Dad's Responsibility

Veronica - posted on 11/30/2010 ( 35 moms have responded )

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So - over the weekend I was staying with my brothers for the holiday. There was kind of a 'falling out' persay - when my brother was frustrated with my mom and his wife. He gets home from working all day, and right away they wanted him to discipline the girls -- then when does so - they got on his case that he was too harsh (he raised his voice, and put them in their rooms for timeout).
He got frustrated because he says that he cant stand coming home and having to be putting his foot down right away - he wants to come home and relax and be with his girls after not seeing them all day, and working = he wants to also relax.
I completely see what he is saying - as my hubby is in the same boat - except i dont get down on him when he does have to discipline when he is home.

What do you think? What roles should the dad's have with this? I know when my husband puts his foot down, or backs me up it is helpful - but I dont want him to have to feel like the bad guy all the time either. What do your husbands/daddy's do? What do you do to work this all together?

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Johnny - posted on 12/02/2010

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We discipline as the behavior occurs, or try to nip it in the bud beforehand. I'm actually surprised that people still follow the "wait til your father gets home" technique. I thought that died out some time in the 70's, lol.

Veronica - posted on 11/30/2010

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You know - I actually dont like the terms - 'the bad guy' -- really disciplining isnt about being the bad guy, its about being the parent, and loving your child enough to set boundaries with consequences when they are crossed. No, I dont want it to be where the kids dread when dad steps in the door, but on the other hand, if his presence makes them think twice about what they are about to do - i think its more positive than negative.

Veronica - posted on 11/30/2010

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I have a large family - six kids - I do discipline and deal with my children all day, by myself. Sometimes the extra leverage of "wait til dad hears about this" is helpful and a way to finalize a punishment/discipline action. Especially when ive had it, and am frazzled by the end of the day.

LaCi - posted on 11/30/2010

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I'm not into this "just wait until your father gets home" crap. Whoever is present when the problem occurs should handle the discipline. If they're both around, they should both put their foot down, if only the mother is there, then she should.

Louise - posted on 11/30/2010

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I think the person in the house at the time should deal with the disciplin and not sherk there responsibilities to the poor sod who has been out at work all day. If both of you are in the house then yes you should back each other up to show solidarity but somebody who knows nothing of the circumstances should not be expected to chastise his child the minute he walks through the door. There is nothing wrong with saying dad is not going to be happy when he hears about this but that is as far as it should go. I found, raising two boys that the threat that dad would not be happy would be enough to make them think about what they had done and I would dish out the punishment. Then I would make them tell their dad what they had done and he would tut tut and that would be the end of it. It's finding a happy medium which is the key to this.

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[deleted account]

I actually think it was the mid 80's, Carol. I was about 7-8 when I last remember my mom's sad attempt to scare us into behaving! ;)

Leah - posted on 12/02/2010

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I don't wait for my hubby to get home,if I did my son would never get disciplined,LOL. He works alot. So I discipline when my hubby is at work and he'll help when he gets home. After working a long day,I do let him relax. So we do it together.

Tah - posted on 12/01/2010

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I don't use the wait til daddy gets home. I usually do the discipline. I am here more than he is so i handle it and since my children are older..13 and 9, if he has to re-visit an issue, or it is something we need to talk about and then address, then we will do that when we get home, talk, then talk to the children, together. My 4 year old will get disciplined on the spot. by time daddy gets home he won't even know why he's in trouble...

[deleted account]

I don't use the "wait till your dad gets home" but I do tell the kids that if they continue behaving badly I will tell him how our day went and they listen very well after that.

Patricia - posted on 12/01/2010

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I always "HATED" that phrase..."Wait till your father gets home!" Thats hogwash in my opinion! Mother's are to discipline their children too! Why make Daddy the bad guy? After all you BOTH brought those kids into the world...therefore you should BOTH share in disciplining them... :-)
If he whines....tell him well "WELCOME TO PARENT HOOD DADDY!!!" But I would never tell the kids wait till your father gets home....share with him the problems you had with the kids in private....never stand in front of the kids and tell on them...OMG my ex husband was good for doing that!! I hated that! I reckon thats why he is an EX! LOL
I mean sheesh! Gimme a break! So are the kids only supose to be good whe he is around??? Whats up with that?

