The Discipline Issue - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-26-2016, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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The Discipline Issue

My husband is a great father to our almost 2-year old son. They spend a lot of quiet and quality time with each other. He teaches him about building blocks, playing musical instruments, and is very involved. Most of the time they get along well and my son loves to be around him. He was thrilled the moment we found out we were having a son and just loves to play the role of dad to our boy.

Often times, I feel my husband can be too rough with him when it comes to discipline. Physically rough, like grabbing him, pushing him, and spanking him. To be honest, he's made a lot of improvements. He's backed off tremendously with the spanking and smacking. When I talk to him about my concerns, he listens and makes improvements.

I lost my temper with him earlier today. I put our son down for his nap. I turned on the baby monitor and noticed our son was actually climbing out of the crib with his legs slung over the top. Being almost 9 months pregnant and currently occupied, I asked my husband if he could go in there and take care of it. My husband barged into the room and firmly yelled at him to get back down. This startled our son who naturally broke out crying. From there (I could see this all on the monitor), my husband spanked him on the bottom and shoved him from behind to "force" him to lay down. However, the shove led our son to trip over his blanket and face-slam into the side of the crib and part of his attachable mobile- leaving a mark. I lost it. I ran in there, snatched him away and chewed out my husband. He stuttered it was an accident and he didn't think he would trip and hit his face. I told him I didn't care, he had no need to shove him or spank him. Startling him to get back into his crib should have been enough.

My husband stormed out of the home and left, stating how it was unfair of me to intervene as it made him look like a monster.

Look, I've lost my temper with our son too. He can be a frustrating two year old. I know my husband felt guilty for his reaction, as I saw the look on his face. I know he has really been trying lately to back off on being so harsh, as he's made major improvements. However, I couldn't stop myself from barging in there and taking over. I'm still really upset about how things played out. Regardless of how frustrating normal toddler behavior can be, I've never taken it as far as he does. In my mind, there's simply no excuse.

There's a huge debate inside of me. Part of me wants to leave him, and I've even thought out plans on how to do this. The other side of me reminds myself how much he's improved and how well he listens. How hard he's trying. Now, when I talk about the "before" aspect, I'm not saying he was an abuser who beat our child and has "improved". My meaning involves him backing off with the type of discipline mentioned above during this afternoon's incident. He spanks and smacks him less. He's become more patient with him. He spends more time with him. He's tried other methods of discipline.

Again, there's the part of me that wonders if I'm wasting my time thinking the improvements are temporary or if today was just a slip-up.

I'm thinking about parenting classes, but not sure where to start. I think this can help us both. I often times feel my husband doesn't truly understand regular toddler behavior. I feel he's trying to military-discipline him into perfection. Mold him how he sees fit. I also feel he's trying to be "the man" and his word is the law- and well, I honestly don't play that game. He grew up with a passive mother, so his dad naturally took charge. It doesn't work here. I have to consistently remind him we are BOTH a parent and we need to come to an agreement. My word is just as important. He doesn't need to be the man who "steps in" and takes charge when our son misbehaves with me. I tell him to let me handle our son when I'm handling him. I don't need him to take over and lay down the law. I feel this is challenging for him and even makes him feel like he's lost his manhood.

I admit- I can be controlling. I don't like him being the "authority" over me. I hate the idea of the dad being the firm, man-in-charge who has the final word. We think differently on this. When I intervene and tell him I don't approve of the way he handles our son, it's like I've stripped away his manhood. When I tell him he's actually NOT the solo parent in charge, he acts hurt.

Any advice?

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-26-2016, 06:32 PM
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Re: The Discipline Issue

Putting a two year old to nap in a crib knowing well that he'll jump out is way optimistic. We put our girls in a regular bed with rails on the side for that reason.

Your husband needs to be better predicting toddler behaviors and addressing things like these before they escalate. He's not a monster but he needs to learn.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-26-2016, 06:52 PM
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Re: The Discipline Issue

Once we knew our children were able to get out of their crib soon, we switched them to a toddler bed, with rails, like John did.

Toddlers push the limits. Then they become teens, and they push the limits (depending on their personality.) They need firm discipline, but with love. While I do believe in "swats," shoving is not the same as discipline. Shoving is not a discipline, it is an act of anger. It shows your child that you are out of control. A calm swat tells them you are in control, not only of yourself, but of them.

