When Daddy Doesn't Support

Updated on September 04, 2010
K.D. asks from Scranton, PA
4 answers

My 4year is a strong-willed boy as I read about frequently here. I try to keep a reign on him with time-outs, taking away favorite things like TV or toys if he doesn't listen. Daddy doesn't like the tranturms etc and my heightened response (yes, sometimes I yell when frustrated but it's not the first response) to keep Nolan in line. Nolan always prefers Daddy since he doesn't discipline. Even when he gets hurt he wants daddy "because daddy is good and never puts me in time-outs." How do I combat this? Daddy refuses to discipline!!! I have asked and he is just lazy and doesn't like it. He would rather have quiet by giving in (but being passively mad) than be firm and consistent. It's diulting my authority and I fear it's bad for Nolan. I am really worried how this is going to play out as Nolan ages?? Anyone else in this situation? Any advice??

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answers from Portland on

Hi K.,

That is a battle a lot of Mom's call me about, I'm a parent coach. Often parents do not want to discipline their children, because they've been at work all day & want to relax or they do not want to be the bad guy. They think, he's only 3, I'll get him to obey when it's a big deal. The reality is, you are teaching your child today how to treat you tomorrow. If your son knows he can get away with things with Dad today, he will continue pushing boundaries later, to the point it's a big boundary.

Here is what I suggest, when the kids are asleep, talk to your husband, use I phrases, "I'm concerned that Nolan is learning to walk all over us. I'm concerned about his ability to respect our word when he gets older. I understand you don't want to deal with the whining after work. I would like to create a plan we both like. I would like your support when I set boundaries. I would like to hear your input."

I statements defuse a tense situation and helps eliminate parental fighting. You are not accusing him, but expressing your concerns and asking for a solution you both like.

Remember, husbands want the facts and the solution, so put as little emotion as possible. This will help him focus on the end goal.

Good luck.

R. Magby

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

If you could make it easier for Dad to discipline it might help. Start with admitting that you feel a need to change your discipline techniques to have less screaming and tantrums and you want his help. As Rebecca wrote Ask for your hubby's input and insist on creating a plan together.
there is a short book about discipline called (i think) 1-2-3 Magic. the idea is to keep discipline SIMPLE and Consisitent - two warnings and then a time out. NO discussions and lectures. No reason to try to explain logic to an upset preschooler, the rules are consistent so the child already knows the rules. Have you watched super nanny-I like how she says put the child in time out for 4 minutes and do NOT engage in discussion during this time out.
if you could both read a book and agree to use the same techniques explain to Dad this makes it easier to effectively discipline and will make his evenings and weekends more enjoyable and head off future problems as the child will get older, more difficult and more strong willed


answers from Allentown on

Hi, K.:
Have you looked at the severity of your discipline tactics?

There is a book, "To Listen to a Child," by T. Berry Brazelton, M.D.

There is also a support group of Co-Dependents Anonymous.

at: www.coda.org

Try to find a meeting and go to it.
Good luck. D.



answers from Austin on

The only advice I can give is to have a serious heart to heart with "daddy" about discipline. You have to be on the same page or it doesn't work.

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