Jodi - posted on 11/30/2010

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I don't ask my husband to discipline my daughter first thing when he walks in the door. I want his coming home to be a positive experience for our daughter, not a negative one. I got to spend all day with her and I think he deserves a bit of time just playing with her and enjoying her and bonding in a positive way. BUT, he does still have to share in the discipline at some point and take part in the not fun aspects of parenting as well. There have been a few times I have said something to him about his discipline when I thought he was much more harsh than was necessary, but it's seldom and we all have "those" days when a good face to face talk would have worked just as well as time out.
I think it's a fine balance, on the one hand, I agree, my hsuband shouldn't have to be the bad guy and do alllll the discipline when he's home, but I also shouldn't have to do alllll the discipline all day every day just to save him from being the bad guy occasionally. I will say this, short of beating our daughter, I will back him on whatever discipline he has chosen. My daughter often runs to me to try to get her way after Daddy has said no, and I refuse, so a lot of the time, we're both the bad guy! lol

Veronica - posted on 11/30/2010

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I agree - Men do seem to have a more dominant stance -- we listened more to our dad, than mom - and we listened more to our grandpa than mom or grandma (we lived with them for a while) THere is something about them being the final word... Im not by any means saying that women cant have this affect on kids or people - but I personally have experienced men being the more dominant with this. Women CAN be more easily persuaded and pushed over - we are emotional in that way - and im not saying men cant either -- but you see if more with women. IMO.

A. Lorraine - posted on 11/30/2010

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Both my husband and I work at home and home school. If either of us have a problem with disciplinary issues with any of the children we will speak to each other in private.
I do remember when I was young my Mom would tell me "Wait till your Father get's home" ! The minute he would walk in the door I would start crying.

[deleted account]

I don't use the "wait til your dad gets home" card. What ever happens while he is at work i deal with by myself. It needs to be seen to right away not left ebcause other wise they would forget.
I do however use the "wait until your father hears about this". I probably shouldn't but sometimes even after it has been delt with they think it's funny and when dad gets home they try and joke about it with him so i have had to be on to it and tell him and have warned them that i am going to tell dad. I usually know what they think is still funny which is when i pull that one out on them.But they have still been in trouble for it i don't just not do anything.

[deleted account]

I usually handle it and if I don't effectively get my point across then yes he handles it. I can't say I have ever seen kids respond right away to women like they do men. I think I am harsher most of time but something about dad makes them respond different.

Jodi - posted on 11/30/2010

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I have never used the "wait until Dad gets home". If I am in charge when it needs to be dealt with, I deal with it. If my husband is the one who witnesses the behaviour, he deals with it. We are both on the same page about discipline. Because I am the one home most the time with the kids, I have worked out which discipline works with which kid, and have discussed this with my husband, so he and I are not contradicting each other with the way we handle things.



If it is something "big" we will both jointly decide a punishment/consequence. But this is a very rare thing.



I don't think waiting until dad gets home works for younger children anyway, it is pointless. Younger children need immediate consequences for it to be effective. By the time dad gets home, they have forgotten about it, and start to wonder why they are in trouble again. To me, that is totally counter-productive.



As they get older, punishment can come later. It is not unusual for me to ask my son (13) to go to his room, and I will discuss it with him later. I then go to him and lay out the consequences for his behaviour and why. But you can't do that with a 3 year old.



In general, however, I don't think it is fair to bombard dad with having to "deal with" the kids when he gets home. As I said, on rare occasions, I may discuss something with him, but I don't ask him to deal with it, I ask for his input and to back me up on dealing with it.

Veronica - posted on 11/30/2010

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I dont wait for my husband to get home, before i discipline or handle the situation - however, when my husband comes home and finds out what the kids put me through for the day - he definatly will call them out on it, and talk it over with them - and reinforce me. This is where this leverage is good - because my kids know that they are in double dog doo - not only am i upset or disappointed in what they did, but so is dad. Just wanted to make this clear.

