When you're not on the same page with discipline

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Laundress, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. Laundress

    Laundress New Member

    I'm looking for advice or information from anyone who was not on the same page as their spouse when it comes to discipline, and if you were able to get on the same page and how you did that.

    My husband thinks nothing of our 14 yr old son cussing us out (saying some really horrible things to us), threatening to punch us. husband has never been able to finish the sentence "if you do that one more time...." husband has never followed through with any kind of discipline.

    We started family therapy last spring when 14 yr old was kicked out of school. Unfortunately the agency we've been using had some re-structuring and did several lay-offs. We saw the first therapist weekly for about 6 weeks before he was let go. The same with the second. We just started last week with our latest, so he hasn't had time to delve into our issues.

    The therapists understand where my yelling at the kids comes from - frustration that husband will not step in and help, and usually undermines anything I try with a "why are you yelling at the kids" in front of them.

    Has anyone else been in this situation and able to get on the same page with their spouse?
  2. IT1967

    IT1967 Member

    My husband and I have had times when we're not on the same page. Usually there's some "cherry on the sundae" moment, and I finally address it head on with-him. We usually are able to work things out. There are always bumps in the road, but it helps for us to have those "tune-up" kinds of convos. Have you ever had a sit-down with-him to specifically discuss this issue?
  3. Laundress

    Laundress New Member

    Thanks for the reply.
    I have tried talking with him and the therapists have tried getting through to him. My husband thinks it's everything and everyone but him. Everyone around us sees that it's clearly him not owning up to his job has a father, but yet he doesn't let me do the job of discipline either.
    I'm on the brink of trying to figure out if I should get out of this somehow with our other two younger kids - not very easy with little to no money, yet I don't like the 'not feeling safe in my own home' that's been happening recently. And I don't want our other kids reared down the same lane as our oldest.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Can you give us some background information on your son and your husband and their relationship? Sounds like your hub is either in deep denial or he is just an appallingly bad parent or else he feels guilty that Son is like this. Is this child your biological son (both of yours?). Is he on drugs? Did your husband have a bad childhood? Any other kids who are caught having to watch this?
  5. Laundress

    Laundress New Member

    Hi MidwestMom - I'm also a midwestmom in mn.

    husband is in deep denial. I call it lazy parenting. His parents divorced in the 60's at a time when it was uncommon. His dad got full custody (his mom had a nervous breakdown at the time). His dad remarried (great woman, but husband always saw her as the Disney 'stepmom'). He saw his mom twice a month. I believe he's always heard his stepmom in my voice when I try and parent/teach/discipline the kids. He doesn't understand that his stepmom parented him and that his mom was like an aunt.

    We have two other kids (easy child boy 9, although I can see him taking the path of his brother with our current parenting) and a easy child girl, 5.

    I'm pretty confident that our 14 yr is not doing drugs - yet, but I'm sure it's coming soon.

    husband & I had a conversation late last night. He focuses on my yelling. We've gone over this in therapy. The therapists and I have been trying to get through to him that I resort to yelling out of frustration with him not helping and when he finally decides to notice what's going on with the kids, he undermines me in front of the kids. (I don't start out yelling at the kids, it's just the only thing husband hears).

    Here's an example of a typical night in our house - this just happened two nights ago.

    Son's been faking being sick all week, so husband has let him stay home all week. husband is constantly checking in with teachers. I say husband should check in once a week at max, not daily. Let Son fail so he can learn to take responsibility. husband got him all set up with homework after dinner - practically holding the pencil for him. Five minutes into this, Son says he wants husband to go to the store and get him Gatorade. husband says, no, we're doing homework. Son calls him a f-ing a-hole several times, stops doing homework. Before the hour was up, not only did husband not address Sons behavior, he took him to the store and bought him 2 Gatorades.

    Me - livid with husband but unable to communicate with him that night.

    I told husband yesterday morning how wrong it was. husband says, yeah it might have been wrong, but he did get his homework done.

    Anyway, I'm at the point where I almost wish my Son would hit me so I have an excuse to call the police and get him out of here. But what I really need to do is figure out how to get my other two kids out of this situation since I'm not confident husband will change.

    Sorry for the rambling and not knowing the forum abbreviations yet. I'm must glad I found this site.

    me - 41 stay at home mom, married 15 years to husband - 49, our kids - son 14, son 9, daughter 5
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    What dxes does your son have? What kinds of evaluations have been done?

