I have a four year old daughter who does not listen to me at all. Ever! No matter what I do she argues with me. I am trying my hardest to get her behavior under control but I feel like my husband is making it worse. Whenever I am trying to discipline her (which usually means her and I are arguing) my husband says things like, “Stop bothering your mom, just come over here with me.” or “Would you guys stop yelling at each other?” I feel like that is something you would say to a couple of children who are fighting, not to a mother trying to get a handle on an out of control child. Am I wrong in thinking that he either needs to say something useful or keep his mouth shut? Please help!
Dear Frazzled Mom,
Toddlers can be a handful, as well as husbands. For starters, you are the mother and the wife. Put your foot down! Your husband should not undermine you, nor should he discipline you for your parenting in front of your daughter. When this occurs children see it as a weakness and will stop listening to the parent being scolded. If he feels he needs to say something about the way you are parenting, it is best that it be done when your child is not in the room and can’t hear you two talking. I find that when both parents team up together when a child acts out they will see a better response and less acting out. Parents who discipline individually have the mindset that one parent should be the enforcer while the other is the comforter; soon they will come to find that their children do not obey them and will act out regularly.
If you do not want this to put a strain on your relationship with your husband, then I would suggest the two of you sit down one evening and discuss the issues you both might have with each other’s parenting. Explaining to him that you would like him on your team instead of against you would be the best starting point. Let him know that it is ok to disagree with you but only if it is done when the kids are not around. On a side note, remember that your daughter is 4 and is still a bit of a toddler and will at times try to push buttons to see what she can get away with. This is also the age were they realize it is possible to play mommy and daddy off of each other. Both parents need to be involved. The only time he should really stay out if it is if you have total control of the situtation and it sound like you could use his help. As children get older the rules and the disciplinary actions change. It is important for you and your husband to agree always on how to handle these situations. Communication is the key that will help in any relationship, well that and love.
“If I had a dime for every time my toddler back sass’s me, I would be the richest woman in the world!”