say i disagree with his parenting choices sometimes and feel he can be unfair (like your example with the book). however he's my husband and he is their father. he has a right to make decisions and i trust (like me) he is doing what he feels is best. he will make mistakes and he will learn from them, just as i do. my husband does not hit our kids or call them names and belittle them, etc - obvioulsy i would NOT keep silent about that. he's a really great daddy actually and adores our children. he stays calm much more than i do, as i am more prone to yell while he is always even-tempered. in your situation, if my husband did not want to finish a story for our child because he felt he had given many chances, i would not take my child and go read them a story somewhere else. i would support my husband in that regard, and once my dh was calmer, i would discuss it with him. i try to never accuse or blame, just calmly discuss things and offer a different perspective from our child's point of view. my dh is always open to me approaching him & i do my best to stand behind him even when i may not agree. and likewise, i am always open to hear from him when he feels i'm handling a situation wrong. we never challenge each other in front of our kids, but instead, support one another. if we disagree, we save that discussion for a time when the kids aren't present. now, i'm certainly not talking about holding a child behind closed doors against their will & supporting that! my dh has never done anything like that. it sounds like your husband was at his wit's end and followed some terrible advice off a bad radio show. i bet he feels bad about that choice & will not rely on it again.

my husband will not read GD books, but he did read parts of, "how to talk so your kids will listen and listen so your kids will talk". i didn't even ask him too.. he picked it up off the coffee table by himself & then later that day i saw him applying what he had read!!! if your dh won't read a book, i recommend getting lilygrace's list of positive discipline ideas. she's an MDC member. i can't find her link, otherwise i'd post it for you. it's really excellent though & my dh learned a lot from it.

hang in there mama. i hope your family finds balance in the home soon enough. hugs to you.
 

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DH and I have a similar dynamic sometimes. DH thinks there should be more consequences for not listening to us. So he ends up using time-outs (though we don't call them that) for things that I think are too minor. I save the time-outs for when ds1 is hurting someone or repeatedly grabbing toys from ds2 (not playing nice together, so has to play alone).

Over the years we have come to an agreement that whoever starts handling a discipline situation should be able to do it on their own and not have the other partner take over. He hasn't (and wouldn't, I believe) held a door shut with a tantruming child behind it, but, if he did, I still would have done what you did. I wouldn't have been able to let it go and let him continue that. And he would have been angry.

I am trying to explain to dh in brief ways why I do things the way I do. And I TRY to suggest calmly what our motivation is when he has started to discipline in ways I don't like. Maybe there is something you can have him read in a calm moment, about what doesn't work about holding doors shut. I would remind him that doing things gently doesn't mean you'll get immediate compliance the very first time - she's not going to happily say "Okay!" when you say you're putting the book away - but maybe the next night, or after a couple times of that happening, she'll understand you're serious about that issue.

I guess what I'm saying is - if you can find ways to continue to clue him in to your thinking on discipline stuff, some little parts of it might stick for your dh. Like one little phrase for me that helps is "he's still learning, we're teaching him".
 

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We've had nights just like that! I have been both you and your husband in this scenario, and so has my partner. We have tried forcing a shrieking, flailing child to stay alone in a room until he calms down...and it sometimes works...but it's not the most effective technique AND it takes him a long while to recover from it.


I agree with all 4 of Plugging Away's points.

Also, something that worked well for us and might be appealing to your husband is to give fewer warnings. In this example, after he asked her to calm down and if she wanted a different story, when she was still distracted, THEN he could have stood up, closed the book, and said (calmly but firmly), "I see you're not listening to the story. Time for bed!" instead of giving another warning first. This probably would've triggered the flip-out and begging he got when he did take action. Then he could say (still in the calm firm voice, still standing up with the book closed), "I will not read unless you are sitting still and listening. Are you ready to do that now?" and if she agreed, he would do it. But that would be the last chance.

When my son is in a goofy mood, he doesn't take us as seriously as usual, so we have to take action to show him what we really mean. Once he does understand, he often WILL behave better on the second chance. But that second chance has to come after true action, not just a warning, see what I mean?

While I think that "whoever starts handling a discipline situation should be able to do it on their own and not have the other partner take over" is a good general principle, there are times when both child and parent have completely lost control and the best thing is for the other parent to step in and GENTLY, NON-JUDGMENTALLY make a fresh start with the child. Say something like, "Whoa, it sounds like Daddy has had enough of this! Darling, would you like to go sit down with a cold drink?" Think of it as being kind to him, not rescuing your child from his temper. Don't do it too often. Talk with your husband about the types of situations in which this would be a welcome response.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by PluggingAway View Post
I just one-handedly typed a long response and somehow lost it. Ugh.

