Help Me Convince Husband

Updated on August 11, 2009
E.B. asks from Rockwall, TX
22 answers

I have 3 kids, the oldest of which will start K this fall. I really love to get out of the house, to go places...even if it is simple things like going to the neighborhood pool, the library, or to the park. During the week, I do these things with my kids either by myself or with my mom helping. I would like to do these things as a family with my husband on the weekend and include bigger excursions like to Fossil Rim or to the Omni, a museum, etc. My husband doesn't think there is any point in doing these things when they are young because they won't remember it and because it is more of a hassle to get out the door with the kids and all their stuff(which I pack everything up, make sure the stroller is in the car, etc). I think we need to do these things because we have kids..they need the experience of new things, new learning, how to behave in public, etc. He knows I have been unhappy about not having been on a real vacation in over 3 years, so he booked me a weekend trip with a friend...I am excited, but he is missing the point...I want to enjoy our family all together. How can I get him to see my side? This is really affexting how I feel about our marriage...

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S.B.

answers from Dallas on

He needs a story: Make up one that sounds plausable. example: If he watches a lot of t.v., CSI had a story where the kids preferred the nanny! explain to him that, unlike the parents, the nanny did things with them.
Also, get a book by Douglas Wilson, I think the title is Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning. It will show that as little tykes their brains are like a sponge and the more you have them memorize and do, they will retain that. He also explains how they change and their educational focus should change....read the book.

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T.B.

answers from Dallas on

Even if they kids don't remember it yet, you guys will. I think if he went one time, he would love it and get hooked...if not, then maybe it is just not his thing. Maybe some people don't like fun. Honesty most people can remember back to when they are at least 6...many even 4 & 5 (even if it is a vague memory).

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R.F.

answers from Dallas on

As a mother of older children and who, also, had three children in five years, I can tell you that you are so right! And, I can also tell your husband that the children DO remember these family outings, no matter the age! Some of my kids' best memories are of exactly the things you want to do as a family. Yes, I remember only too well the major hassle in getting all their stuff together and in the car and that was before you got the kids themselves ready. But, now that mine are grown, I can tell you it was all worth it and I wish I had done more!

Try and convince him to try it one time. Let him pick something he really wants to do for the initial outing. I'm betting he will enjoy it and also enjoy the pleasure he gets from watching his kids make memories with their family.

Enjoy those babies. They really do grow up too fast!
R.

1 mom found this helpful

C.R.

answers from Dallas on

Ok here it is:
Get off your booty and plug in with the family!
You will NEVER get this time again, savior it while you still can. It's just as much for you as it is for them ")
Enjoy.
C.

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A.C.

answers from Dallas on

Meals you eat also help you grow and stay healthy- just because you can't remember what you had for each one of them, doesn't mean they were any less important to you and your growth. Try sharing that example with him. I know my daughter won't recall the wonderful experiences we give her- but they help her grow, develop, build bonds and synapses all the same. Plus they are beautiful memories for us as the adults. I will always remember how much fun it is to see her enjoy kite flying with her daddy, whether she recalls it or not... if something were to happen to her or her dad those memories would be even more valuable to me forever... Encourage him to enjoy having a young family (for his own sake), they will grow up and be gone to families of their own all too soon.

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L.D.

answers from Dallas on

I have 9 children and we have always taken the kids on vacations and mini-daytrips. Yes, it was always a hassle, but that's what having kids is all about. You unconsciously accepted that hassle when you decided to have kids. We always take lots of pictures. When we get back, we add the pictures to our book of memories. We get the memory book out every Sunday to talk about what we've done together, and we reminisce about the fun we had. The last time my 32 year old daughter visited, she really got a kick out of looking at the pictures of when she was small, and all of the things we did together. She even remembered some small details that weren't in the pictures from over 25 years ago. So.... I say plan the trips and take the kids. If Dad won't go, have a good attitude and go without him. It will be a little harder, but I bet after he sees how much fun you are having, he'll want to join. Now that I have 10 grandchildren, we are repeating the process with them. I can tell you that they grow up way too fast, and then what are you left with, if not the memories of the fun times you had. And you are right about needing to take them places where they can see and learn new things, and also learn to behave. Bill Cosby wrote in his book that you should take your children to Church every Sunday. And he said it is Ok if the only things they learn are that you dress up and look nice when it is appropriate, and you sit down and be quiet when it is appropriate. You are definitely right in this situation. Children are naturally curious and can find fun in most situations. Go out and HAVE FUN! (Don't forget the camera!!)

