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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dh and I are for the most part on the same page on what is allowed and what isn't.. But he's not home all day, and isn't always in the loop on what I let ds do and what I don't. Then he'll say something is okay or not okay that goes against what I have said. And I'm not sure what to do. Most often it's dh telling ds not to do something that I have allowed.

For instance: Today ds was putting his little stuffed cat in the branches of the x-mas tree, then taking him out and playing with him. Back and forth. I didn't really think twice about. Dh comes home, sees ds do this, and tells him not to, because he is afraid that ds will grab the branches as he is taking the cat out and pull the tree over. Tells him that the tree isn't for playing.

So now am I supposed to enforce a rule I don't agree with when dh isn't home? I think it's confusing that certain things are allowed when daddy isn't home and certain things when he is. But I don't want to be correcting dh in front of ds either. And dh can't be expected to always check with me first before saying something to ds. So what do I do when this happens?
 

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Really, I don't know. My boys are much older than your kiddos and this still happens at my house. My dh is far more regimented and controlling (although still not extreme by any means) than I am.

Unfortunately, my kids have just learned not to do certain things when their dad's home. I'm not going to spend my days bickering over things that I don't find important.
 

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When we have this situation, I always (or almost always) say what I have (or haven't) been letting DD do (and why). We then discuss it and come to some agreement about what we're going to do... If one of us feels really strongly about an issue, we usually go with that feeling. I guess I don't think of it as correcting DH in front of a child... I see it as working together as a team to make sure that we're consistent (and on the same page, at least as much as that's possible).

I do think it would be confusing to a child to have the rules enforced only some of the time...
 

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When my dh and I have this issue, we talk about our respective positions and decide together how we are going to handle it. And I absolutely enforce what my dh wants, even if he's not home and even if I don't agree with him (if we have talked about it and have reached that compromise). It would be disrespectful to my dh and confusing to my children if I allowed things during the day that Daddy doesn't allow in the evening. I have found that sometimes I settle into the mindset of "I take care of the kids, I get to decide," and I know that is wrong, so I actively work to support dh's positions even if I might not always agree.

When my kids are older and understand more that Momma and Daddy can have different opinions, I will be more inclined to let them do things when Daddy's not home that they wouldn't do when Daddy is home. Right now, though, that would just be confusing and inconsistent for them.

Namaste!
 

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We try to be on the same page as much as possible. Even at nearly age 5, our son will sometimes ask one of us to do something and then ask the other if the first person says no to see if he can get a yes. We are wise to this scheme.

When we have an issue that we don't really agree on, we discuss it and try to come to an agreement. Even if we don't agree, we present a united front to our son on the issue. For instance, if I have said he can do something, but his dad doesn't think it's a good idea, he will go with me, but we will talk about it in private later.

The key is to be consistent. I think that if you aren't consistent, you are setting yourself up for big problems later.
 

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Once again on MDC, I thought I had a good contribution based on the thread title and am stumped now that I've read the post.

That is a tough one. Honestly, DH and I would probably debate it right there with DC watching, listening and taking notes. I haven't thought much about it but it feels 'okay' to me to do this.

If we can't come to an agreement we usually decide that it will be fine when DH is with her and not fine when I'm there or something. We'll just tell DC that it's okay Dad/Mom and not with us and she deals with that generally well.

Lots of other times we just have the primary caretaker of the moment make the decision. This has helped lots, I must say...no more, "Go ask your mother."

We also have a few things that the other parent is better with. DH moderates the TV and videos because I don't even use them with DC. I sometimes let him know how many treats she can have based on her diet that day...stuff like that. I usually do sleep because I'm more in tune with that. Dh often is the 'yes' man when giving in is the better choice because I feel more inclined to not give in to some things.

I don't know if this is in the least bit helpful...
 

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Like pp's I would discuss it with dh, though not in front of the kids if I could help it. I would tell dc that daddy feels differently about this than mommy so until we talk about it s/he shouldn't touch the tree.

For dh and I, we tend to bend to whomever feels more strongly about the issue. A prime example is what is known in our house as "the splenda issue." I feel very strongly that our kids not get anything with splenda (or any artificial sweeteners for that matter) whereas dh doesn't see what the big deal is. Dh deferred to me on this matter because I feel very strongly and he doesn't really care. For my part, dh feels strongly about table manners whereas I'm much more laid back. So we enforce manners at meals, particularly dinner, b/c it's important to dh - and probably good for the kids, too.


Fortunately there has not yet been an issue where we are firmly on opposite sides of the fence. If something comes up I have faith we'll find a compromise.

IMO, one thing I would not do is "it's okay to do with mommy but not with daddy." To me, that just sets the child up to play one parent off the other. I think it's different when parents are separated/divorced and maintain separate households, but in the same house I think the rules should be consistent between parents.
 

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This happens with us quite often, as DH is much more restrictive than I am and tends to say no before he thinks about things.

It can be frustrating, because I am not lenient by any means, so it's not as though I'm letting my daughter swing from the chandelier.

I know how detrimental it is to their relationship (DH and DD's, that is) for me to "correct" him and undermine him, so I try to stay out of it if I'm not in the room. If DD asks me about it later, I might tell her that Mommy and Daddy have different ideas about what is safe and/or appropriate at times and she just needs to respect the decision of the person she is with. If I am in the room, I will negotiate with him in front of her. I don't think that's such a bad thing for her to witness. I'm careful not to always let Mommy's rule win, though, and to sometimes say, "Hmm, you know, I never really thought of that, but it makes sense...let's follow Daddy's rule about that."

