On the fence

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by busybee, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. busybee

    busybee New Member

    husband and I got in a huge fight last night about difficult child, it's becoming a pretty common occurance. difficult child bought a little book safe with his birthday money. Last week when i was doing laundry I found his key. I gave it to husband and asked him to put it back in his room and not to get into his safe, he said ok. Well, last night difficult child comes out of his room telling me "Dad has no right to get into my safe." I stuck up for husband and said that he didn't get into his safe, based on our previous conversation. difficult child told me he knows he did because he had a kitchen knife (actually a very sharp steak knife) in the safe and now it's gone. So many things went off in my head at that moment. Why did difficult child need a knife locked up in a safe? Why did husband do what he told me he wouldn't? I asked difficult child about the knife and he said he needed it to cut things in his room because we can never find the scissors. I asked why he locked it in his safe and he said so we wouldn't take it. This makes no sense to me, but seems perfectly logical to difficult child.

    I was furious with husband though because I stuck up for him and ended up looking like an a**. I don't think the end justified the means. He lied to me and proved that difficult child has 0 privacy. It's very frustrating because I don't feel like he is parenting with me. He is parenting against me. This is very difficult because he works 2nd shift so I am usually the one dealing with difficult child's meltdowns. Very often husband will tell difficult child things on the phone that make him mad and then I have to deal with the aftermath. I tend to get very protective because husband is not difficult child's biological father, although he has been his father since he was 3. He just recently adopted him. husband and I have worked through alot of problems in our marriage, but I don't feel like we are going to survive difficult child. Anyway, he says he doesn't feel difficult child should have any privacy based on his past behavior and that he clearly can't be trusted because of what he found. I can definetly see his point, but I also feel 13 year olds need a small amount of privacy. I'm angry with husband, but I'm not sure what the right answer to the privacy issue is. It scares me a little that difficult child had a knife in there. I don't know what his intentions were and I don't want him to hurt anyone or himself.

    difficult child also got very remorseful when he noticed that husband and I were arguing (on the phone). He said "I'm sorry I didn't mean to get you and dad into a fight."
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It sounds like you and your husband need to at the least go out to dinner with-o the kids to discuss these issues and how you are undermining each other (he probably feels undermined in some way also). You may need to go as far as therapy to work this out.
  3. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    In the context of how to describe your situation, I would define privacy as a place, or places, in my home that I am not allowed access. Using that definition, my children are allowed no privacy. I do not think children, of any age, are entitled to it. Especially, if they are living under your roof and you are responsible for them.

    I'll go further by stating that I do not deliberately go snooping around just because. If I think something might be up, or need information to help them, I'm going through their room and stuff. Both my difficult children know this and both have protested. Especially, my son who claims I'm violating his 'rights'. So typical of him. I don't argue and rationalize; it is just how it is. Privacy will come when you living on your own and footing the bill. Though, to be honest, I think I've only gone looking once and that was with Daughter.

    Privacy has become an issue with Daughter when it comes to MySpace (Geez! How I hate that absurd website!). I asked insistently, 'Why would you need privacy there, unless you are doing inappropriate things that you don't want your Mom to see?' So, no privacy there, either.

    I just don't believe in privacy, as I have defined, for children. I do think you need to have some quiet and alone time with husband to discuss this issue respectfully and rationally. Try to come to an agreement you both can live with. You may need outside help to reach that place.

    Frankly, difficult children reasons for the knife don't seem far-fetched (this coming from a woman that can never seem to find the scissors). Still, I don't like the idea of a knife in his room, regardless of his reasons. I probably would have taken a look in the box and would have removed the knife if it were me.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2008
  4. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I agree with DazedandConfused about the privacy issue.
    When difficult child was at home I would toss his room every few days (every day when his behaviour was escalating or something was up), and regularly make him turn out his pockets and backpack, etc. Even now, when we visit the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) his staff and I toss his room. Make of that what you will. My difficult child has significant issues with lying and stealing. Any "right" to privacy he had was long gone when he violated our trust.

    However, the bigger issue as I see it is that you and husband are not on the same page with regard to parenting and discipline. You need to present a united front, ESPECIALLY when you're dealing with a difficult child.

    Hugs to you, I know it's hard.

    Last edited: Aug 22, 2008
  5. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    First, he adopted your son and he is therefore his father. Period. As such, he has a right to make some of the decisions in parenting his son. If you don't agree with his decisions, then the two of you discuss it away from your son.

    Second, I'm old school. You get privacy when you move out. While you live in my home, I have the right to snoop if I deem it necessary. Your privacy is in your mind, child. That's it. Since he is storing things in his safe that are not his, I'd say he lost all rights to the safe. To me, his reasons for the knife make sense. This issue is that IT WASN'T HIS. At this point, I'd be keeping the key and expecting him to open it, put in what he considered valuable and removing things as necessary in front me. One thing I would since he has a point is buy him a pair of scissors so he can lock them in the safe.

    Privacy comes from trust. It seems as if your husband is saying he doesn't trust his son and your comments imply that he has good reason. As to the comments on the phone, there I thnk your husband is wrong. If he has an issue, he talks to his son in person and deals with the meltdown the discussion it causes.