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J.G.

answers from Dallas on

Our husbands sound very similar...he feels the same way about not going on excursions/vacations because our daughter is too young to remember them...that is not the point. The point is to go have fun together as a FAMILY!! And to expose her to new experiences! He just doesn't get it! I am in the same boat and would also like some advice on how to get him out of the house!

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C.C.

answers from Dallas on

I think it's a guy thing. We have three children ages 14, 10 and 2 1/2. I love to do family things as well, and for the most part my husband goes along and ultimately has a good time. And there are times when he looks like he'd rather be somewhere else, and I hate that. Many times I have to guilt him into going and it is very frustrating! Even on Father's Day I had to guilt him into doing something with his kids . . . I mean, isn't that the point? On Mother's Day I always want to do things with our girls vs. going off somewhere on my own. After all, they are the reason I'm even able to celebrate that day. But my husband would rather sit at home playing online poker, completing tuning out his family. I just don't relate.

Your husband is using your children's young ages as an excuse now, but he'll have another excuse or two as they older. So keep at him. It is so important to a healthy family that you do things together as a family. He may be partly right about the "they are young and the kids won't remember" angle, so the things you choose to do should address that. Instead of Fossil Rim (which they just won't get right now), go to a local water park which requires interaction.

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S.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hi E.,
I agree with you whole heartedly that you should do things as a family and it doesn't matter whether they will remember it or not. I'm sure your husband wants to relax after coming home from work, but he also needs to get in the habit of having family time and letting the children experience the world they live in. Have you let him know what he is missing out on as far as the expression on their faces when they experience something they think is cool? Some husbands/dads are homebodies. I know my oldest son works 6 days a week and is a homebody. Hope things work out for everyone.

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D.G.

answers from Dallas on

As a kindergarten teacher with a master's degree in early childhood education, I have seen, studied and taught a lot about child development. Children may not remember early experiences when they are older but, those experiences will enhance their brain development as well as social, emotional and physical development. The first five years of life are extremely important for first hand experiences! The best way to prepare your children for school and life is to take them many places and let them experience things using all their senses. Before they can effectively learn about things in school from books, they must see and experience those things. One of the best things you and your husband can do for your children is provide experiences like those you mentioned then, they will more likely be successful and happy in school.

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E.C.

answers from Dallas on

All sounds pretty normal to me. My husband hates to go out to eat as a family with young kids b/c he thinks it is more of a hassel than it is worth. Which is funny b/c I end up doing all of the discipling while he watches. It is just the way it is. I finally have realized after almost three years of having kids that he views things very differently and does not have the confidence with the kids that I do. Actually, it is pretty sweet that you husband booked that trip for you. I would not expect your husband to make the plans as a family. You could approach it several ways; sit down and have an adult conversation without the kids aroung - you hear his view and he hears yours. Then you can compromise - it may not end up being the Omni; however, maybe he has some more age appropriate ideas. You could also have him make a choice between two options because he won't come up with with the family plans. For example, "We are going on a family outing this weekend - which would you prefer, the Omni or Fossil Rim?" See what happens.

I just read one of the comments about the statistics. That is a good idea as well. My husband is always bringing me stats to justify what he is doing.

One more idea I thought of if there is a guy friend of his that has a family. Maybe you could talk to his wife and do a family thing together. That way he would be inclined to go if his "buddy" is going. My husband doesn't really have any buddy friends; however, my dad did. And i remember going to do things with other families. Just another thought.

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V.P.

answers from Dallas on

Do some research online about early childhood development. Guys love statistics. Reports say that although very young children may not remember experiences, they definitely contribute to the overall physical, psychological, and emotional development of children. In addition, it's easier for kids to learn at a younger age - they're like little sponges. That holds true for both academic and physical activities. Not only does reading to your child increase their love and appreciation for reading, but swimming or rock climbing with do the same.

I think it's wonderful that you take the initiative to do all of these things with your kids even when he's not around. With your oldest almost 6, maybe it's time he joined you... Now that your oldest child has "memories" doesn't he want to be a part of these?