~Jennifer - posted on 11/30/2010

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I handle situations as they arise.....I don't wait for 'daddy' to come home. My kids would forget why they're in trouble by that time (3yrs [typical] & 5yrs w/ Autism/ CP/SPD).
If Dad is home, he usually handles it....he was raised in a strict family and has no qualms about showing that to our kids (verbally). Our kids know what we expect of them, and we don't treat them any differently.......or treat them as if they ARE different, even though one of them might be.
I would never 'wait' for Daddy to get home as I would think it would position me as less of an authority in my own home, and I refuse to be the 'pushover' mom.

Nikkole - posted on 11/30/2010

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Well when both me and my husband are home we both discipline he will one time i the other and we both are stern no giving in! I couldn't imagine having 6 i just have two so im sure its harder for you and yes ive used the Wait till i tell daddy what you did and my son will usually behave he HATES being talked to by his daddy!

Veronica - posted on 11/30/2010

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Well, im not trying to turn this into a big ass deal - i just wanted to know how others cope or do this -- it can get frustrating at times - just wanted hear people out on this. Thanks everyone.

Veronica - posted on 11/30/2010

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Exactly Sharon - he simply raised his voice, and was stern with them, and put them in their rooms for time-out -- When the opp. arises I will suggest the parenting classes.

Sharon - posted on 11/30/2010

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LOL Dana - just wait. Maybe you'll have the angel child who never taxes you but I didn't have that kid, lol.

There were times when I was beyond tired and beyond reasonable and the child or the children just would not cooperate.

Those days were rare but they happened. When they did I left the discipline up to their dad because I couldn't trust myself to not issue their discipline fairly.

It hasn't happened since they all got out of toddlerhood that I can remember, lol.

I hated that "wait till your father gets home" ultimatum when I was a kid. But NOW I understand why, lol.

Veronica - IF the man is being to harsh, then someone has to correct him. But that has to be done appropriately too.

what discipline this infraction deserves, etc.

Over reacting and grounding the kids for the rest of their lives or taking away EVERYTHING because they mouthed off or didn't finish the food on their plate is over reacting.

If he's giving out an appropriate discipline and the others are unhappy because it made the kids sad, then they need to get over it.

Parenting classes for both of them would probably be beneficial. Even if they don't agree with everything the class imparts, it will raise scenarios and promote discussion between the two of them and hopefully resolve some issues.

[deleted account]

As her primary caregiver because I'm a SAHM, I would never leave the discplining for Chad when he gets home. IF Roxanne did something wrong once he's home then either/or of us would discipline her. I hate it when moms threaten, "just wait 'til your dad gets home!"

Veronica - posted on 11/30/2010

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Well, its also the fact that when he does do the discipline - then they criticize or question his form of discipline.

Becky - posted on 11/30/2010

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If my kids are acting up during the day, I discipline them immediately. I don't leave it for their dad to do when he gets home. Part of this is because they are young and so if discipline is not immediate, they won't know what it's for, and part of it is because I do think that sometimes he disciplines too harshly (yelling, not hitting.) I also don't think it would be fair to him to make him out to be the bad guy all the time. Now, that is for now, when they're little. When they're older, if they do something really serious, like steal or skip class, I probably will do the "wait until your dad gets home." But that will be because for something out of the ordinary, we will need to discuss how we are going to handle it. For normal, everyday misbehavior, talking back, etc, our rule is generally that whoever it is directed at/witnesses it, does the disciplining. Since I'm at home, it's usually me.
I can see your brother's point, if he's always being put in this position. Like I said, I think I'd only use dad as back up for really serious or new behaviors that I wasn't sure how to deal with.

Sara - posted on 11/30/2010

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I think the parent who catches the child in the bad behavior should be the one to punish. To me, it does absolutely no good to threaten a child with "when your dad gets home...". Personally, I think it's also unfair to the father to wait until he gets home and dump it in his lap. I know I wouldn't like it very much if I came home from work all day and he expected that of me. I know it can be difficult to be home with your children all day alone, I've passed off to my husband when he got home and I just couldn't take it anymore. But for the most part, it's not a rule that he is responsible for the discipline. We share that.

