Lack of consistency

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, May 6, 2007.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    husband doesn't get it. He totally clueless.
    After I spent the night at a friend's house because of the chaos and lack of respect here, we had a family mtng last night. I told everyone that this is it. You respect me now or there is no 2nd chance.

    This a.m., difficult child wakes up in a foul mood (as usual).
    husband calls on his way home from the gym to p/u easy child and difficult child for church. I had forewarned him on the ph that difficult child was in a very bad mood and wouldn't get out of bed. By the time husband got here, difficult child was actually up and at the table, eating (after having yelled at me and called me an idiot). I had placed strawberries, turkey bacon, juice and difficult child's pill in front of him. He refused to take the pill.
    husband stormed in like Mr Mean Guy, stalked up to the table and said, "Take your pill."
    difficult child: "I want cereal."
    Me: "No."
    husband: "Okay, what kind do you want?"


    We've got an appointment. with-Dr. Riley on Mon. As usual, easy child, difficult child, and I will be there. husband has a full schedule at work.
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Consistency is required. So sorry husband doesn't realize this.

    Any chance of him taking some parenting classes? If not, I wouldn't expect anything to change.

    How frustrating this must be for you.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    There MAY be a middle ground here, but again, you and husband have to be on the same page. Here's how the conversation could go:

    husband: "Take your pill."
    difficult child: "I want cereal."
    husband (or you): "As soon as you take your pill, I'm happy to get you some cereal."

    As hard as it is, try to avoid using the word no. It's not liable to get you what you want and very likely to cause a meltdown. The conversation above sets up a time progression and gets you both what you want. It's a win-win situation.

    Good luck. I know this stuff is not easy.

  4. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    husband: "Take your pill."
    difficult child: "I want cereal."
    husband (or you): "As soon as you take your pill, I'm happy to get you some cereal."

    I would try something like this

    While you take your pill, I will be happy to get you some cereal.

    I don't want my statement to be conditional , a source of conflict , something that gets in the way of the real reason for taking a pill or eating cereal.

    Consistency is important when using behavior mod , a rat gets confused when he is rewarded/ punished inconsistently.

    Gordon Thomas - author of Parent Effective Training describes as a perfevtably normal and effective negotiation or problem solving strategy , when the second parent steps in. husband does not have the emotional baggage or the disadvantage of being in a conflict , he comes in independently and is in a better position to make progress . If a second negotiator gives in on a certain issue , it does not undermine the ist negiotiator. If one sees the kid as the enemy , I can understand why a united front, the parents against the kid is so important
    Terry , in my humble opinion your husband is not clueless .
    I hope things get easier

  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Allan, I borrowed my wording from Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen. She argues that it's not the same as "If ... then," but more of a "When . . . then." A time progression rather than a conditional statement. Maybe we're splitting hairs -- I actually think we have a similar thought about the conflict.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Either way, I have to talk to husband.
    Thank you.
  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Terry, I mean no offense to this. But, why did difficult child have these breakfast items in front of him if this is not what he wanted? Do you prepare a breakfast meal all the time and everyone gets whatever it is that you made? I am just trying to learn why he had items he did not want.

    I am sensing that perhaps you are trying to be too rigid for a difficult child way of thinking. I am not saying husband is right - he may be too lenient. But, either way you both have to figure out which way is best. Are you prepared to try it DHs way for a bit to see if it works?
    It might be necessary for you both to parent out of your comfort zone - it is VERY hard to do.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Actually, he lOVED what I gave him. In fact, he ate his strawberries AND his sister's bowl, too.
    Does that clarify?

    Yes, after reading your note and Allan's, I will try letting husband walk in and just "do it his way" and stand back. We can work toward the goal of doing it together one day at a time.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, difficult child ate the turkey bacon, too. I left the burned bacon on a china plate and forgot about it when easy child called to have me pick her up... so the dog got the burned bacon... and broke the good plate. :frown:
    As you can see, I'm not a good cook. Nor a good dog trainer. :crazy2:
  10. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am glad you are open to trying new ways. It is almost essential with a difficult child. Even if you find something that works - it might only work for 2 months. It is a constant re-evaluation process. It really kinda stinks!

    Be sure to know that I in no way said what husband does is correct. It is different than what you are trying right now. It seems to get a better reaction from difficult child. Again, that could end tomorrow.

    You already know that what you really need to do is get husband and you doing the same thing - every time. I think it will be easier to tell husband you will try his way first, but you could create a new way that you both can agree to try first - pick a time frame and then evaluate what is working and what is not. It is not traditional parenting that is for sure. Hence the reason we all searched out the site - nothing we were doing was working.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Terry, I like burnt bacon. Maybe it's the result of growing up the daughter of a bad cook.

    Also what happened to the outcome of your family meeting - "respect me or I go"?

    I agree with letting husband handle things but not at the expense of your loss of respect. If you're going to let husband's way prevail, you need to have him more on deck and doing stuff. He DID come in from outside.

    Why did difficult child want cereal? Did he want it as well as what you cooked? If so, I would let him have the cereal unless you're concerned about dietary issues - in which case, don't have anything in the house that difficult child shouldn't be eating. We don't restrict calories here, we just try to keep the diet as balanced and healthy as possible. Ice cream is rationed. I bake my own bread and put an egg in each loaf to boost the protein. I let the kids choose their own meals, within reason, but they have to help prepare it if it's too complex. If I'm too busy they have to cook it entirely (such as easy child 2/difficult child 2 & BF2 wanting pasta for breakfast - THEY have to make sure they have time to cook it, eat it and clean up). I figure, letting them cook their own meals at least partly means that when they leave home, or stay over, they can pull their weight and not be floundering or buying expensive and unhealthy takeaway meals.

  12. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Can't say been there done that...I AM there.