Finally, I loved the idea of switching weekends to plan (even if planning means a quite afternoon at home). If your husband is open to this system, you might try finding activities (even when it's your weekend to play) that you think he'll really enjoy (go to an outdoor car show, a rodeo, an outdoor concert featuring a cover band of one of his favorites (we recently went to a Stevie Ray Vaughn free outdoor concert - the kids loved it and my husband was thrilled). I'm sure there's something that he enjoys that is kid/family friendly. That's where I'd start.

Good luck!
www.familyeguide.com Your free guide to family activities in Lewisville, Flower Mound, Highland Village, and the surrounding communities.

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E.K.

answers from Dallas on

I don't know how old your youngest is, but, maybe you could compromise by taking all three on an outing one weekend and then the next weekend leave the youngest with grandma and go on an outing more geared towards the older kids.

My kids are 4, 3, and 16 months. Last night we went to the circus with just the 4 and 3-year-old and my sister babysit our 16-month old. Our 4 and 3-year old loved it and my husband and I were able to stay with them the whole time and were thrilled to see how much they enjoyed it. If we had our 16 month old with us, we would have had to take turns taking care of him the whole time and it would have totally changed the whole experience.

My older kids are able to sit through and enjoy a live performance, but my youngest isn't. Thankfully though, my older kids are still young enough to enjoy the things that entertain my youngest like the play area at the mall and all the little kiddie rides or a nice park/playground. I just try to do some of both.

Hope this makes sense and is helpful. I definitely think you're right and agree with the latest posts. It is hard to stay motivated when I know my kids won't remember the bigger/harder/more expensive events (and even the little things too!) but I just keep reminding myself that it's still helping to form their character and still just as important now as when they're older.

Good luck and have fun with your family!

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H.B.

answers from Dallas on

I recommend the book "Magic Trees of the Mind" by Dr. Diamond. It's heavy reading but it gives scientific evidence to support what Debby said below. Early stimulation is very important to brain development and synaptic growth. I regularly take my daughter on excursions of all kinds and she talks avidly about them afterward for weeks and sometimes months at a time; she is 23 months old. She is still talking about feeding the giraffes and it's been months since we went to the zoo where she had the opportunity to do that. It is worth the hassle!!!!

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S.L.

answers from Dallas on

I can totally understand where your husband is coming from but if you wait for the youngest to get at an age that they understand then it will be too late to stimulate early curiosity. My son and daughter 2 and 4 have been taken many places and even though they don't remember everything I remember their faces when seeing the fireworks display at the castle in Disney. And when we returned they remembered something was familiar. Now they know the castle is Mickeys house. OR going to SeaWorld this year. Watching the Shamu show my 2 year old daughter does the chanting "Shamu, Shamu" then the splash sound when the audience was getting wet. Unforgettable. Not to mention that both my kids ask questions like, how big can Shamu get? Or what kinds of penguins were in the penguin habitat? Why are baluga whales white? Why is that dolphin called a bottle nose and that one a pacific dolphin? GREAT questions and now we are teaching them that if we don't know something we research it online or in the library. Their interests in books has gone beyond board books.
We've also done a science museum and they ask if they can go be paleontologists again because they like to dig for fossils. They are yound but something ALWAYS comes out of it.

Hope this helps.

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

I have 4 kids 8, 6, 4 and 15 mos there are times that my husband will say that the kids don't remember things, but you would be amazed at the smallest things they do remember. BUT, they definitely remember when Dad does not do "stuff" with them.

I have had many fights with my husband where I had to tell him to grow up and realize that this is no longer a "ME" relationship, but an "US" relationship. I have had to remind him that he can no longer be selfish and that he has to take responsibility for the fact that he has a family that he must be present for.

We recently had it out where I finally told him that I felt that he was taking me for granted and that his anger issues were destroying our family. He finally realized how his behavior was affecting all of us. It was to teh point where I was asking him to leave because the kids and I were happier when he was not around. Don't get me wrong I love my husband and the kids love their father, but when we are happier when he isn't here that has to tell you a lot.

I am happy to report that he took what I said to heart and has been trying a lot harder to be "present" with us.

Your husband needs a kick in the pants to realize that his family should come first not his own feelings or needs.

I hope all works out for you guys. Just don't leave it to fester too long.

Good Luck. BUT have fun on your much deserved time alone away from the family.