Hugs to you. You are not alone. I came out of "lurkdom" because I couldn't read your struggle and not repond.

A couple of thoughts:
1.) Lead by example. As much as you want to protest to dh and call him a jerk, just keep calm, gentle and consistent with dh and dd.
2.) Be sympathetic. It sounds like your dh is trying to do right by his family. Assume positive intent. Quite honestly, in my opinion, you were disrespectful to dh by not supporting him.
3.) Step Away from the the Father-Child relationship. This one is so very difficult for me. Your dh is 50% of the parenting team. Let him figure out his parenting journey. Respect your dh and daughter enough not to save her from her father. Don't micromanage.
4.) Pray

Ok. That's my 2 cents. I had a lot to say on this subject, but lost the post.
I really, really feel for you. You will get through this. It will get better.
There's some great advice, but I have to disagree (respectfully!) with number three and the last sentence in part 2. I know that I could not bear to let my husband hold the door and lock our screaming child in a room. I agree that it's very helpful in this situation to assume positive intent--indeed, I'm quite sure that the op's husband believes that he's doing what is best. Yet it doesn't mean that the op should tolerate all of his choices. I started to think about what that means, that I know *I* wouldn't have been able to sit back and let my husband do that to my daughter, either (even if I believed he thought it was the best thing). What I concluded was that--yes, the father IS 50% of the parenting team. But each half has to agree on enough of the major issues to make up a cohesive whole. In other words, it just won't due to say, "Look, we totally disagree on our parenting philosophy so you raise our daughter how you think you should and I'll raise her how I think I should." If a couple are going to stay married and be the best parenting team that they can, they need to have at least something of a consensus when it comes to major parenting philosophies. And in this case, I'm on your side on this one, op.

My daughter is only 19 months so I haven't encountered these issues (and hopefully we won't!) but even now I notice differences in parenting styles. My husband is English and his parents were very "children should be seen and not heard," and believe that they could say "no" without having to give an explanation. My dh is NOT like that, but sometimes I see little things like what you said with your husband letting her start to play 20 minutes before packing up. Like my husband will say, "No!" when my dd wants to play with, like, his computer or something, and he'll just repeat this firmly if she keeps trying whereas I kind of think, if you don't want her playing with it, you shouldn't have it right out where she can get to it because it's too tempting and she's too young and she doesn't get why she can't. He'll do the same sometimes if he's eating like candy or something. Well, don't eat it in front of her if you don't want her having a meltdown that she can't have it! is what I think. I do try and point these things out to him.

Of course you can tell that I don't think for a second that you are going to be raising a brat. I know many of us were raised to believe in discipline and authority. But I think you are a sensitive, intuitive mother who creates rules and boundaries in a framework of respect for her child's feelings and experiences. KEEP IT UP!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by PluggingAway View Post
Ok. That's my 2 cents. I had a lot to say on this subject, but lost the post.
I really, really feel for you. You will get through this. It will get better.

when yo type a long response ...always copy it & then log back in. MDC times you out if you're inactive for too long. i've lost many posts too, and this is what i do to save my sanity!
 

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I agree that what your dh did when he locked your dd in her room was wrong. But stopping the story was fine in my opinion. She wasn't listening, and he gave her plenty of warning. He just followed through in an inappropriate manner. . And I'm willing to bet that your dh was upset with you for reading the book to her after he told her no more.

I do believe it's important to support our spouses in appropriate discipline. Do you disagree with the stopping of the story as well as the locking her in the room? Or did you just read the book to her to calm her down?

I would definately sit down with your dh and talk to him. Try to get on the same parenting page, because otherwise your dd will begin to play you two off of each other.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by elizawill View Post
when yo type a long response ...always copy it & then log back in. MDC times you out if you're inactive for too long. i've lost many posts too, and this is what i do to save my sanity!

Thank you so much!
 

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I'm just wondering, why is it important that she be calm while you're reading the story to her? It seems like she could listen and move around at the same time. Sometimes my ds seems like he's not paying attention to a book he gave me but if I stop reading it he'll give it to me again. Other times, if it seems like he's not listening I'll just stop reading it and he won't notice, so no big deal. Just curious about that. Maybe don't tell her you're going to stop reading, just stop and see if she notices. The other thing I was thinking is if you want her to be calmer and focus on the book, maybe moving to a less stimulating environment? Maybe she could have focused in a quieter room? It sounds like maybe she was too tired already to have a book read to her or maybe still hungry? Seems like she calmed down after she ate something. Anyway, those are my thoughts about maybe preventing it from escalating like it did.