    I know - you're asking about husband... but there are two other factors at play. One is the dxes you are working with, which may involve a different approach from both of you. The other is, many dxes have a genetic component, and husband may have traits or missing dxes too... which can affect his responses and how he parents.
  7. jal

    jal Member

    You and husband need to have a serious talk. Throwing aside any diagnosis's at this point your husband is allowing your son to walk all over him. My husband was not the discipliner at first, I was. My husband grew up an only child with his mom and she let him have & do everything. Luckily, my husband is not a spoiled brat. He's a really good guy, but can be a softee at times. I will give you an example, our difficult child is 10. His new cherished thing is Xbox live with his friends after school. Wed night it was time for bed and he's bouncing in his room...this goes on, he is told to settle, but does not. husband goes in there to tell him to settle and difficult child tells him to stick it up his a**. Oh, no you didn't..not in MY house do you speak to either of us that way. I went down to his room and told him no Xbox on Thur. A bit of a meltdown and to sleep he went. He's been pushing boundries with some minor words lately and he is on notice it will not be tolerated and what the punishment/consequence will be.

    Jump to last night. I pick him up from the after school program and have to run to my parents house because they are out of town. He says I want to get home quick, I say why, you have nothing to do. He says yes, Xbox...Don't you remember last night, what you said? This brings on a meltdown of crying and begging. At which point I park my car in my parents driveway and leave him to cry it out while I take care of the house, etc.

    I'm in for about 20 min and husband texts me "are you OK?" because I am not home yet and its getting later. I text him about the crying fit over the video game. I leave, difficult child is calm, get home and husband is like I was going to tell you to let it go and let him play for tonight. I said, that's not right, he will not learn to respect us if we tell him no and then give it to him. If I've said no to this kid, he doesn't get it ever since he was little. husband a lot of times has reversed his no's, but he's gotten a lot better over time. husband agreed and realized it was the right thing to do. difficult child was respectful and nice for the rest of the night (even with no Xbox) and this morning. He is 10, so he is learning, but you have to stick to your guns.

    By saying no to the gatorade, taking the verbal assault and then taking him to go get the gatorade, your husband is just letting your son know that cursing and throwing a fit you will get what you want and we all know the world doesn't work that way. I do not have a magic answer in getting your husband to understand, but you have to try to get him to see that he is allowing a 14 year old to control him.


    I can relate to so much that has been said by everybody about this. My situation has been that since difficult child was about two and the ODD behaviors began to show themselves, I get SO frustrated because I feel like I want my husband to partner with me in the discipline but he has an anger management problem so I feel it always goes too far and I step in to "protect" my son from husband anger. Then, my son takes this to mean that I am on his "side" and everything gets worse. My husband's take on this is that he is always put in the role of "the bad guy". Jal...I can so understand everything you said. My 11 year old difficult child is very into Xbox Live right now. The problem is that if I take it away from him as a consequence - or take ANYTHING away from him - he has a fit and it does not end for HOURS. Then I start my thinking of how much of this can I control? Should I be handing out consequences? Does he deserve them? Soon, I'm in nowhere land with no answers and he usually gets his stuff back. I would be more than willing to take everything out of his room and make it a so to speak "safe room" and let him have these meltdowns a few times to see if he would eventually learn from consequences BUT husband will not do it. He refuses to allow difficult child to bang on doors, destroy things, scream for hours, etc. So...nothing gets solved. It is VERY hard when two people are not on the same page.
  9. Laundress

    Laundress New Member

    Thanks for the replies. husband said last night he would take the horrible war video game to work with him, that always gets the kids fighting. I double-checked with him this morning that he was doing this and that he told the kids it wouldn't be here. Yes, yes, was his answer.
    I was just cleaning up lunch dishes (kids are off school today - 4 day weekend - scary!), and guess what, they were playing the game that he didn't take. They surprisingly handed it right over.

    I've been keeping a journal this week about what's been going and emailed that to the therapist so he has a heads up before our next appointment. husband has been cutting me off the last two appts.

    I have been thinking lately that there is something wrong with husband. He's a great guy with everything - parenting is the only thing he's horrible with. It's the one and only thing we fight about. The therapist asked us what we talk about outside of our oldest son. Nothing, absolutely nothing. It's been so all-consuming the past year.

    I think I might try and do an overnight with our two younger ones at my mom's this weekend. I (and they) need a breather from this.

    Stressedtomax - thanks for sharing your story. It's good (not really) to hear others in the same boat. I don't know anyone in real life that goes through this. I'm always stunned to hear my friends talk about their husband's discplining.


    L - I know. I think I've said before that I wished we all lived like in the same subdivision. The only problem with that is the kids would A) probably kill each other and/or B) Band together and kill all of us. Kidding.