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S.B.

answers from Dallas on

E.,
Your husband is really missing out on some special times with the kids, time that he will never get back. If his main concern is that they won't remember, they do-from hearing family talk about it over the years, from looking at pictures of the trips, and from learning new things while on vacation (ex. how to jump off the diving board ((with dad's help??/))). Is there something else that is bothering him about spending time with the family on vacation or does he actively participate in things at home? It sounds like you are doing all the work (preparing for the trip and getting the kids ready). Since this is really affecting how you feel about your marriage, why don't you also check into marriage counseling or a marriage retreat.
Good Luck!

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K.M.

answers from Dallas on

Emotional memories are forged before conscious memories, a psychiatrist told me, and these type of memories stay with you. We also took our children to The Science Place in Dallas because it is arranged for children of different ages with hands on learning, and it is air-conditioned for comfort in the hot summer.

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B.W.

answers from Dallas on

Start small--buy a membership to the zoo (or the Natural History Museum when it is finished soon). I went to both places a lot with my kids then they had things they wanted to show Daddy on the weekends so we would go again. They never got tired of those two particular places. Work up to a day trip to Fossil Rim...Have you told him what you wrote here? Maybe he doesn't realize how strongly you feel? Pretty cool that he is sensitive enough to book that trip for you, now you just have to bring him along with other outings. I will tell you that we went to lots of things with my kids (now teenagers) when they were little--Sea World, other cities to visit relatives etc. and even if they didn't have specific memories of the place, they love hearing about it and seeing pictures of themselves--it's in their memory somewhere and it's a general positive feeling. If your husband is concerned about them knowing how to behave in public, you can start that w/o him. Have you ever thought about just insisting that you do as outing as a family every few weeks or so?

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R.I.

answers from Dallas on

Everyone says your kids won't remember things from when they were little but this is so untrue. My son just turned 7 at the beginning of July and he still talks about the trip we took to Six Flags in San Antonio for his 4th birthday. He also talks about when he was 2 how he use to go out to dinner every Friday with Grandma and Grandpa. So yes they remember a WHOLE lot more then people realize. Show him some of these posts with people who have older kids that still remember stuff when they were kids. That should catch his attention.

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M.G.

answers from Dallas on

E.,

You are 100% right. Please have your husband read this and everyone else's responses.

I also have three kids, and my oldest will also start kindergarten in a couple weeks. While your husband is right about it being a hassle to get out of the house, he is missing out on being a dad and doing family activities together!! Tell your husband that nothing in life is easy and life is what you make of it. Yes, a lot of planning goes into it, but why would your husband care if you are the one who packs snacks, replenishes the diaper bag, brings formula and a bottle (if you have a baby), makes sure the strollers are in the car, etc??

Also, don't forget the camera!! The second all of you and everything are in the car and you are backing out of the driveway, it is all worth it! I know you know that, but your husband needs to know that!

Doesn't your husband want memories of the five of you now, as opposed to five years from now? Even if the kids don't remember what you do, that's okay! It is all part of their childhood development. They had fun at that moment in time, even if they are only 2 and won't remember. Tell your husband he is missing the point!!! It is about experiencing life as a family, and your kindergarter will DEFINATELY remember, and you don't want him to get cheated out of the family fun stuff just because he has younger siblings!

Do you have a solid marriage? It doesn't seem like it. It doesn't make sense to me that your husband doesn't want to do family things together, just b/c the kids are young and it's a "hassle." I feel that there is more going on here, and only you know if this is true. Insteading of him booking you a weekend trip w/ your friend, all 5 of you should be taking this weekend trip! Is he trying to "get rid of you" for the weekend? Does he not want you around? It seems a bit suspicious to me. Someone else suggested marriage counseling. I agree. Best of luck and I hope your husband comes to his senses!!

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A.A.

answers from Dallas on

I am sorry about that. I have had the same problem in the past and this is how I managed to solve it.
There are 4 weekends in the month. Compromise. Let him decide what you all will do on 2 weekends,
Then you get to decide what will happen on the other 2 weekends.
This is where your trick comes in. On one of your weekends, choose one of your big excursions and on the other, choose a small thing which he truly enjoys doing. That way he actually got three weekends. That would make him relaxed and will not object to your making plans for the family.
Also reward him greatly when he goes with you all on activities. You know what I mean…….
Most of all, try not to be resentful. Is he a good husband and father? Did you choose wisely? If this is his only fault, then dear count yourself lucky. others are not so fortunate.

goodluck

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