I would have a hard time not intervening with my dh if he locked our child in his room like that, although I can see how he might feel undermined and disrespected. That's tough. I agree with pp's about trying to get him
to read some about gentle discipline. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk is good, Unconditional Parenting is also really good, especially for getting you to think about what your overall goal as a parent is. I've not read this, but hear that Playful Parenting is good and especially well received by dads. It sounds like you guys need to talk when calm and see if there are some compromises you can make. Maybe even take a parenting class together so the ideas are coming from a neutral third party.

I hope it gets better!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jjawm View Post
I agree that what your dh did when he locked your dd in her room was wrong. But stopping the story was fine in my opinion. She wasn't listening, and he gave her plenty of warning. He just followed through in an inappropriate manner. . And I'm willing to bet that your dh was upset with you for reading the book to her after he told her no more.
:
I sometimes intervene and take over when ds is in a bad mood and dh needs help and so does dh when I get short-tempered. Sometimes a calm person sees the situation differently. But I always enforce dh's decisions and don't overrule them (dh is very pro-GD as well).
 

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When I try to read my 3yo a story and he gets all goofy, it works better to respond to his need for a different type of togetherness. Maybe tickle him, play chase, get a ball... for a few minutes... then see if he's ready for a story. Too many times I got revved up for a time of togetherness on *my* terms and then got angry when he didn't "appreciate my effort"- then realized, the whole point was meaningful time together, not that a story be read. YKWIM?

DH and I have butted heads a lot regarding GD. I don't believe there is a pat answer for how to respond. I try to respect his parenting and not to interfere, realizing that I, too make mistakes and our whole family can still grow and learn from them. Sometimes, I can jump in and non-judgementally diffuse the situation, so I do. I think you have to use your intuition on a case by case basis. Both sides are valid- *he* is a parent learning his way; BUT, *you* are his helpmeet when he struggles.

How can you show him you value his involvement and find common ground in your discipline and desire for dd to learn to manage her emotions in a healthy way? Perhaps if you meditate on this question for a bit some inspiration will come to you. Perhaps if you asked him what his goals for your daughter's behaviour are, and you made a list of ways to help her achieve those goals after you agreed upon which ones were reasonable and age appropriate, he would feel that you *are* recognizing what he thinks is important for her to learn and have a plan.

For 3 yo tantrums, what has worked for me is...

lightening the mood. If he gets mad, I'll pretend to get mad too and over-exaggerate the problems in a silly but not mocking way.

sometimes we use puppets to talk about what is upsetting us and the puppets ask him for help fixing their problem- amazing how he can come up with great solutions!

if he is totally out of control (almost never), I put him in his room and say "you may come out when you are ready to talk"... but i don't lock him in. Sometimes he just needs a good cry and wants to be by himself. Just like me when I have PMS... =)

When my husband wanted to spank for tantrums, I asked him if, if he was feeling out of control and losing his temper, if someone hit him, would that help him to control himself? If it didn't give him tools to control his feelings, but did keep him from expressing them because he was afraid of spankings, would that encourage a connection between himself and the hitter or would it encourage distance?

The answers were so obvious to him, that he stopped threating to spank. I think the locked in the room scenario is similar.
 

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OP, you didn't state that you disagreed with the way your dh handled the story issue, but he could have (IMO) prevented the entire meltdown by not making an issue of her wiggling and assuming she didn't want to listen to the story. Sounds like there are way too many expectations/conditions on story time for a normal three year old.

Here are some things he could have said and done:
1. Put the book down and said (very gently), "Hey, let me know when you're ready to get back to the book".
2. "I can see that you need to get your wiggles out. Let's do that first and then finish the book".
3. "Are you tired of this book? Would you like something else?"

There are just so many ways to use this as a teaching moment for your dd by helping her figure out how to communicate her needs and not make it about what's "appropriate" or "acceptable" behavior. Too bad it ended the way it did, but really, how could it not? IMO, this story scenario ends one of two ways - with either a meltdown (at the worst possible moment of the day) or with a compliant/blindly obendient (and maybe ashamed) kid.

Oh, and FWIW, I'd totally be upset over the holding the door thing. I agree that parents *in theory* are 50/50 parenting team, but is that the real practice in your house? IOW, who is primarily responsible for day to day parenting, research, long-range strategy and truly knowing what works for your kid based on her individual personality? In my house, it's honestly 80% me and 20% my dh (we're both fine with that BTW).
 

