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<p>DH was fuming mad after Thanksgiving at his father's house.</p>
<p>DD(7) and DS(5) fought the whole time and he was very embarrassed.</p>
<p>They ran around and were not the charming children he would have liked to show off.</p>
<p>He said he is sick of me making excuses when they misbehave.</p>
<p>I think it was very boring and can understand why they were a bit unruly, but was also unhappy with their behavior.</p>
<p>DH kept saying he is so disgusted, I treat them like babies, they have no real consequences........ what I am doing is clearly NOT working. He said they need to think twice about what they say and do and the only way to ensure they do that is to come up with real consequences.</p>
<p>He wanted to keep them in their rooms the next day for the WHOLE day as a punishment.</p>
<p>I waited till the morning when he was more calm to talk about it. We agreed on a family meeting to discuss the good things and things that need improvement. Everyone got turns and it worked out very well.</p>
<p>The thing is; I know he is at the end of his rope with this. Our kids know they can let all their feelings out (which are sometimes in inappropriate ways) with out anything happening.</p>
<p>I'm starting to doubt that GD and explaining is working. The desire to do good is there, but the self control to actually do it is lacking.</p>
 

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<p>A holiday with family is a stressful time for adults, and is also a stressful time for kids, so if they acted up that day but usually behave generally OK, I wouldn't worry about that too much.  And being confined to their rooms for a day is not reasonable.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>You didn't give any specifics about their behavior in general, but a good resource for verbal children is How To Talk so Kids Will Listen.  The authors' last names are Faber and Mazlish, and there are even classes some places on how to implement what they recommend.  Here is their website if you're interested in checking that out: <a href="http://www.fabermazlish.com/" target="_blank">http://www.fabermazlish.com/</a></p>
 

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<p>Family gatherings can bring out the best and the worst IME.  I often plan ahead and bring stuff to entertain my kids if I think they'll be bored (or prone to go crazy-wild)  IMO even the best-behaved kids can't be expected to sit perfectly still all day.  Were there other kids to play with?  Was there stuff going on to hype them up?  How did you respond to their behavior?  What impact did it have?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>good luck!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>-Angela</p>
 

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<p>I think I would be at the end of my rope as well at those ages.  They are not toddlers or even preschoolers anymore and should have the ability to behave properly with very little verbal redirection.  I have  very active almost 5yo and a 7yos and they are quite able to be on their best behavior for special events, even ones not revolving around them.  I agree about being prepared with things to entertain them, but honestly I don't think that at these ages it is unreasonable to expect them to be behaved at a boring family dinner. </p>
 

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<p><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mom2happy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281968/is-this-where-gd-and-ap-have-gotten-us#post_16075737"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>The thing is; I know he is at the end of his rope with this. <strong>Our kids know they can let all their feelings out (which are sometimes in inappropriate ways) with out anything happening.</strong></p>
<p>I'm starting to doubt that GD and explaining is working. The desire to do good is there, but the self control to actually do it is lacking.</p>
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<br><br><p>Would you be willing to talk more about this? What exactly does this mean, that they can let out all their feelings, sometimes in inappropriate ways, without anything happening?</p>
 

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<p><br><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mamazee</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281968/is-this-where-gd-and-ap-have-gotten-us#post_16075769"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>A holiday with family is a stressful time for adults, and is also a stressful time for kids, so if they acted up that day but usually behave generally OK, I wouldn't worry about that too much.  And being confined to their rooms for a day is not reasonable.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>You didn't give any specifics about their behavior in general, but a good resource for verbal children is How To Talk so Kids Will Listen.  The authors' last names are Faber and Mazlish, and there are even classes some places on how to implement what they recommend.  Here is their website if you're interested in checking that out: <a href="http://www.fabermazlish.com/" target="_blank">http://www.fabermazlish.com/</a></p>
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<p><br><br>
The specifics were:</p>
<p>DD said she hated her brother in front of an aunt and uncle.</p>
<p>DS thinks he is a comedian and was being too silly during dinner. ( The aunts and uncle and grandparents were all laughing at every annoying thing he was saying, which of course encouraged him.)</p>
<p>DH and I were looking at him and saying, OK, that's enough. It was borderline obnoxious. He is 5 though, and a major entertainer. The excitement of the audience laughing was too much for him to resist.</p>
<p>They sat quietly through dinner (first course, meal, and than sat back down for dessert)</p>
<p>It was when they were unoccupied that they were on each others cases the whole time.</p>
<p>Running around and just acting crazy. They couldn't seem to get along at all.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Note* This is the most stressful side of our family and the only one DH cares to impress.</p>
<p>If it was SO important for them to be perfect he should have stated his expectations before we got out of the car.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I'm not embarrassed by their behavior, but far from proud of the way they were acting with each other.</p>
<p>Also, every time DH or I tried to set things straight, his father would say, "oh let them have a good time -that's what kids do."</p>
<p>It was an impossible situation. DH cant see that at all though.</p>
 