There is an excellent book, also on CD, called "Love and Logic." We heard about it too late for our oldest son, and a friend told us about it when he was out of control. Wish we had known about it when he was young. It is really for the parents, not for the children. It helped us get our sanity back. We will be buying it as a gift to all our children when they have toddlers.

Those parenting classes sound like a good idea. They might even lead you down the Love and Logic path.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-26-2016, 07:22 PM
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Re: The Discipline Issue

Two fold problem. Yes, your husband needs parenting skills. He does not appear to understand normal development. However, what he was doing was going to permanently damage your child. Undermining him in front of your child was a bad move on your part.

Also, you didn't let the two of them work it out. You should be working with your Husband on appropriate punishment, so that the two of you are on the same page. But you also need to back off. Let him make mistakes and then fix them, without you jumping in.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-26-2016, 10:01 PM
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Re: The Discipline Issue

If your son is climbing out of his crib, he should not be sleeping in a crib. What if in one of his escapes attempts he falls from the top of the crib to the floor?

Both you and your husband need parenting classes. With another baby on the way, this is ever more important.

By you rushing in and chewing your husband out in front of your son, you are teaching your son that all he has to do is to escalate the situation and you will then attack his father. Kids that young are very good at setting up situations where they turn the parents against each other. This puts the child in the position of being in control.. kids love that control. But it's very very bad for them and their development.

You and your husband need to learn how to co-parent. Plus you both need to learn about child development. I say both because while it probably is true that you know more than he does, you clearly do not understand things like a toddler who can climb out of a crib should no longer be sleeping in a crib. And that when a child decides that they don't want a nap, just forcing them back into the crib probably will not get them to nap.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-26-2016, 10:17 PM
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Re: The Discipline Issue

Clearly your husband went a bit far. Not on purpose. So I agree with others that he needs to learn more about common behavior at that age.

Considering you are asking to be part of a team when it comes to parenting, you completely alienated your husband by chewing him out in front of your son. Now he knows you'll come "rescue" him from being disciplined by your husband when he doesn't like it. Prepare to see that happen more often. Kids are smart at divide & conquer.

If you want to be part of a team, you both need to act the part, especially in front of the children.

"If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life."

~ Abraham Maslow
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Discipline Issue

Thank you for your responses. I agree I went too far by intervening. I understand why he was so upset. I lost my cool when I saw our son being spanked AND shoved from behind, as if my husband was bullying him. It infuriated me. I think the big issue is he KNOWS these actions upset me, but he doesn't seem to care. He does them anyway. When I try to discuss with him ways we can compromise discipline, he closes his ears to my side. Last night he said, in a clear tone, "I don't care what your thoughts are. I'll do things my way and you do things your way." This is what gives me thoughts on leaving him. He also laughed at the idea of marriage counseling and parenting classes, saying he won't participate. He doesn't need an "expert" to tell him how to raise "his" child. I realized there was no more to say at this point and walked out of the room. It was getting too heated and I was about to lose my cool again. His stubbornness is quite frustrating.

I did apologize to him and told him I will back off.

As for the crib climbing, this was honestly the first time we've seen him do something like this and get his legs over. It's not like he's been doing it and we've been ignoring it. We are definitely working on ways to either stop it or move him up to a toddler bed now that we're aware he can do it.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 01:40 PM
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Re: The Discipline Issue

You won't be able to stop your son from trying to climb out of the crib.
It's a sign they are ready for a bed.
God forbid he falls out and gets really hurt.
But beware when you move him I to a toddler bed you start a whole new bedtime battle.

I agree kids can be frustrating.
I have two small kids and they sure know how to push your buttons.
The thing is they are just babies. They are learning from you with everything you do.

I would say parenting classes are a must...you mentioned you are pregnant so eventually you are going to have small young ones. You both are going to be sleep deprived from having an infant and it's easier to lose your cool.




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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-12-2016, 05:22 AM
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Exclamation Re: The Discipline Issue

I am not a parent but I was an abused child. Spanking, hitting, yelling and other forms of angry, hostile and humiliating, fear based "discpline" caused serious problems for me which is why I finally entered therapy at 48.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyAG View Post
Most of the time they get along well and my son loves to be around him.
I loved my parents a lot but at about age 5, dad suddenly became a very mean and scary guy while mom was a cringing coward so whatever love I ever had for them was soon KILLED by them - not me!