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OP, hugs to you, I hope that you and your dh are in a better place, it really sounds like you are following your convictions. My ds is only 20 months old, so I am by no means a wise woman when it comes to this stuff, but the first thing I thought when I read your post was, why does it matter what your dd is doing while the story is being read? By that, I mean, was your dh's reaction a need for control (and how reasonable is that)? Does your dd get too riled up around bedtime, and needs help calming down? Does it matter if she jumps around while being read to?

There are times when my ds can sit and listen to me read for hours, and there are times when he brings me a book and then proceeds to jump all over me, but still seems to be listening, or really wants to do something else, no problem... It just seems like such an arbitrary thing to get upset about, and like a really futile kind of power struggle (unless you have a sort of system in place for unwinding, but even then, a bit of literal wiggle room couldn't hurt?) I guess that I agree more with the last 3 or so posters; maybe if your dh felt like he was working toward a solution instead of handling a problem, he would feel like he had more choices?

FWIW, I grew up in a Dr. James Dobson advised household, and I don't happen to be a fan, largely because I don't believe that some of the philosophies espoused are meant to recognize that you are dealing with a person. A small person. A person who may think s/he is invisible if their eyes are covered, but a person, nonetheless. And I feel that a number of the assumptions made by that philosophy are negative in that, the child's motivations are automatically assumed to be negative or "bad." Dd was jumping around and not listening (i.e., disobeying)--end of story time. There isn't any pause to consider if dd needed something (food? potty? snuggles? some playtime?), and how sad that what seems to be a prideful need for control can take priority over actually paying attention to your child. I don't have any suggestions for how to appeal to that philosophy specifically, except by example, and I'm sure that's hard to do if your dh is feeling like his role is challenged.

Please be patient with yourself and your dh, the example you set with him and with your dd may ultimately be your best form of communication. I really admire your gentleness and sense of perception. You mention that dh was on board with you until a few months ago, are you the one who spends more time with your dd? Is it possible that you have the relationship and foresight to see things like the incident at your IL's, and to dh, it wouldn't occur to him that it might be really hard on such a little one to have something new and interesting to do and then be told that it's time to clean up and go? Maybe he just isn't able to see how arbitrary things might be through your dd's eyes? Maybe he is less accustomed to dealing with a growing child with new and maybe to him more demanding behaviors? Maybe the anti-cio explanation--would you leave your grandmother (or other cherished but no longer independent family member) to cry/locked in a room/whatever, kind of analogy would be useful?

I hope that you are feeling more connected with your family and that you are all at peace with one another.
 

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Hi I haven't read all the responses but I have been thinking about your problem, I have experienced this so many times with my husband- I do believe you have to be united- and it is really hard when you are not.
We're going through it again with our teen son ~so I do know what a struggle it is.

I am sure in this instance that your dh is feeling that all dd needs to do is run to you- and not listen to him. So everyone is feeling badly. I cannot count the number of times I have been there.

I think that you need as many strategies as possible because nothing works with all children, all the time; and the key is to be clear on what your goals are and what you wish to teach your child.
These strategies can fit in with your core beliefs- but you need a bag of tricks to draw from.

I think that looking at the goal is important, in this instance, dh wanted to spend quality time with dd, the usual routine being to read a story....that was not working, so maybe a new strategy might be to offer to snuggle up and skip the book, maybe snuggle up and tell a made up story or a story about when he was a little boy or your dd was a baby, maybe sing, maybe be silent and let her talk... the important goal was father/daughter time before bed, reading a book is only one strategy to accomplish that

If she still acted up, maybe offering up a snack, to rule out a physical reason...if that did not work, then bed Period. "You must be soooo tired that you cannot remember how to behave (or you are cranky) sleep will help.. I love you. Goodnight"

Also, I see nothing wrong with one parent saying "this child is pushing every button I have, please take over" even if dd protests~ it is a logical, natural consequence that she must learn to deal with- if she treats people badly they will not want to spend time with her- it's a fact of life.
"Tomorrow you can try again with Daddy, but tonight it is not working. He'll come in to kiss you goodnight before you go to sleep"

Being able to play for "20 minutes" before leaving grandmothers- what should have happened?
That's a long time to do nothing, I would have let her play too and gave a 5 minute warning "Soon it is time to leave, you will need to pick up in 5 minutes" Or "we are leaving soon, I will let you take out this toy but you need to put it away when it is time to go" - set a timer if one is available and ".if you do not pick up I won't be able to let you play with this toy next time"
Also, there's a learning curve, we learn the most from our mistakes imo, and your dh may decide on his own never to take out a certain toy or activity lol... but there will come other days when your dd will not have enough time to play and better to learn now than to be forced to take her kicking and screaming from a friends house or some other more public place.