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<p>I don't blame your dh for being upset.  I'm glad the family meeting went well.  Honestly, I am going to ask this, and please don't be offended, but you do give consequences right?  I mean, not punishments but logical consequences?  For instance, let's use what you gave as the specific behaviors....</p>
<p> </p>
<p>DD saying she hates ds in front of aunt and uncle.  This I don't see as needing a consequence other than making sure dd understands fully what the word hate means, which isn't something that needs to be done immediately.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>DS being silly at the table.  I would have excused myself and him and then told him that I know the family is laughing but this behavior is not acceptable.  That we will remain in this room (where ever you take him) until he is willing to behave appropriately at the table.  Explain your expectations and make sure that if he starts up again when you return, that you immediately remove him and explain the expectations again and the fact that you are not going back to the table until you are willing to act appropriately.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Running around and acting crazy, well prevention is the best thing to do, but we are not perfect so we don't always prevent as well as expected.  I would simply have taken the children outside and stated my expectations for behavior in the house.  I would have also asked the grandparents if they had pens and paper so the kids had something to do inside.  Consequences would have been handed out such as removing the first one who disrupts and standing with them outside until they are ready to obey the rules inside. "rough play is for outside, not in the house.  When you are ready to obey the rules inside the house, then we will go back in".  I wouldn't care if it was cold outside, or raining (take an umbrella or raincoat and stand out there or anywhere there is an awning to stand under).</p>
<p> </p>
<p>GD is not about no consequences, it is about finding a consequence that will teach the child to deal with that situation better.  That is why stating that they hate their sibling is simply explaining to them what the word "hate" means and helping them find another word or phrase to describe their feelings.  Expressing feelings is fine, but they do need to do it in a respectful way.  Saying, "I hate Bobby" is not acceptable, saying "Bobby annoys me when he uses my barbie's head as a hand grenade" is appropriate. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>GD didn't create this situation, and it works well with consistency and thinking outside the box.  For instance</p>
<p> </p>
<p>DS kept slamming the screen door.  Literally, every time he came in or out, he would slam the door.  So, whenever he slammed the door, I made him either come back in or go back out and do it again properly.  He learned how to close the door after just a few times of that.  It is a consequence but it was something meant to teach not punish the behavior.  A punishment would have been grounding him for it, or time out, or yelling, berating, etc.  Learning that difference is extremely important.  DH was really concerned about GD because he thought it meant no consequences, when I explained it clearly to him and we brainstormed appropriate consequences for the problem behaviors he really got on board.  Maybe if you branstorm with your dh you two can come up with consequences that he feels are "real" but fit in the lines of GD.</p>
 
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<p>Hating your sibling isn't something I'd bother getting upset about.  Don't they all do that?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The acting up at dinner is rough if others were encouraging it.  Personally I would have used *the look* and *the tone* and said that behavior was to stop.  NOW.  And if that didn't work, removed the child to another room to chill out for a couple of minutes (if I felt that the behavior was truly inappropriate)</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I wonder if this is just different expectations though?  From your description it sounds like the other family members didn't have an issue with their behavior.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>-Angela</p>
 

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<p>Sounds like pretty typical behavior for kids that age to me. The fact that your dh is so desperate to impress these people with perfectly behaved kids that he wanted to lock them in their rooms for the whole next day is the biggest problem I see. That is completely unacceptable. Could the kids have behaved better, sure. But his problem seems to be about "what will others think" above anything else.</p>
 