    Most importantly, you both have to be on the same page. Our kids are great at triangulating. I once did a post about what senior citizens put first -- their kids or their spouse. They overwhelmingly said their spouse came first and one woman even remarked that she regretted putting her children first. I was talking to a couple yesterday who had 5 kids (a set of twins, another bio child and 2 adopted). Today is their 33rd wedding anniversary. Bob said he loved his wife more today than when they were first married. Anne agreed. They loved their kids but always made sure they had time for each other even though one of their sons easily qualified them to be members in high standing here. They did not let any of their kids, even their son, come between them. They may have disagreed on a parenting issue but the kids never knew it -- this was discussed quietly between the two of them and would be resolved with both sides compromising.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I agree with husband, except that he shouldn't have promised privacy. After my daughter got busted for drugs, she was informed that there was no such thing as privacy in our house and that everything she owned was open to inspection. I read her diary once and found out about her plans to run off with some older man she didn't even know. In our house, privacy is an earned priveledge.
    In spite of husband not being the bio. dad, he adopted him. He IS his father. I think the two of you need to communicate better and maybe go for marriage counseling. It isn't good for a child to break up a marriage, although it happens.
  7. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Well, I disagree with the other posters about privacy but only in regards to a easy child kid. My difficult child 2/easy child and her easy child brother are very private people and they were not doing difficult child things that would lead to me needing to violate their privacy. My difficult child 1 was not to be trusted so she had no rights to privacy.

    The main thing though is that you and husband agree on these issues or at least agree to how you will handle them so you don't have a situation like this. Please do not let difficult child ruin your marriage--sounds like you need counseling to help you get on the same page and parent this difficult child.

    Good luck!

  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My kids have their privacy unless they violate our trust.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sorry about your argument with-husband, BusyBee. I know the feeling! We're finally getting on the same page.
    It's a really good idea to set time aside ea wk to discuss difficult child issues. Even though your husband works 2nd shift, I'm sure there's some time on the weekend or something when you two can talk. I'd set a time limit, say, 15 min., just so it doesn't get carried away. It also helps you focus when you know you've got a limited amt of time.

    I'd also suggest a date night or lunch for you and your husband. You two need time alone when you DON'T discuss your difficult child. It can really wear you down.
    It's a good thing I have you all here because I can discuss difficult child ad infinitum, whereas my husband had a limit of, oh, about 25 seconds.

    My kids know that I am apt to go into their rms if they are not home. Generally I don't (I'm too tempted to clean! :) ) but the knowlege that I CAN keeps them in check.
    After you come to an agreement with-your husband, bring in difficult child and discuss the new agreement. He is SO sweet to be concerned that he "caused" a fight between you.
    That's actually a good sign. So many kids use the "divide and conquer" method.
  10. Busybee, I'm sorry that you and husband are having problems agreeing on stuff. I too agree that you need to take time away so you can discuss this together with him without difficult child around.

    I second this. My kids also have privacy unless it is violated. difficult child has no sense of privacy. easy child knows that she has privacy unless I have some reason to believe that she has lost it. She is fairly open regarding her MySpace usage and actually reads me stuff or lets me read stuff - she doesn't rush to close it or anything if I come up behind her. Many times she will be on the phone with her friends and tell them to hold on because she wants to tell me. Her friends are always astonished when she shares stuff with me that they would NEVER share with their moms.
  11. busybee

    busybee New Member

    Okay, I do want to clear one thing up because I think maybe I misrepresented my feelings on an issue. I have never felt like my husband was not my son's father or that he doesn't have a say in decisions regarding difficult child. Maybe I worded it wrong. It's not so much that I'm protective of difficult child, but that sometimes I feel like my husband might be feeling more frustrated, kind of like he didn't realize what he was signing on for.These are probably just my feelings, but I would never EVER not include husband in my difficult child's life.
  12. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I don't believe that a real sharp steak knife is in a locked box because scissors are hard to find in your house. No way. Unless you regularly misplace scissors AND steak knives, there is no reason to hide a steak knife as a back-up for lost scissors. If a steak knife is an appropriate back-up for scissors, one only has to walk to the steak knife drawer and get one. That's not difficult child logic, that's difficult child making up a story.

    A 13 year old hiding a steak knife doesn't deserve privacy. It isn't like he had a pocket knife hidden there. Thirteen year olds get and hide pocket knives. It was a steak knife taken from your kitchen. There are a big differences between a steak knife and a pocket knife -- sharpness and protection of the blade being the most obvious. I don't know why your husband doesn't trust your son but, in my opinion, his lack of trust is justified.

    Your husband made his own decision about going into the safe rather than following your instructions. He's an adult and a parent; he's entitled to do that. He may have intended not to go into the safe when you first gave him the key, he may have made the decision after he got to the room. Or not. His mistake is that he didn't tell you he went into the safe which was compounded by the fact that also didn't tell you he found a dangerous item and removed it. That he found a sharp steak knife and removed it but didn't tell you is, in my opinion, the most remarkable part of the story. Not only is that information you definately should have, obviously your son would notice. Perhaps your husband didn't think your son would have the nerve to complain that a sharp kitchen knife that wasn't his was removed from his room. Perhaps your husband was trying to protect you from this information. Perhaps he handled it the way he did because he can see real problems and potential danger of a child hiding a steak knife but was sure you wouldn't or would buy any lame explanation your son offered. It does seem as if your husband is parenting against you. There may be a logical reason why.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2008
  13. tonime

    tonime toni

    I tend to agree with many who posted- you get privacy when you move out. Raising kids/teenagers-tough job today-we need to be aware of what is going on in their worlds. My mom was a tough cookie- I had no privacy--but she was right. She wouldn't go snooping around in my room- but if she thought something was up she would.
    As for husband--I think he should have told you about what he found. You do need to get on the same page. I know-my husband and I fall into this routine too-you need to find time to communicate calmly--so many arguements are just over miscommunication. I also think what husband did was out of love and concern for his child.