Husbands and Discipline

Updated on December 16, 2009
T.S. asks from Angleton, TX
17 answers

I need advice from wives of the husbands that insist on disciplining the kids even after she has already done it. How can I convince my husband that doing this only undermines my authority and exacerbates the situation. I am already having some respect issues with our 5 year old son and I am trying to get it back under control. My husbands thought is that he needs to learn that he and I talk and that he isn't going to tolerate our son being disrespectful to me. Our son's first thing said when I am disciplining him is don't tell dad; or like right now I took all of his toys out of his room and he's having to spend the afternoon in there and his big concern was I don't want dad to come home and see my toys out here.I used to give him way too many warnings before I would actually follow through but for the last few months I've cracked down and he gets one warning, and we talk about it so that I know he understands what I'm saying/expecting. So, how can I get my husband to understand why he needs to stay out of it most of the time?

I need to completely clarify that my son is not necessarily scared of daddy, I think he's more afraid of disappointing him. They do alot of stuff together, hunting, fishing, working on stuff, outdoors stuff. Most of the time when he gets the second punishment from my husband, it's usually in the form of my husband going in and taking away one of his favorite toys, only every once in awhile is it in the form of a spanking. And we are a united front on everything except for this issue, however, I am starting to see that maybe instead of resisting his help I should maybe appreciate it more.

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answers from Houston on

My husband and I came to the understanding that unless I ask for his help in discipline, I don't need it. We also agreed that whoever the offense was toward gets to do the discipline. We try never to disagree on punishment in front of the children as this shows a split front. We also try to never change another's punishment. For instance, if my husband growns them or puts them in time-out I can't change it only him and vice versa.

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answers from Corpus Christi on

One thing that worked for me was having my husband stay home for the weekend with the kids while I was gone. BOY did he give me more support after that stint with the kids.

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answers from Victoria on

no, your husband needs to be right there telling your kids to have respect for you. which you have said they dont. you need all the support you can get. and they obvously respect the father so count your blessings that he supports you.

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answers from Beaumont on

Fast forward to when your son is 15 and you've kept your husband out of it... You'll wish you hadn't! If there are respect issues between you and your 5-year-old, then dad's backing can really help you out. It's important that parents present a "united front" and keep their differences of opinion away from the kids. I think your son is getting between you & his dad, not good!

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answers from Houston on

Your husband is the HEAD of the household. I have seven children. When your son tells you not to tell dad--even your son know who the REAL authority is and it is HIM. Parenting takes two. Make his knowing work for YOU so you do not have to work so HARD. Your husband is teaching him to respect you--you will need that at 15-on. Love your husband--he sounds like he loves you.

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answers from San Antonio on

Why do you have to tell your husband everything? Why don't you just handle it yourself and tell your husband the major things? Maybe your son is feeling insecure because of his new siblings? Anyway, I'm no expert, but that's how it works in our house. Good luck!



answers from Austin on

My man and I sat down with the kids and worked out the "House Rules". We then as a couple sat down and worked out discipline steps. We have charts and it works for us. The kids know what to expect and so do we. It is laid out. If I discipline I send Sunny in to talk to the boy afterward to back up with the "choice" speech. If he does the discipline then I go have the speech. It is a learning experience for all. We have had to change things along the way as it is a work in progress. Good luck to you. Men listen better to Men. It is their nature. I would also recommend the book "Bringing up Boys" by Dr. James Dobson. It gave me great insight into the inner workings of a boy's mind. Wow, it blew me away and helped me understand the "Why." I have read most of his books.



answers from Houston on

I have the same problem! In fact, this morning I spanked my daughter for stealing and then my husband spanked her again a little while later. At first I bristled and grumbled in my heart. Then I thought about it and decided that in truth, she sinned against both of us because she deceived Daddy into thinking she was putting it up, but instead she was stealing it. So he SHOULD have input in the situation.

I do believe that the husband is the head of the home, but I also believe that husbands typically do not understand the heart of a child and often expect more then a child can handle at that age (like a 2 YO sitting very still and quiet for an hour.)