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<p><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mom2happy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281968/is-this-where-gd-and-ap-have-gotten-us#post_16075968"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br>
The specifics were:
<p>DD said she hated her brother in front of an aunt and uncle. </p>
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<p> </p>
<p>I would have taken her aside, said "that's not appropriate. You were rude to your brother and used hurtful words. You are free to be angry, but you also need to be polite. How could you say this differently?" If she can't come up with some things, suggest a few and have her practice them with you, in private right then. Then send her on her way.</p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mom2happy</strong> <a href="is-this-where-gd-and-ap-have-gotten-us#post_16075968"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="../../../img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p>DS thinks he is a comedian and was being too silly during dinner. ( The aunts and uncle and grandparents were all laughing at every annoying thing he was saying, which of course encouraged him.)</p>
<p>DH and I were looking at him and saying, OK, that's enough. It was borderline obnoxious. He is 5 though, and a major entertainer. The excitement of the audience laughing was too much for him to resist.</p>
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<p>Take him out of the room, and say "that's not appropriate. What is polite behavior at the table? are you ready to go back in and be polite at the table?" Each and every time he starts up and it's too much, take him out. You can also try the line that I did for my kids "The first time it's funny, the second time it's mildly amusing, the third time it's annoying." For reasons I can't explain my kids think this is hysterical. It has, however, taught them not to tell the same joke/repeat the same line over and over and over and over again.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mom2happy</strong> <a href="is-this-where-gd-and-ap-have-gotten-us#post_16075968"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="../../../img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><p>They sat quietly through dinner (first course, meal, and than sat back down for dessert)</p>
<p>It was when they were unoccupied that they were on each others cases the whole time.</p>
<p>Running around and just acting crazy. They couldn't seem to get along at all.</p>
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<p> </p>
<p>What did you bring for them to do? What were you doing during this time? It really is on the <em>parents</em> to bring things to keep them entertained, especially when you're going to places where they are the only children. The 'deal' that dh and I have is that when we're visiting with his family, I run kid-interference. That means if they're getting restless, he gets to talk, I get to help them find something to do or take them out for a walk. The reverse holds at my family's.</p>
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<p>I agree that your dh should have set out the expectations ahead of time, but it doesn't sound like they were being bad. They were bored and doing what bored kids without something to do will do: running around and behaving inappropriately to get attention. Even though we bring games/toys, we often have to help the kids get started with an activity before we can step back to the adult conversation. My kids are 6 and 9 now, and it's getting better, but I still expect them to need attention.</p>
<br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Petie1104</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281968/is-this-where-gd-and-ap-have-gotten-us#post_16076075"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I don't blame your dh for being upset.  I'm glad the family meeting went well.  Honestly, I am going to ask this, and please don't be offended, but you do give consequences right?  I mean, not punishments but logical consequences?  <snip></p>
<p> </p>
<p>GD is not about no consequences, it is about finding a consequence that will teach the child to deal with that situation better.  That is why stating that they hate their sibling is simply explaining to them what the word "hate" means and helping them find another word or phrase to describe their feelings.  Expressing feelings is fine, but they do need to do it in a respectful way.  Saying, "I hate Bobby" is not acceptable, saying "Bobby annoys me when he uses my barbie's head as a hand grenade" is appropriate.</p>
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<p> </p>
<p>I agree very much. You may have been doing a lot, and that's the source of your frustration, but I didn't see where you posted what you did to teach your children that their behavior was inappropriate. It's great that your kids can express their feelings. They now need to learn the socially acceptable ways of expressing them, and socially acceptable behaviors. They're young, they've got a lot of time to learn. But first you have to figure out what they need to learn (i.e. what's behavior that needs correcting and what you're willing to let go) and when you need to intervene.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I second the recommendation for 'How to Talk...."</p>
<p> </p>
<p>You also need to practice appropriate behaviors in low stress situations before trying enforce the rules in a high stress situation. Almost any big family get together is a high stress situation, even if you love your family and get along great. The added eyes and potential judgment of you as a parent adds to your stress. So, <em>you</em> need to practice your responses a lot before you go. The side benefit of this is that you're kids will learn the expectations too.<br>
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<p>It sounds like they weren't being too naughty if the grandparents were trying to intervene when you guys redirected them.  Kids do obnoxious things in front of company no matter how you raise them and it sounds like the company you were with understood this.  In fact, the grandparents may have thought you two were being to hard on them and stifling them too much because grandparents are funny that way, my mom and dd's other grandparents often think I shouldn't get upset about things my dd does that they would have flipped their top over when raising their own kids.  I think you should point that out to your dh and then work together to set clearer expectations and follow through by removing them from situations they can't handle appropriately.  I don't think that gd means that you let your children behave in inappropriate ways, it may mean that they leave an activity because their inappropriate behavior is disruptive to others or they go in their room where you don't have to hear their high pitched screaming fit about how unfair it is that you don't spend the food money on all the toys they want (or whatever unfair thing it is you do that makes sense to you but not them) and they have a follow up discussion that validates their feelings and allows them to come up with other ways they could have expressed that emotion that don't disrupt others.  I really like the How To Talk series of books and the Raising a Thinking Preteen book (by another author who also does Raising a Thinking Child).</p>
 

