Should I get involved in disputes between my 16 yr. old son & my husband - even if he's wrong?

Melodie - posted on 09/10/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My 16 yr. old son & his dad have an "oil & water" relationship! They love to hate each other & hate to love each other! My son can push my husband's buttons to a boiling point, but my husband can aggravate the situation until my son gets in trouble! How should I handle it when I know my husband is going to push my son over the edge! Keep remembering the scripture ..."Fathers, do not exasperate your children."

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Darlene - posted on 09/10/2009

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Have you spoken to your husband in private about your feelings? I am one that feels that I have the right to question my husband, yet at the same time, I do not believe we should be-little or demean our husband in front of our children. He is the head of the home and we need to teach our children what it means to respect him. With that being said, I also have no illusions that our husbands are always right :) My daughter (17) and my hubby often get into it. For the most part, I let them handle it. On occassion I have asked them to both stop and keep the peace. I have spoken to my husband in private about how he re-acts to her. He, often times, has a negative conotation in his voice when he speaks with her. It just sounds negative and immediately grates against her. He has been working on correcting her or admonishing her in a less condescending tone. It has been helping. Just some ideas on what has been working for us. I hope it helps!

Lisa - posted on 09/10/2009

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I once took a conflict resolution class. I had this problem with my eldest son from my second Marriage. After Dad and he would get into a "conflict" My son would come to me and ask why was dad so mean? So the next time I saw a conflict erupting I said calmly..."Stop, you are not listening to each other" From now on we are not allowed to begin a sentence with "You always" or "You Never". We now have a code word for when any one of us starts to get loud or use either of those words. The code word stops the conversation and lets everyone decompress even laugh sometimes and we can have a civil conversation. Practice it might take some time but good communication is the key to any happy relationship. p.s. Try to use a word that is unusual and not one you would use in everyday kind of conversation, Makes it easier to recognise.

Tonja - posted on 09/11/2009

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You all make sense! I see pieces of myself in each solution posted. To me, each solution depends on the situation, what they're arguing about and if I see it escalating. My teenage daughter can be the sweetest thing, but she can also be snippy, arrogant and lazy. My husband has control "issues" of his own. Even if he's right his angry, condescending, self-righteous tone makes her not want to listen. If he is wrong, he refuses to admit it and just gets angrier. She has no respect for him and talks back. He shows no respect and wont give and inch.I swear his mentality is younger than hers.Instead of being a reasoning parent, he becomes loud, angry and verbally abusive. If the argument is fair I will support him. But if he's just being mean and not making a lot of sense because he's actually lost the argument but can't let go, I will step in. I refuse to let him use her as a verbal punching bag. And he's starting to act the same way towards my youngest daughter who's 9. He has anger issues, alcohol issues and I am tired of being a buffer between them.

Jackie - posted on 09/10/2009

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Its a hard one , i have it myself with my husband and 23 year old son . What i have done is not interferred when the outburst is goin on so as not to take sides . i just say calm down or stop it. Later i speak calmly to my husband and explain through the row listening to his side and then relaying my sons point of view, i explain that when he loses his temper he is losing control of the situation and alienating our son, no one wants bad attitude in a home or bad feelings between two people you love,get them to agree to disagree or find out exactly what annoys your husband so much, then turn around and repeat the whole exercise with your son reinforcing the love that both of you have for him . Work out a strategy in advance of the next conflict, buy your husband a parenting book and tell them both it really hurts you when they argue. I know how it feels hope you find something useful xx keep in touch

Frances - posted on 09/10/2009

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I hate that you're having to go thru this Mel. I know how it feels, I've been there and done that, and it's not fun. I thought it would never end for my hubby and oldest son, but one day it did and now they are very close. The only advice I can give is to stay neutral and love each one of them anyway, and if worse comes to worse, try to help one see the point of the other to help keep the peace. That's what I did, I guess because I'm a peacekeeper, but that's just me. I love you girl, if you need an ear or shoulder, you know where I am!

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I would suggest supporting your husband, but if it every gets to the point of being uncomfortable then ask your husband for a few minutes apart away from your son or any others and discuss the ifs or buts or ways to gain the input your son needs or hubby needs.

Debbie - posted on 09/11/2009

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your son must respect his dad. you should speak with your husband in private, after things have cooled down. your son needs to know that you and your husband are on the same page. your husband needs you by his side. BUT if the fight gets out of hand you should try to calm the situation down so it doesn't get physical because sons and dads want to show they are both strong.

Betty - posted on 09/11/2009

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You are in a tough situation. Pray! Do you have a pastor you and your husband can go to for advise on this situation or does your husband not feel advise from a pastor is needed? Your son at the age he is trying to find his place in this world. Still a boy, but wanting to be a man, not quite responsible enough yet, but thinks he is. They are two men fighting for position in the same house. Tough. Your husband might not realize this. I've been here myself. My son is now 23 and moved out on his own. Thank God!

Maybe you should try talking to dad and reminding him how it felt when he was 16. His son is going to make mistakes. Pick the battles that are important and let the others go. They aren't going to agree on everything. What's important is that his son makes good choices. They don't always have to be his. Talk to your son. Tell him that his Dad loves him and his dad is having a hard time with him growing up and becoming his own man. He wants him to be just like him. They need to give each other a break and some space. Be supportive to your husband and your son. Don't correct your husband in front of your son that is detrimental to your marital relationship and will cause your son to disrespect your husband. That's the last thing your husband or you need. Most of all PRAY for the situation. It will work out. My husband and son are best of friends now.

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Oh my goodness! I love that scripture, but unfortunately, many fathers don't take heed. Your son is the one you should try to reason with becouse he is still teacheable. Take full advantage of time alone with just your son to offer solutions. Remind him that when he allows his dad to push him into doing something bad, then he's allowing his dad to decide how he'll live his life.

Show him that change in one persons behavior also affects the behavior of those he relates with. My most urgent advice is to not get in the middle of a dispute between "them." Bite your tongue, leave the room, go for a walk! That alone may take the steam out of the way they CHOOSE to relate with one another. Good luck to you and certainly pray on the problem, too.

Brenda - posted on 09/10/2009

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Quoting Melodie:

Should I get involved in disputes between my 16 yr. old son & my husband - even if he's wrong?

My 16 yr. old son & his dad have an "oil & water" relationship! They love to hate each other & hate to love each other! My son can push my husband's buttons to a boiling point, but my husband can aggravate the situation until my son gets in trouble! How should I handle it when I know my husband is going to push my son over the edge! Keep remembering the scripture ..."Fathers, do not exasperate your children."


Maybe, the child is imitating his father's behavior in a way. children learn by example not by words.

Sherri - posted on 09/10/2009

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What I would do is let him know that one he making you feel in the middle and love and respect him,but ask him to step back and ask him why does our son push his button? Maybe he see himself in your son and sometihing he dosen't like about himself so it scares him!

Sandra - posted on 09/10/2009

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I say yes. You should get involved. WHen your husband is pushing your son to the point where he gets aggressive or otherwise and your husband is refusing to let it go...he needs to be called into account and held responsible for his actions. AS well as your son should be encouraged to walk away for a bit and given a chance to calm down. I deal with this concerning my 10 year old son and my boyfriend. Neither of them will back down and after awhile it just gets stupid, annoying and stressful for all of us.

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