I would recommend just discussing it with him NOT in front of the children and tell him that you want him to back you up and insist on respect but you also don't want your son to feel like he is not forgiven after he is disciplined (and disciplined twice with each infraction.) Ask if a plan can be made for what kinds of infractions need a second discipline measure from Dad. It might help to get some movies or books on child development so both of you can know what to expect from a child an how to direct them properly.

I have 4 children ages 2-6 and in our home I NEED Daddy to be able to discipline too. My oldest (almost 7) is SOOOO disrespectful to me so my husband has to step in often.




answers from San Antonio on

I totally get what you are saying but I think your husband might actually be helping. It's good for a son to see his Dad demand respect for his wife. My husband actually said to my son once, "That my wife you are talking to. You treat her with respect."

I am no shriking violet and I am actually a stronger disciplinarian than my husband. That said, I loved it when he said that. My son needs to see that we are a united front and that a man takes care of his wife.

Being punished twice for the same "crime" might be another issue. If your son has already been punished, it's probably not great to do it again unless it wasn't done correctly the first time. I think that is what might be bothering you. By him coming in again and doing something else, it's almost suggesting that you aren't handling it as he thinks you should. If he feels like he wants to say something, he could try, "Son, I know that you did ..... and your mother decided to ......" I am disappointed that you made this decision and I think your mother did the right thing. Next time, you should....."

Problem is that if you keep punishing him separately, he's being punished twice for his "crimes". That seems a bit severe.

Good luck!!



answers from Austin on

Hi T.,

I second the suggestions to get united in your parenting. Parenting is HARD and the mom and dad grew up with totally different parenting styles, in all likelihood, and have morphed their own upbringing into what they think is best for their children. We took several parenting classes through our church and it was immeasurably helpful. I agree reading books together can be helpful, too, and I saw some good ones listed in other replies, but being in a class where you can talk through different situations with others and a teacher who has had enough experience and success that they are now the teacher, can be so helpful. I know Hill Country Bible Church in Cedar Park offers a lot of parenting classes. And our church just did a class using Shepherding a Child's Heart, but I don't know when the next class is offered. We are in north central Austin - Crossroads Community Church Don't even know if you are in the Austin area, but I am sure there are classes in your area if you check with your church - that seems to be the main place I have found parenting classes.

One other resource I found extremely helpful, as it gave a lot of examples of how to apply certain parenting principles, is the Mom's Notes website resources. (I think)

God bless,


answers from Houston on

hmmmm...that's a tough one. He is wanting to come to your rescue and teach your son to respect you and then inadvertently doing the opposite. I know this is going to maybe sound so sexist but a man giving him this information might go further than it coming from you. He is all in his male protector role so he may not be able to receive it from you. I'll tell you what I do and you can give it a try and see how it goes;) I pray about it when we hit these things. Like if we are just polar opposites on discipline, which happens from time to time, then I just pray that God would show us how to get it back together and that God would go and talk to him about what needs to happen next. Like we have had some things come up where I thought he was too hard and he thought I was too soft. So I just got to praying about it and the next thing you know he comes to me and says he thinks we need to get some good reading material on parenting. So I start thinking and praying on that and I ran across this awesome book called "Temper Your Child's Tantrums" by James Dobson. It is a small little book and I highly recommend it. I started telling him how much I was loving the book and then he got interested and wanted to read it. Now I didn't tell him anything about how the book could help him, only that some of the weaknesses I had were being addressed and it was helping me so much, then I just left it laying around. I didn't pray for hours or anything it was more like a "Hey God, could you show me a good book out there?, Thanks" And sometimes I will ask God to just provide a good guy friend for him to talk things out with. It helps them you know. For example, I kept telling my husband the pill was making me gain weight and he never believed me till some guy at work said his wife lost 18lbs after she got off the pill. Now he is so for me staying off it!!;) I have a strong guy who is a great leader and so many times I just pray on stuff and see what happens and God always keeps us flowing together well. Good luck to you!! And get that book if you get a chance, I think it cost me like $4:)



answers from Austin on

sounds like Dad's being a bit heavy handed, and truly, kids don't need to be put through the ringer, two punishments is way over the top. If you've followed through and he's gotten the consequence then that's adequate. That is just making home a sucky place to be and developing resentment and fear towards dad.