With a child who is old enough not to take advantage, negotiating in front of them is probably good for them! I figure it shows them that rules do exist for a reason but they can be interpreted differently and they can be challenged.

Overall, though, on the big issues, we do try to present a united front!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dharmamama
When my dh and I have this issue, we talk about our respective positions and decide together how we are going to handle it. And I absolutely enforce what my dh wants, even if he's not home and even if I don't agree with him (if we have talked about it and have reached that compromise). It would be disrespectful to my dh and confusing to my children if I allowed things during the day that Daddy doesn't allow in the evening.
This is basically what we do also. Often we don't find out we disagree until one of us tells the kids it's okay/not okay to do something. When that happens we back each other up at the moment and in front of the kids, then discuss it between ourselves in private later (assuming it's important). Here's an example: I used to let the kids jump on the bed during the day because I felt it was safe-our bed consists of two mattresses together on the floor. At some point the kids jumped on the bed when he was home and he said no. I said "listen to daddy. He said no jumping on the bed." Later we talked-dh strongly felt that jumping on the bed was dangerous, so I agreed there would be no more jumping on the bed. (And wouldn't you know, not two weeks later ds started jumping on the bed, fell off, and chipped his tooth and got a fat, bloody lip.) There have been issues where my preferences stand, and issues where we have had to compromise, find a middle ground.

If it's something like dh just said they could have a cookie and I walk in and say no, then dh says "I just said yes" and his yes stands unless there's a very compelling reason. Likewise if he just said "no cookies" and the kids ask me and I say yes because I didn't know they already asked, when I find out he already said "no" then his "no" stands. If in the same examples I was the first to answer, my answer would stand. We're running into this kind of thing more often, as the kids learn to go ask the other parent when they don't get what they want from the first one. Now we try to remember to ask "did you say they could have/do 'x'?"

I have always believed this: each parent will interact with the kids differently, will parent in their own unique way, but when it comes to the "biggies"-rules and expectations with regard to health, safety and appropriate conduct-parents are most effective when they have found a way to be in agreement. So we ask ourselves "is it a biggie or a smallie?" and then if it's a biggie we'll work on reaching an agreement, and if it's a smallie we might just let it go and let Daddy do it one way and Mommy do it another.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sledg

I have always believed this: each parent will interact with the kids differently, will parent in their own unique way, but when it comes to the "biggies"-rules and expectations with regard to health, safety and appropriate conduct-parents are most effective when they have found a way to be in agreement. So we ask ourselves "is it a biggie or a smallie?" and then if it's a biggie we'll work on reaching an agreement, and if it's a smallie we might just let it go and let Daddy do it one way and Mommy do it another.
This is the crutch of the issue for me. The big ones are something that I feel really strongly about but the little things ~ I can't see a big problem with parents having different perspectives. But, the 'big stuff' is so non-negotiable to me that we don't talk much about it to tell you the truth.

I've thought more about talking in front of my child and some strong feelings came up...

I'm careful to have my child's best intentions in mind when I parent. This is parenting based on the best possible outcome rather than on the worst. This means that I view the way experiences any disagreements between her father and me as a positive thing. I try not to worry that she'll use this against us because she *wants* to be a positive person. I feel she will learn about communication, love and individuality from seeing us debate. She'll see that I respect her father (and him, me) and that both of us care deeply for her and have our own contribution to her life.
 

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My DH and disagree on loads of small things, but not big things. My kids have understood this since they were really little. The toy in the x-mas tree would drive DH crazy and wouldn't bother me at all. One the other hand, Daddy takes them out for ice cream often


It hasn't had any sort of negative impact on the kids. We also don't punish, so the worst thing that happens is that daddy says, "hey, stop playing with the tree" or mom says, "no, you don't need ice cream. Let's have some nice carrot sticks."

About enforcing the rule while Daddy is gone -- I would talk to DH when the kids were not around about the rule if I thought it was really silly OR I would gently remind the kids of the rule by saying something like "remember daddy pointed out last night that could be dangerous." I try not to do anything to undermine my DH's relationsip with the kids. I think it is important that they respect him -- he is a great guy who loves them very much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the input. I think I will definitely try to address it with dh when I hear it happening. The biggest challenge will be doing this and not having it turn into an argument. I don't mind discussing things in front of ds, but I don't want to him to see me fighting with dh over the house rules, you know?

Oops, baby is stirring. Please keep sharing your ideas for handling these kinds of situations. It's so helpful to hear how everyone else does things.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by oceanbaby
Thanks for all the input. I think I will definitely try to address it with dh when I hear it happening. The biggest challenge will be doing this and not having it turn into an argument.
This sounds familiar. My DH is very sensitive about being "undermined" in front of DS. What I intend as a mere comment he hears as a criticism so it is important to phrase it carefully. And to listen to and consider his explanation. Fathers get left out of so much in parentling that they can feel like the assistant parent, not qualified to make decisions. As others have said, if it's a smallie, let it go and back him up.
 

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You could also think about whether or not DH feels empowered as a parent. I know that before DC was about 3 DH did feel like the 'secondary' parent. Now that he feels more equal to me we can debate without all that. That's another reason that debating in front of DC feels so healthy for us...it's a sign that dad and mom are both here help guide her.
 
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