Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by rob#30, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. rob#30

    rob#30 hangin in there

    OK, difficult child stole $100 from SO. We caught him 2 weeks ago and obviously hes grounded, no Xbox, no cell phone. Well, SO thinks thats not good enough and wants me to un-hook all cable tv from him. Keep in mind, he's home all day, calling me non-stop. If hes got no tv, well do I really have to explain?? So now, SO decides to wait until I leave for work & un-hook all the cable from all the tv's in the house. I am sorry but, I am the one who is going to suffer from this! SO is freaking out on me now telling me that I never punish difficult child, he gets away with everything blah, blah, blah... Its like a power struggle. I am the bio parent, I think it is my decision how to punish difficult child, any input???
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It is YOUR decision - unless you had a differnet agreement made between you two. Maybe that is what you need. Clear directions on where SO stands and what he can or can not do.

    Can you have difficult child call SO at work? I would be giving out his phone# pretty quick if I were you! LOL!
  3. rob#30

    rob#30 hangin in there

    thanks busywend, I feel like I am constanly in between them. I could give difficult child so's # but he would never call him. Wouldnt that be nice, I bet he hook that cable right back up!!:D
  4. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Rob, I don't get the SO's mentality (maybe I'm reading it wrong? Not a first time for me! :redface:).

    I'm under the impression that you guys caught him 2 weeks ago and the punishment was put in place. Why is he changing the rules now?

    Sorry! I'm confused!

  5. rob#30

    rob#30 hangin in there

    Nvts, I dont get his mentality either?? I think whats going on is that SO is soooooo angry & feels that I am not taking it seriously enough. It started when SO came home last week to find difficult child lounging on the couch watching the 48" flat screen with his feet up. SO is like "some freakin punishment" We have never agreed on discipline. So is 43 & we just had a daughter. Hes a brand new parent, has NO IDEA how to discipline other than just yelling & swearing & then giving cold shoulder. I think its that I am upset about the problems that difficult child has that led him to steal. SO is just plain mad & problem just wants his $$ back!!
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    A few thoughts here:

    First, you should decide the consequences in your house because you're the parent. However, if SO were a store that difficult child stole from, the store would decide the consequence. Maybe SO is getting stuck in that mentality since it was his money. I'm not saying that's right -- just that this may be what's he's feeling.

    Second, to my way of thinking, any consequence should be related to the misbehavior and reasonable (appropriate to the needs of the situation). Any consequence that affects you in such a negative way is not reasonable, in my humble opinion. And the consequence you chose is not related to the "crime" because it has nothing to do with stealing money.

    Third, a related and reasonable consequence for stealing money from SO is to have difficult child work to pay it back. Not only will this make SO feel better, but I think it's more of a learning experience for difficult child than banning all his screen time. Plus you'll get an awful lot of manual labor out of difficult child to work off $100.

    Good luck.
  7. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    The only thing is that it doesn't seem fair to keep making up the consequenses as it goes along.

    I think before I rushed to consequenses when it comes to issues surrounding SO (his money), when I caught difficult child I'd tell him to go to his room so that you can decide his punishment. Then I'd sit down and rationally discuss it with SO. As the wronged party, he'd probably feel better having some form of input. The best thing is that difficult child wouldn't be dividing and conquering and the two of you would have time to decide what would be best.

    SO's feelings are probably hurt feeling that you're not supporting him in this issue (males = broody & sullen females = address it now!).

  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm disturbed that SO is 43 (he's not a kid) and thinks that discipline (whether or not he's never had a child before) means yelling, swearing and getting PO'd if he doesn't think the punishment fit the crime two weeks later. Is he a positive force in your son's life? Is he always this way?
    I know what I'd do because I"m headstrong and not easily intimidated. I'd tell him that this is MY child and I'm in charge of his consequences (I actually had this arrangement with my hub when we first got married, and it really worked out well). If he can't deal with difficult child better than he is, I don't think you have a choice other than to take the child's discipline out of his hands. Does he not have a job (SO?) Why is he home all day? Is this good for your son?
    I would refuse to take calls from home and let SO deal with this child. I do think the two of your could really use couple's counseling. It doesn't sound like a really healthy relationship, and who knows how he treats your son when you aren't there? Good luck.
  9. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    If SO is reacting because it was HIS $$$, than he is being very selfish and does not have difficult child's interest at heart. Sounds like he and difficult child do NOT get along and they are BOTH pushing each other's buttons and running to you when the fall out starts.

    SO like so many others does not understand that the normal disciplining does not work with difficult child's they just don't get it. Unplugging t.v. has nothing to do with stealing when done out of anger. SO is making this too personal - "You took MY $$$" is different than "You took $$$$, regardless of whose, you need to ......." And even if difficult child did take it because it was SO's, difficult child is a child and needs to learn that taking anything from anyone is wrong - he does not get in trouble just because it was SO's but because the action was wrong.

    Punishment for the sake of disciplining does not work - Disciplining for the sake of learning is the goal. Now how to get SO to see that?

    How old was difficult child when SO came into the picture? I know some couples keep the SO from disciplining for the purpose that it does come across way too harsh - it is like SO and difficult child are fighting for the male role in the house - SO wants to show his authority but needs to earn that respect which is hard when difficult child has already shut him out just because he has entered the house and will not give SO a chance to show they can get along?

    It is hard to get all adults in the house on the same page on discipline at times. difficult child has picked up that you and SO do not agree and that spurs his disrespect toward SO. You are in a vicious cycle.

    Somehow, you need to get difficult child and SO comfortable with each other. Do more family events where they spend good times together. Ask SO to let you handle the disciplining for now until he gets the respect he needs from difficult child. Once difficult child likes him, he will not need to get angry so often.

    I am sorry if I am way off base on this. So, if this does not fit your situation, no hard feelings in telling me so - it is just what I pick up from the little piece of the picture you have given - maybe if I saw more, I would have a different input.
  10. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I'm of a slightly different school of thought on this.
    I will agree that since the child is "yours", you do have final say on punishment, etc. husband and I reserve the right to veto each other based on this principal in our own house. HOWEVER - I dropped the "mine" mentality when husband moved in. He is the only father figure my kids have, and I beleive it is more imortant to display a united front than it is to worry about who's kid is who's. He has full "disciplinarian access" to "my" kids, as I do to "his" - any disagreements are worked out in private and the reasons for any changes are never credited to "he/she went to far with "my" kid".
    Everyone in our house knows the story of where they came from and why. They know bio's are out there, etc, but we dropped "step" from our family's daily vocab early on. Everyone belongs here - no one more so than another, which is a connotation "step" conjures up, so we just dropped it. We're a family. Period. If anyone wants detailed dynamics, we'll talk.
    And PS - it doesn't always work perfectly, but this is the principal we try to follow and the goal we're working towards.
    That said, I think SO is taking it too far with the cable tv since it impacts you. If he wants to dish that out, let him enjoy the consequences of it and take difficult child's calls all day. But in a case like this, I'd probably let SO handle the punishment altogether and encourage him to put difficult child to work for him, repaying the stolen money (and pay by the job. not the hour) or pawn the games to get SO's money and let difficult child earn them back. I'd also think about calling the local sheriff and asking if someone had time to swing by and chat with difficult child.