[deleted account]

I have to admit that I don't have this problem yet, my husband works from home and my son is too young to really require any sort of discipline like what is being discussed here. But I have to say that I am baffled by the "wait 'til your father gets home" stuff. I guess I see discipline as being direct consequence of action. If my child does something wrong I would do something about it then and there and deal with it immediately. If my husband was with him, I would expect the same. Yes, I expect that we are both consistent in our approach and if one of us had decided on a punishment that the other would back them up and not give in or ignore the process. I also expect that we have similar ideals when it comes to what is suitable discipline for behaviours. I don't know, maybe when my son is older and takes to completely ignoring me or giving me a hard time, I will have to look to his father for more of a disciplinarian role and use the 'wait til your father hears about this' business for extra leverage, but I still think that inappropriate behaviour needs to be dealt with effectively by the parent caring for the child when the behaviour occurs. Reinforced by the other parents actions, yes, but not really their responsibility to enforce discipline if they weren't present at the time.

Laura - posted on 11/30/2010

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My husband is the other way. If I tell the kids they don't get something (treat/movie) as a punishment dad comes home and just gives in to get them to stop whining. I'm always the bad guy and he gets to be the good guy because he just gives in. Now my 4 year old knows how to play him and it gets very frustrating.

[deleted account]

This is a tough one, and something I've encountered for the first time recently. I'm with my daughter almost 24/7. She doesn't see her daddy as much, because he works (someone has to!). When he's home, she's generally better behaved, because she wants to please him. And he doesn't want to spend his precious time with her disciplining her (nor do I want him to). But sometimes it's unavoidable and both parents need to do the dirty work when it's appropriate.



Yesterday we had an issue. She wanted to brush her teeth (the kid's weird) so I let her...who wouldn't? Anyway, I was in the living room and she came and handed me the toothbrush. I said, "No, you need to go back to the bathroom and put it away." She threw it down and pitched a fit. Sigh. I turned off her movie and we had a staring contest for 10 minutes over that toothbrush until my husband walked in. The second he came in, she said, "I'll get it" picked it up and put it away. WTH???



**Edit to add** I told him what was going on. He had a stern talk with her at that time. I didn't ask him to, but he recognized that he is responsible for her discipline as much as I am.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 11/30/2010

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I can’t speak for anyone else; I think you have to do what works for your family…



My husband steps in when I need him to, or if he feels the need, unless he is the one to witness our son misbehaving, then I generally deal with all the discipline.



Im a parent, that keeps a close relationship with the teacher. I check on my son thru e-mail weekly or bi-weekly…to check his behavior and what he can work on as far as schoolwork goes.



My son is not a not a rude or disrespectful child…he it the talker, the kid in class that gets the rest of the class going.



And yesterday he had been playing in line.

Because I asked for a report the teacher told me, but it wasn’t so bad that it was something she would have contacted me about.



I was talking to him about it for ten minuets, and he was copping an attitude, when I said no videos games (He just got a new one)



My husband was in the next room hearing this, and when he heard our son get an attitude, he came and stepped in, put his intimidating two cents in…



That’s how it works most days around here

Sharon - posted on 11/30/2010

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Mine went through the same issues years ago.

He would come home and the kids would go insane or I had played the "wait till your father gets home" card.

He hated being the disciplinarian. BUT what he had to see was that if he did this consistently then the crap STOPPED.

The kids also had to figure out that daddy MIGHT come home cranky and if he did and they thought they could get away with acting up (the result of not being consistent in discipline) then he might come down on them extra heavy.

Hannah - posted on 11/30/2010

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We both work all day so we are both tired when we get home. I am the cleaner, cooker, bather, disciplinarian 99.9% of the time. I wish my husband would help pick up some of the slack.

He is a lot like my dad though. He doesn't get mad often but when he does, watch out.

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