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<p>I like what Lynn had to say but just a few things...</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Is there a history with your DH and your discipline approach? Because it sounds a bit like he's criticizing you, but aren't you both equally responsible? Has he been talking with you about this? I like that he backed down and you had a family meeting. I think that's great. But something is off if he sees your joint parenting as your fault.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I think it's understandable that he would be nervous in some situations, but there are better ways to address it at the start. He could have shared with both kids that he was hoping for really excellent company manners and laid out the expectations on the way over. That said, you say "the self control is lacking."  These are probably good ages to start talking to your kids about that. Maybe you could have a secret signal for your kids to remind them to rein in their behaviour, or ask them to come up with strategies. "("If I get bored I will...get my craft project out from the car.")</p>
<p> </p>
<p>And I do think it helps to practice, so maybe make some family meals or restaurant trips or trips to other people's houses practice runs, really openly with your kids. "Let's practice our company manners today."</p>
 

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<p>A couple of thoughts for the next gathering -</p>
<p> </p>
<p>1) Do set out the expectations ahead of time.</p>
<p>2) Decide on a reasonable amount of time for your visit (something you think the kids can handle) and talk to the kids ahead of time about how long they have to be on "good behavior" and then leave at the appointed time. </p>
<p>3) Bring games, a movie, electronic devices, or whatever will entertain them.  Check ahead of time to see if their is a bedroom or den where you can set them up on their own with a movie.</p>
<p>4) Be prepared to stop visiting to play a game with your kids and give your DH time to visit.   Invest time toward individual attention for your kids -- it will relax them and pay off in terms of reducing their anxious (obnoxious) behavior.</p>
<p>5) Bundle up, step outside to take a walk with the kids if they are restless. </p>
<p>6) Remember to take your child out the room and away from the audience to redirect them.  Every time.</p>
<p>7) DH needs to think hard about why its so important to him to make a good impression with these relatives.  It may be that he wants their approval, and using his kids to gain that approval is not really fair to the kids.   The stress of needing to satisfy unmet psychological needs for their Dad will make them restless, anxious, uncomfortable and more likely to misbehave.</p>
 

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<p>What time did you leave to get to the dinner? (and more importantly, how much sleep did the kids get the night before?)</p>
<p>Did you have a long car drive to get to the event?</p>
<p>Was there tension/stress getting out the door?</p>
<p>Did the kids fall asleep in the car, and need to be woken up upon arrival?</p>
<p>How long were you there?</p>
<p>By the time dinner was served, had it been a long time since the kids had eaten?</p>
<p>Do your kids have any kind of food sensitivities?</p>
<p>Were they in a "no" environment, and by that I mean there wasn't anything that they were allowed to do except sit?</p>
<p>Did they have other things to do?</p>
<p>Were people drinking or smoking?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Obviously, your DH was experiencing stress over the visit in advance.  And there was also the conflict of expectations- between you and your DH, between you two and DH's various family members.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I'm just wondering if unrealistic expectations are in play here.  For some people, a family dinner is 30 minutes away, and lasts 2-3 hours.  For others (such as our family), a family dinner meant driving a MINIMUM of 2 hours each way, and "dinner" was all day.  Throw in a few other "not so great" issues, and my kids were not always as well behaved as they could have been.  But in the big picture, they frequently did well for whatever else they were dealing with.</p>
 

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<p>It sounds like the only one who really thought your DC were misbehaving was your DH. It's sounds like his family was enjoying their company including the silliness. Maybe they needed some things to do. We always bring toys or movies when we go to relatives for a visit. The fighting is really normal, but you could have some rules about fighting in public. Your DH needs to have more realistic expectations and maybe needs to worry less about what people think.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Arduinna</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281968/is-this-where-gd-and-ap-have-gotten-us#post_16076135"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Sounds like pretty typical behavior for kids that age to me. The fact that your dh is so desperate to impress these people with perfectly behaved kids that he wanted to lock them in their rooms for the whole next day is the biggest problem I see. That is completely unacceptable. Could the kids have behaved better, sure. But his problem seems to be about "what will others think" above anything else.</p>
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<p><br>
I think that's what bothered me as well, the fact that he wanted the kids in their rooms for the whole day for what? For acting like kids ? </p>
 