Quote:
Often times, I feel my husband can be too rough with him when it comes to discipline. Physically rough, like grabbing him, pushing him, and spanking him.
Our dad was a rough and tough guy and now I realize that he was somewhat SADISTIC so he beat, spanked and hit my older brother and me A LOT while mom watched in utter indifference! I love that you have at least tried to protect your defenseless kid from your husbands angry violence - our gutless mom NEVER DID.

Quote:
To be honest, he's made a lot of improvements. He's backed off tremendously with the spanking and smacking. When I talk to him about my concerns, he listens and makes improvements.
He needs to do way more than just "back off"! Instilling fear and then later HATRED in one's child is about as ugly as it gets and can come back to bite the foolish parents in later years as it definitely did in our sick family!

Quote:
I lost my temper with him earlier today. I put our son down for his nap. I turned on the baby monitor and noticed our son was actually climbing out of the crib with his legs slung over the top. Being almost 9 months pregnant and currently occupied, I asked my husband if he could go in there and take care of it. My husband barged into the room and firmly yelled at him to get back down. This startled our son who naturally broke out crying. From there (I could see this all on the monitor), my husband spanked him on the bottom and shoved him from behind to "force" him to lay down. However, the shove led our son to trip over his blanket and face-slam into the side of the crib and part of his attachable mobile- leaving a mark. I lost it. I ran in there, snatched him away and chewed out my husband. He stuttered it was an accident and he didn't think he would trip and hit his face. I told him I didn't care, he had no need to shove him or spank him. Startling him to get back into his crib should have been enough.
What your husband did was all about REVENGE and not about "discipline" or any intenton to HELP his son!

Quote:
My husband stormed out of the home and left, stating how it was unfair of me to intervene as it made him look like a monster.
Well he was a MONSTER in that instance and the son will have lasting trauma from it!

Quote:
Look, I've lost my temper with our son too. He can be a frustrating two year old. I know my husband felt guilty for his reaction, as I saw the look on his face. I know he has really been trying lately to back off on being so harsh, as he's made major improvements. However, I couldn't stop myself from barging in there and taking over. I'm still really upset about how things played out. Regardless of how frustrating normal toddler behavior can be, I've never taken it as far as he does. In my mind, there's simply no excuse.
There is no excuse to mistreat a defenseless child that way and then pretend that it couldn't be helped! I am very proud of you for standing up for your own child. Our mom never would have stood up to her sadistic husband!

Quote:
There's a huge debate inside of me. Part of me wants to leave him, and I've even thought out plans on how to do this.
Our mom had an opportunity to leave her violent husband but she just didn't have the guts to do what she should have done when she had the chance. What a COWARD!!!

Quote:
He spanks and smacks him less
.
He shouldn't be hitting him at all! Especially not in frustration or ANGER!!

Quote:
Again, there's the part of me that wonders if I'm wasting my time thinking the improvements are temporary or if today was just a slip-up.
He is going to mentally damage your son UNLESS he gets some kind of emotional HELP or therapy!

Quote:
I'm thinking about parenting classes, but not sure where to start. I think this can help us both.
This would be good for BOTH of you and I'd start wherever or however you can - ASAP!

Quote:
I feel this is challenging for him and even makes him feel like he's lost his manhood.
And that kind of false pride can be extremely damaging to a child.

Quote:
Any advice?
Protect and defend your own kids from Abusers - even if it's the other parent!

choose happiness
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 10:56 AM
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I agree with Jim. Hitting, pushing over is not discipline. It's bullying. I'd leave. Well done for going to your toddler's rescue

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 06:55 PM
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Re: The Discipline Issue

Hitting, shoving, and using fright to scare him back into bed? Oh honey I'd of ripped Him a new body hole..... Disclpiline is effective when done in a CONTROLLED manner, not through anger or RAGE as what your husband did. My dad was like him, I moved out on my own at 16, quit school and got a job never even thought about moving home again and it's been 10 years. I have no respect for my dad, and even less respect for my mom, she knew what was happening and chose him over me every single time. ITS NOT NORMAL to beat your children. If the wrong people found out, you could lose your son.

