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Old 06-26-2013, 02:24 PM
 
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My husband and I have completely different parenting styles. We rarely agree on how to discipline our son and it often leads to fights. The question is, how can I tell if he is being too tough or if I'm just being too much of a softie? Of course I've given it a lot of thought and really feel like he is being too tough but my husband has done the same and feels like its my fault. I don't like confrontation and he loves to debate so it makes coming to an agreement difficult. I feel like I've tried to see his point of view and back him up, especially because he was disciplined strictly as a kid and I never really was disciplined much at all, so I feel like I can learn some things from him. The problem is, he is so tough that if I completely adopt his ways, I feel like I will only see the negative in our son, and that's not the way I work. I believe that there is good in every child, and that should be encouraged and praised. I hope I've described my situation enough for everyone to understand. Its much more complicated than I could describe in a paragraph.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:29 PM
 
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Tough and softie aren't the determinant metrics. You need to figure out what you are trying to accomplish and then what actions will achieve that.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:30 PM
 
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I think a lot of depends on what your son is responding to, and what's just plain not working.
And I think it's important when you & your husband do disagree about such things, have those conversations in private. It is so important that your son always see you guys as a united front! Good luck.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:33 PM
 
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Not enough info. Need examples.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:42 PM
 
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Ok for example...my son was behaving in a way that he knows not to (throwing a ball inside, climbing on things) and I punished him for that. He is 8 by the way. He had to come home and sit in his room and then after a while I started giving him things back gradually. It's hard for me to tell him to sit there and do nothing for hours but we have tried other things and nothing else got through to him. It feels cruel to me though but my husband swears by it and said that's what his parents did to him as a kid. For the record, they are great people who love their kids dearly, but they didn't put up with a bunch of crap. lol. We have had problems with lying and stealing in the past year which we totally do not condone. I feel like the lying started because my son was afraid to get in trouble because my husband is so tough and yes he yells, but he's working on it. My husband feels like I let my son get away with things because he's "my little boy", and he feels like my son tries to play us against each other by telling us different things. I constantly feel like I have to chose between the two of them. I should mention that my husband is not my son's biological parent, but the only dad he has ever known and my husband is adopting him. And HeatherLynn822 thank you! We always try not to disagree in front of my son but we still do at times.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somebodynew View Post
Tough and softie aren't the determinant metrics. You need to figure out what you are trying to accomplish and then what actions will achieve that.
We are both trying to get our son to stop lying and to be respectful. I can't trust him to do the right thing when I'm not around. The problem is, my husband I both have completely different ideas of how to deal with it.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:50 PM
 
859 posts, read 2,333,092 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 919heatherg View Post
Ok for example...my son was behaving in a way that he knows not to (throwing a ball inside, climbing on things) and I punished him for that. He is 8 by the way. He had to come home and sit in his room and then after a while I started giving him things back gradually. It's hard for me to tell him to sit there and do nothing for hours but we have tried other things and nothing else got through to him. It feels cruel to me though but my husband swears by it and said that's what his parents did to him as a kid. For the record, they are great people who love their kids dearly, but they didn't put up with a bunch of crap. lol. We have had problems with lying and stealing in the past year which we totally do not condone. I feel like the lying started because my son was afraid to get in trouble because my husband is so tough and yes he yells, but he's working on it. My husband feels like I let my son get away with things because he's "my little boy", and he feels like my son tries to play us against each other by telling us different things. I constantly feel like I have to chose between the two of them. I should mention that my husband is not my son's biological parent, but the only dad he has ever known and my husband is adopting him. And HeatherLynn822 thank you! We always try not to disagree in front of my son but we still do at times.
I think in general, the best punishments are the ones that "fit the crime" rather than just have a blanket time out / grounding consequence. So for playing ball in the house, maybe lose the ball for a weekend. Explain why the consequence is being implemented, and then when it's time to give him his ball back, have HIM explain why it was lost and what he can do to prevent it being taken away again. That might be a silly example, but there are a lot of good articles on "creative consequences" out there, and supposedly kids respond really well to them. My son is only 18 months, but already I can see my husband and I disagree about things like whether or not he should have his own meal prepared if he doesn't like what we're eating... just try to always be a team. Explore some alternative consequences together, as a family even! When kids help "make" the rules, they are more likely to follow them.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:02 PM
 
11,230 posts, read 9,231,004 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 919heatherg View Post
We are both trying to get our son to stop lying and to be respectful. I can't trust him to do the right thing when I'm not around. The problem is, my husband I both have completely different ideas of how to deal with it.

You job, as disciplinarian and educator, is not to get your son to do anything. If all you want is his behavior, then he can lie, lip service, deceive and sneak until the cows come home, as long as you don't know about it. He is 8. He is not quite savvy enough to get that yet. But it is coming soon.

This is really common, in my opinion. We choose to focus on behavior because that is what we SEE. But the behavior is just an action that tells a story we often don't want to think about. WHY does he lie? Because he hates you? No. You know its not that. WHY is he disrespectful? And better yet, why would he or ANYONE want to be honest? Respectful? Very often we accidentally get the behavior we hate by expecting it and unconciously prompting it. The behaviors probably started in little ways before he was too small for anyone to realize what was building and growing.

You are going to get a lot of advice on here about these specific CASES of "misbehavior", the lying the disrespectful behavior and anything else that comes up over the course of the thread. Some people are going to tell you to punish him hard. In my opinion, this advice is of limited usefulness because it deals in symptoms instead of root causes.

Do a little googling on positive discipline, the crucial c's and the like. Learn how to simultaneously ensure he has the skills and capability to grow into a responsible, self disciplined person. Learn how to set limits effectively without damaging that sense of capacity. I can recommend resources for you, but people on here get all freaked if you mention specific resources as one is recommending following a prescription like a lemming. But doing your own research can be fun.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:24 PM
 
15,187 posts, read 16,044,725 times
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The question isn't "tough or not tough" but "effective or ineffective." If what either of you are doing isn't working, you need to try something new. I agree with somebodynew that you should check out the Positive Discipline series of books and other resources.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
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The worst thing you can do in raising a child is to have one parent say one thing and the other parent say something 180 degrees different. It confuses the child and they tend to " work" the weaker parent for all it is worth.

My Dad was very strict and my Mom was very weak. Her weakness came out of her love for me, but she really sent me mixed messages. My Dad would punish me for something and then my Mom would sneak to my room and tell me she was sorry he did that and that what I did wasn't all that bad. Consequently, I was not a very good kid..........I exploited my Mom for everything I could get out of her, and when he died she had to raise me on her own. She then realized I was out of control and it was too late because she had no power over me. I put the poor woman through hell.

My wife and I always were a team when we were raising our kids. If she thought I was too harsh she waited until we were alone to discuss it. Sometimes she was right and I saw her side, and sometimes I was right and she saw my point of view. But the kids never got mixed messages.

Yes, you and your Husband have to come to an agreement on how to raise them, but do it without the kids being privy to your conversation. Believe me, they see and hear everything and are smart. If they think there is a weak link in the chain they are going to use it to their advantage.

Don
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