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<p><em>The following is exaggerated to make my points clear, but not intended to imply anything about you, op, or your family. I've written principally, but used your info as data for the arguments I'm making. I also understand that you are struggling and you and your dp are not at this point very clear about how you want to communicate as a family about conflicts that arise between your members, so this is not meant to indict you at all; it's just the most accurate way I could think of at the moment to express it.</em></p>
<p> </p>
<p>What I don't understand is the unnamed alternative when gentle discipline isn't "working." What are you going to do? Anything you choose to do to or with your children is going to require at least as much consideration, analysis and understanding from your children in order to "work", but the less opportunity you afford your children to work through your life together, gently, the longer you will have the same issues. So, for example, you could punish your child instead of explaining why it's not okay to act obnoxiously in company, but this still requires that the child recognise specifically the behaviour that you deem obnoxious (by what means? Are you really not going to explain it to him?), then reason that if he does it, you will hit him/put him in his room/take away things he values/etc....</p>
<p> </p>
<p>You are no further ahead by not engaging your children: the same processes and mechanisms are required for them to determine whether or not they are behaving in a beneficial way, what you approve, and what the consequences are. Without gd, though, you just make their options and, consequently, their world, a little or a lot smaller.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My favourite question to people who punish is: "Does it work?" Inevitably, they say, "Yes, of course." My reply: "So you only had to do it the once, then."</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The point is that punishment is a <em>false economy</em> (except in specific circumstances and only pertaining to adults, not children). What you punish, you have neglected to adequately or clearly identify as a problem and then to add insult to injury, you also neglect to solve the problem. So the children behaved in a way you didn't enjoy. Then they are forced to stay in their room all day, apart from you, feeling rotten and unloved. Problem solved? Hardly. You could do this until they're grown, but it still wouldn't ever become the solution to a problem. But the worst part of this is that no problem has been clearly, rationally defined. "I don't like how you behaved today" is not even close to adequate for the conclusion of a discussion, let alone instruction in what to do and not to do, which doesn't even address the underlying issues related to reasonable expectations according to realistic standards for either the children, or you and your dp.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>You are no further ahead by quitting <em>gentle discipline</em>, which just means a willingness to act compassionately while guiding one's children to adulthood. I cannot see how that wouldn't "work", unless there is a faulty underlying premise such as defining "work" as <em>that which gives me veto power and fear-evoked appearance of respect.</em> I am assuming you would prefer the former, which is why you have been gently disciplining to begin with.</p>
 

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<p>OP I have to agree with others above that the real issue here is not the behavior of your kids but instead the reaction of your DH.  Why on earth is he using his children as, I dunno, trophies (?) to impress his relatives?  That is not cool, and it puts way too may of his issues on the back of his children.  Secondly why is he on your case for their behavior?  Is he not equally their parent?  That sounds like a very unhealthy dynamic, both in his expectations for them and his blame towards you.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My god if adults were expected to act perfectly at family parties my family would all stay at home.</p>
 

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<p><br><br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Arduinna</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281968/is-this-where-gd-and-ap-have-gotten-us#post_16076135"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Sounds like pretty typical behavior for kids that age to me. The fact that your dh is so desperate to impress these people with perfectly behaved kids that he wanted to lock them in their rooms for the whole next day is the biggest problem I see. That is completely unacceptable. Could the kids have behaved better, sure. But his problem seems to be about "what will others think" above anything else.</p>
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 He has never been so angry about their behavior before and my assumption is that he must have been embarrassed.</p>
<p>The biggest problem is his initial reaction to me, when they misbehave. He came from an abusive home and thinks the punishments he would give are mild.</p>
<p>He feels that I undermine what his "style of discipline" would be.</p>
<p>He really is NOT a show offie person at ALL. I was really upset when I typed the first post. He would NEVER use the kids to impress.</p>
<p>It just so happens that his father and wife are the only ones he is tense around, so his reaction to the behavior was from a heightened awareness of every little naughty thing.</p>
<p>The problem is; he knows nothing about child psychology and thinks I constantly make up excuses for their behavior.</p>
<p>I have been trying to get him to read some of the 25 or so books I have read over the years. He doesn't think it's necessary.</p>
<p>His idea of keeping them in their rooms all the next day was all hot air anyway. I know he would never do it even if I agreed to it. He just talks before he thinks (which is another problem)</p>
<p>I wouldn't care if he said to the kids he FELT like keeping them in their rooms after the way they behaved. Instead he blamed me for not keeping them in line.</p>
<p>It was IMPOSSIBLE to keep them in line with what I talked about in my second post going on.</p>
<p>We had the family meeting the next day and wound up having a nice weekend. One night though, I was nursing the baby and the other ones were not listening to him when he told them it was bedtime. He read them stories- did all the right things. He couldn't understand why they wouldn't listen. He decided somehow that it was my fault. That night went badly because I was not putting up with that again. I am going to have to insist that he read at least one book because he is so out of order.</p>
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