Need some advice on co-parenting. and disipline

Wendy - posted on 01/28/2010 ( 1 mom has responded )




Ok heres the situation. I am a stay at home mom of 2 kids. Hunter is 3 1/2, Rylee is 2, along with my step-daughter Brooke who is 10. We have been having serious problems with Hunter since he was about 9 months old. He hits, bites, scratches, slaps, kicks, spits, and anything else that you can think of. Ive tried time outs, putting him in his room, taking away his toys and/or favorite things, spanking, and even therapy. Nothing seems to be working. I even tried rewarding him for good behavior, but then he starts expecting something even when hes bad. When he gets in trouble he laughs. And then acts worse. And now, Rylee is following in his footsteps. Im to the point that I dont know what to do. I could really use some advice. Im at a loss.
My husband works a lot, 6 days a week, so when he comes home he just sits down and plays his video games until he goes to sleep. He never does anything around the house, or with the kids and I. I feel like Im doing this all on my own, even when hes here. I try to tell him that the kids need their daddy, I need my husband, and that he needs to start helping me. He blows me off. And when he actually does get up to disipline them, his first responce is to spank them. Ive tried telling him that we need to find another way but nothing ever changes. How do I get him to understand that I cant do this by myself without actually doing it by myself? I love him very much but I just cant do this anymore. PLEASE HELP!!!


Christina - posted on 01/28/2010




Well... that's a tough one, my husband also works two jobs so that i can stay home with my 2 year old and be there for my 9 year old before and after school. He is so tired that even if he does play with the kids, it's only for a short while and then he gets nasty and frustrated when they don't listen to him. It's an argument we have had for what seems like forever, and we don't ever agree on how to discipline the kids. He thinks it's all too Dr. Phil and unnecessary but he has also seen good results. We have not, however, ever had to spank our kids and if we had to, we would always choose not to. Although it is mostly me, the way we choose to discipline our kids has resulted in a pleasant, well behaved pre-adolescent girl. My son is already a challenge at 2 but the key is to be consistent, and it's harder when there's only one of you doing the discipline. Flipping from strategy to strategy will only result in Hunter "winning" the challenge he puts to you each and every time.

Nothing is an overnight fix, and every strategy takes time to produce the near perfect child you know yours can be. Here's what works for me... It's very "Super Nanny", but it's always worked. When bad behavior begins, Max gets a warning. When he continues, without a word, he is put on the "naughty step" (or chair, or corner, but it has to be the same place - always) He stays there for as many minutes as he is old and if he moves from the step, he is returned to it again and again without a word until his time is up. Eventually he will be still and when I return for him, I sit down next to him and ( this is important ) tell him that he was put on the naughty step because....( you fill in the offense ) After asking him to touch nicely, or eat his dinner, he will say ok, and we finish with "some love" be it a kiss or a hug, and he returns to play. Now, again, it is NOT an overnight fix, and there are days that he spends more time on that step than anywhere else, but the "punishment" is always the same and eventually the behavior will change.

It takes a consistent three days to break a habit in a child, and right now, at their age, bad behavior is just that - a habit, not something that requires a life altering event to change. It is simply something they have "gotten away with" until such a time as you decide enough is enough and they cannot get away with it anymore. Put your foot down, and stick to it! Don't let the kids become the ones that make the rules - and don't bend the ones you make. They need consistency and structure. Think of it as giving them a "box" to live in, and you can make the box as big as you like, but the boundries and the foundation of the box must always be firm and unwavering.

As for your husband... mine and I have simply agreed to different roles. He knows that he is a Daddy that plays and is fun (and the kids know it too) and when the dirty stuff has to get done, it'll be up to me ( the kids know that too). When he gets mad that they don't take him seriously I remind him that that"s his fault and that they don't behave that way with me and so it's on his conscience. YOU need your kids to be good for YOU because you are the one they are always with. I see my kids as a reflection of me and my ability to give them the tools they need to be good kids. If he sees a change in them, maybe he'll start to come around. Good luck!

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