It is not going to kill your dd to be firm with her, it will be harder on her if she gets her way all the time.
You could talk about not doing that type of time out with dh, but you need to be open to some consequence for her misbehavior or you will end up with a tyrant (I know firsthand) Try to find some middle ground where she gets a consequence that you both can live with...maybe she can sit on the couch til she is in control

I think it is so easy to get polarized...and the child learns that they'll get away with it because mom and dad are too busy arguing about how to handle it ...btdt, and again, I am paying the price with my teen.

I wish we had been more proactive and figured things out beforehand more often, but kids can blind side you too. At least your dh is interested in learning parenting methods, I always get to hear how my dh's mom handled him lol

I try to bite my tongue when I disagree about discipline and it is HARD to wait and discuss it afterward0 and I certainly don't always succeed- but it's important.
Good luck
 

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Look at the steps in the dance you were doing:

Quote:

Originally Posted by festivefeet View Post
1 - Daddy reading a book to her when bedtime came.
2 - Daughter listening, but getting distracted.
3 - Daddy asked her to quietly listen to the story or they would have to be done and go to bed soon. Also asked if she wanted a different story.
4 - Daughter quiets. But then gets distracted again and starts goofing around on the couch and talking and interrupting. Normally an avid listener.
5 - Daddy then says. Okay well, it sounds like you don't really want to listen to the story tonight so it's time to go to bed.
6 - She pleads, no daddy, no daddy, I want to listen. Please read the story.
7 - He gives one more chance.
8 - She continues the goofy behavior.
9 - He then gives her the consequence of no more story. So he puts the book away.
Step 3: He told her the consequence of not listening.
Step 6: She invokes the consequence, and that's where he lost control.
Step 7: He gives her "one more chance". He told her what the consequences would be, and she had weasled out of them once, so why not twice ... pleading worked once, why not plead harder? Why not scream?

He's not following through with his consequences, and he's rewarding her for not listening. At Step 5, I would have closed and put away the book without saying anything and walked away or silently picked her up and put her in my PJs and into bed. Lesson: if you want to be read to, you have to listen, and it's not a negotiable issue.

Quote:
---------interjection of thought: Husband listened to a parenting session on focus on the family radio the last three days (don't even get me started on that) and the teacher (if you want to call him that), stated to put your child in their room when they are uncontrollably screaming in a tantrum and close the door and hold the door until they stop screaming.
Not a bad idea, except for the holding the door shut part. Placing a child in their room (not a coal cellar) and telling them to stay there until they feel they can talk in a civilized manner is not abuse. When they emerge, just ask, "Are you feeling civilized?" and give them a chance to prove it, and don't revisit why they went to their room.

My brother used that with his incredibly hot-headed and stubborn daughter (who was just like he had been at that age) until she learned to cool herself off. He'd just plop the screaming, writhing bundle of toddler on the rug and say "Please stay here until you can act civilized", walk out and close the door. And repeat as often as needed.

Quote:
I put her jammies on after some discussion. She is still upset at this point.
Took her upstairs with me. She sleeps in our room.
Offered her other stories to read. She was still upset and not listening.
So I put her in bed and told her it was time to go to sleep.
I of course spoke to her this whole time about her feelings, taking deep breaths and all of the rational methods of calming a child.
She then said she had to go potty.
We talked some more in the bathroom.
After that she calmed.
She told me her belly hurt, so I gave her a piece of bread with butter and some milk. We talked. Her calming but still huffing.
I read her a different story while she ate bread and she completely calmed down.
She then went upstairs with me and went right to sleep.
Look what she got rewarded by. Lots of mommy time, a snack AND a story. And having acquired what she wanted, she went to bed.

Toddlers learn by experience. They poke buttons and see what happens. If it's something good, they'll keep poking the buttons, and poking them harder to keep the good stuff coming and get more of it.

Toddlers are "pre-verbal". They don't have the vocabulary yet, or the mental capacity, to be self-analytic, analyze emotions, plan much or "discuss" consequences ... that shows up later. Physical discipline works: moving them into an acceptable area, walking away from them, using your body language and actions to convey what they don't have the capacity to verbally understand.
 
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