Don't ask him. TELL him to act like a damn man and learn to control himself. He is the adult, he should act like it.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 03:36 AM
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 06:25 AM
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Cool Re: The Discipline Issue

Your H needs to know that this kind of physical behavior, more especially toward a two-year-old, is borderlining child abuse!

You don't really want to entertain being harassed by the likes of CPS for behavior like this toward a child! All that it takes is for only one person, albeit family or non-family, to either discreetly turn him or the both of you in!

I agree with those here who advocate immediate parenting classes for the both of you!

"To love another person is to see the face of God!" - Jean Valjean from Les Miserables

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 07:32 AM
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Re: The Discipline Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyAG View Post
Thank you for your responses. I agree I went too far by intervening. I understand why he was so upset. I lost my cool when I saw our son being spanked AND shoved from behind, as if my husband was bullying him. It infuriated me. I think the big issue is he KNOWS these actions upset me, but he doesn't seem to care. He does them anyway. When I try to discuss with him ways we can compromise discipline, he closes his ears to my side. Last night he said, in a clear tone, "I don't care what your thoughts are. I'll do things my way and you do things your way." This is what gives me thoughts on leaving him. He also laughed at the idea of marriage counseling and parenting classes, saying he won't participate. He doesn't need an "expert" to tell him how to raise "his" child. I realized there was no more to say at this point and walked out of the room. It was getting too heated and I was about to lose my cool again. His stubbornness is quite frustrating.

I did apologize to him and told him I will back off.

As for the crib climbing, this was honestly the first time we've seen him do something like this and get his legs over. It's not like he's been doing it and we've been ignoring it. We are definitely working on ways to either stop it or move him up to a toddler bed now that we're aware he can do it.
OP,
Perhaps if you and your H's parents had taken more disciplinary actions this would not be the case. In any event, children need discipline but it must be effective to serve any purpose. It is repeated many times on this thread that for any WS to have true remorse and be truly contrite that they must "feel the pain" of the BS. In order for your child to be obedient he must also "feel the pain" and since children are not capable of fully cognizant thought, then corporal punishment is an effective way to accomplish that. Rationalizing with a 2 year old is futile.

Children are like wild stallions in that their spirit must be "broken" in order to be well adjusted members of society and if the parents do not accomplish this then the state will have to attempt to. When a rebellious child misbehaves the ramifications are usually far less severe than when that "child" misbehaves as an "adult". The latter usually involves the authorities becoming involved and some sort of state punishment.

I agree that your H may be too harsh, especially verbally but, in my opinion, it is better to err on the side of overly strict than to administer little or nonproductive discipline, requiring the state to become parent later in life when, instead of breaking parent's rules, the "child" breaks laws and now must face discipline by the criminal justice system. Again, all of this is presuming no abuse, as you stated earlier.

So again, in my opinion, your H's disciplinary methods may seem overly harsh but I can assure you that they will be more effective than rationalizing with a 2 years old about the negative effects of climbing out of their crib. I would ask that you consider one last thought regarding effective methods of discipline. Earlier in our nations history (the US) spankings were a common method of disciplining children and lately have been replaced with more "sensitive" methods. Look back at society then and society now and see which "results" you prefer to live in and which you would prefer your children to live in when they grow up.

Sadly, children do not come with instruction manuals and how to videos and it is, therefore, up to each parent to utilize whatever information is available to them to ascertain the best course of parental action. You coming here is one such action, books and literature on the subject is another but I believe that perhaps the most prudent is observation. Look at parents in your family, circle of friends, church or what have you that have raised what you consider to be "good kids" and seek counsel from them regarding the methodology and application of discipline and be open and receptive to that advice.

We, the older generation, have done what we feel is best for our children and now it is up to you to do the same. We depend on you to raise your children in a way that causes them to be functioning, productive members of society as we were depended upon by our predecessors. That is the way of an advanced society. It is my hope that my words can assist you in determining the best way forward but if the contrary is true, then simply ignore them. Good fortune to you and your family.

Peace and long life
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2017, 08:10 AM
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Re: The Discipline Issue

A grown man who hits a two year old child in anger is nothing but a bully.If he does it again I would call the cops and have HIM removed from the home and not let him back until he had agreed to counselling.
Has it not occurred to you that your child could be taken off you if someone reports that he has bruising on his face.If he had broken his arm or ribs when he fell how would you explain that to an investigator from child protective services.
Can you trust your husband to be alone with your child.
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