September 12, 2008,
A.K. asks from Ann Arbor, MI on September 10, 2008
Husband Is So Strict!!
I love my husband, but sometimes he makes me want to pull my hair out!! We have a 12 year old son who is a wonderful boy. My husband is not his biological father but adopted him when we married 6 years ago (they had their own ceremony and exchanged father/son vows). The problem is that my husband is so strict with him. We have been struggling with this for quite some time. We will have a blow-up where our son just can't take it anymore, then we have a family discussion and try to implement "no nagging" and it will last for a little but then my husband goes right back to it. He nags our son about everything from chewing with his mouth closed at dinner to leaving his stuff around the house. You name it he nags it. I find myself trying to compensate by being more lenient but this just causes tension between my husband and I. The latest was last night, our son asked for his Gameboy (my husband had taken it from our son the previous night-for reasons unknown- probably because he felt our son had been playing it to long) to take to study hall (our son has a sports practice at his school and attends a parent run study hall for 2 hours before practice starts). My husband said no, that study hall was for studying and if he didn't have any homework he should be asking his teachers for extra work. Can anyone show me a 12 yo who asks for more work????? In short, we need help. It is really affecting the relationship between my husband and our son. Suggestions? Is anyone else experiencing this?
K.C. answers from Portland on September 10, 2008
You might want to consider family counseling to help with the communication issues. If dad enforces a rule or punishment, you should be able to enforce the same policy. The two of you arguing over what is right and isn't will cause your son to learn how to manipulate one over the other parent. It may also be time for you and dad to sit down and agree on proper punishments, so that discipline is agreeable to everyone. The biggest thing to remember is parenting should be a team effort between the both of you.
1 mom found this helpful
H.G. answers from Portland on September 12, 2008
Wow, I thought I was strict. Your husband is going way too far with this. Get some counseling, together.
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A.D. answers from Portland on September 11, 2008
I agree that there are times when a child needs discipline, but it sounds like things just aren't working out in your home. Our boys play their DS's and would continue until the cows come home if we let them. Our oldest (8yr old) has had it taken away for 1 month for making a bad choice. He is due to get it back this Saturday. All week long he has been asking and nagging about getting it back early, but I just stick to my guns and tell him "no". The rule in our home is who ever takes the toy away is the one who rewards it back. (I'm lucky here. Daddy took it away.) I agree with your husband about not letting him take it to school. I feel that the games are a distraction and a magnet to others.
However, I disagree with your husband about the extra homework. That is just absurd. Your son could find something else to do like read a book, magazine or even comic. He could draw, write a journal or find out if the supervising teacher has something to do that would help them out like correcting papers, sorting, making copies, etc.
In my opinion you are making things worse by being more lenient with your son. He must feel confused. Each parent is from one extreme to the other. You know the good/evil thing.
Family counseling sounds like what your family needs. Your husband may protest, but if he cares about the family, he will go. There may even be something that is bothering your husband that has nothing to do with your son yet he takes it out on him. Men who really care and love their families will go to counseling. Those who protest have some deep personal issues that they are afraid to reveal, even to those they love. (Skeletons in the closet like a childhood trauma)
Talk with someone before you approach your husband and get help for your family.
R.B. answers from Portland on September 10, 2008
I hate to say it but I've heard this story all too many times before. There's seems to be a pattern with step-fathers being more strict and at times even abusive to their step-children.
Not that that is what is going on here but, I recommend family counseling perhaps your husband has some hidden feelings he is not even aware of and is acting as this over-disciplinarian as a result. Does he seem to treat the 5 month old differently? This could lead to more problems also later on between siblings.