answers from Brownsville on

Good Morning T.,

It was my experience that 5 yr. olds don't need much disipline let alone getting in trouble again when dad gets home. As Dr. Phil say's "home should be a soft place to land". You are setting your son up to be sneeky and to lie, no 5 yr. old should fear his/her dad. I just can't imagine anything your son is doing to warrent 2 rounds of disiple. Disipline should be the end..... of his bad choices, in my opinion your son has completly forgotten what he has done and is totally focused on his dad's arrival home. I am very sad for your son, I was scard to death of my father and hated being home when he was home. I don't know how good your relationship is with your sons Dr., bit it sounds like you need to go see him/her and get into a parenting class ASAP. No child should fear their parents, rather it is respect you are shooting for.

I remember when my boy's were 5 and quite often "the look" was all they needed. Being sent to one's room at that age should just be a cooling off time for you and him. When he comes out ask him if he understands what he has done, ask for an appolegy, hug and tell him you love him and that is the end of the insodent.

I am sorry abut the spelling here but I hate to see precious little kids being bullied by anyone, esp. their parents.

Good luck and happy holidays.

A. M.



answers from Houston on

We have the opposite issue with 15yoSS. Explain to your husband that the point has been made through his current form of reinforcement; and now it's time to see if it worked, because the purpose was for your son to ultimately respond like you want to each of you, even when the other is away. You can't tell if it's working if you don't try it.



answers from San Antonio on

Wow. This one is a hard one.

1. Be ever so grateful that your husband takes an interest in this. Him stepping in in a not so perfect way is better than him keeping out of it.

2. very careful how you approach this. Many men, in their defensive mode, if they feel disrespected, will go to the other extreme. And, you definitely don't want that.

3. I would wait only until I knew I could remain calm. And, I wouldn't make it a huge issue that ends up in a fight. Just mention some things. Then, let it sink in for awhile. Then, later on, if it continues, keep mentioning it (but don't start nagging).

4. If it never changes, don't ever show your son your pity for his fear of his dad. That will in turn only undermine your husband - which is what you don't want in the first place. Only support your husband on this if he insists this is the best way. Tell your son in that circumstance, that his dad loves him and you and wants to make sure you know right from wrong and he has the right to discipline you. He's your father. He also loves you too much to allow anyone to disrespect you and you appreciate that. You only hope he will want to treat his wife in the same manner.

I wouldn't like it either. I'm not saying don't try to fix it. All I'm saying is be careful and wise on when and how you do it, and then give him time. Then, if it doesn't change - show him respect anyway. If not, you might make matters much worse.

Make sure your husband understands that you appreciate what he's doing. But, that 2 consequences are too much. Maybe just a scolding/rebuke would be sufficient after you have already punished him. Ask him if he feels that you aren't punishing appropriately? and if that's why he's stepping in - because he doesn't think you handled it well? or is it just because he is really trying to do the right thing? Knowing why he does it will help you resolve it and come to a compromise.



answers from Houston on

If you are a stay home mom, it should be understood that you are the primary disciplinarian, not Dad.

The kids should understand that Mom and Dad talk about what happened - including the punishment phase and that nothing more is required.

In our household, I am the primary disciplinarian. I fuss, punish, warn, ground, etc. Our daughter is in the room when I let Dad know what has happened, why she is in trouble and what the punishment is. His only question or statement to her is "do you understand why you're in trouble?" and "we're not going to do that again, are we." It works well.

Be have Dad step into the situation many hours later only belittles the child even more and chips away at his ego. It sounds as if he is a tad scared of Dad at this point. Does Dad also dish out equal doses of praise and hugs?



answers from Austin on

Record some of those Nanny 911 shows so your husband can see what he should do and what he needs to support you in doing. It is very eye-opening and probably easier for your husband to see good discipline in action. You will also see how important it is to have both parents involved. You can also Google "Nanny 911" and get full episodes online.

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