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Author Topic: Sharing Authority... long  (Read 3130 times)
Mandi
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Did the big meanies break yer speshulness

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« Topic Start: May 16, 2010, 02:47:34 pm »

For the last 6mo, me and the kiddos have been on our own.  Before that we had another 6mo stretch with hubbs working away from home.  He's in telecom and long story short, has to go where the work is. 

Now, daddy-o is back to stay (well for now anyways) and we are trying to integrate him back into our family order.  This is becoming increasingly irritating.  I won't even bother to be PC and say dificult.  I'm going to say flat out annoying.  Three kiddos, each with their unique issues and having high standards, being a rather OCD type and I was a tech before having kids (all contributes to my belief that there is a process for everything and these processes must be followed in order to achieve an outcome) leaves both hubbs and I at points with each other.

My diet, vegie/ pesci extends to the kiddos in many ways.  This has helped keep my oldest sons weight under control.  He unfortunately is one of those people who every bite counts.  This has been a lifelong struggle for him, and will most likely continue to be.  By cutting things like juice and milk (yup.  Drink water.) and not buying things like cookies, chips, ice cream, cheeses, etc we were able to get 20lb off of him.  Previously a gallon of milk would last almost 3 weeks.  We have gone through TWO gallons this week.

Dad's been back for a week and he's up 5 pounds.  Dad believes in hearty 8oz glasses of milk at dinners, bottles of juice in the fridge because 'he likes them' and shouldn't have to give it up just because the kids shouldn't have it and that's great, since I have my diet pepsi but the kids know better than to touch it or even ask.  (no aspartame for kiddos)  Dad believes in meat at every dinner, cheese on every taco and that every protein wants a carb.  We've been around and around to the point of yelling and slamming doors and it's only been a week.

Rules and boundaries oh my.  9pm is bedtime.  I don't care what day of the week it is, I don't care whether there is only an hour left in the movie.  Finishing it tomorow will not kill you.  I have been called cruel and unusual and have been told that I should have never gotten the movie and that the kids will grow up to hate me because I didn't let them stay up. (of course I don't believe this.)

My oldest is starting to realize that dad thinks he's a lot more mature than he really is.  This means he's getting the benefit of the doubt in cases where he needs the book thrown at him.  I do recall it being a bit like this before, although not as bad because he was young enough that the things it was regarding weren't such a big deal.  Eg.  the kids (9/7) were playing football a couple days ago and Bubba tackled his younger brother.  Even at his lower weight, he still is 20lb bigger than his brother.  He tackled him into the ground and stomped on his knee.  My 7yo has a footprint from my oldests sneaker on the inside of his knee. 

Hubbs was playing as well, and when D cried he was told not to be such a baby because "he was tackling too" even though his idea of a tackle is to hang around his brothers waist and drag his pants down.  This is not going to fly.  My oldest when I spoke to him later knew he was in the wrong and apologised, although it was a day late a buck short.  D looks like he was beaten from the knees down.  They both scrape themselves up pretty good on bikes and wrestling, but D is definitely taking the worst of it.  He didn't bother to show his dad his knee and later showed me.  Hubbs said he must be okay since he didn't say anything earlier.

My oldest is learning that he's getting a longer leash and he has started using some of dad's favorite words... "lame" and rolling his eyes/ huffing and puffing when he doesn't get his way.  He's emulating dad.

Usual house rules would involve Bubba, my oldest loosing privileges, but dad feels that D had it coming to him and gives me grief when I discipline.  He says that I am 'bullying' the kids and that they are afraid of me and that's the only reason they act like they like me.

I don't feel this is the case, my boys come to me with everything - even things I would prefer not to hear, and since they've been with just me alone for 10mo out of the last year, I'd have to say we have a system where everyone knows that they have to pull their own weight, follow the rules and that they will get what they need to get by.

I'm getting tired of arguing with hubbs.  I say it a million times a day, "Live Tight" it's the only way to keep a household of 3 kids on track, clean, fed, civilized and to avoid as many crisis as we can.  He wants the results of live tight, but lacks the discipline to do the things that you have to do to get those results.  He gets upset when things don't fall into place, but doesn't seem to understand how to parent in a way to be respected by the kids and to get the results he wants.

A parenting class isn't gonna be an option.  I'm bringing him up to speed on parenting the way you get a kid who hates vegetables to eat them.  Sneak them in, dress them up and push them through.  The boys need consistency.  We're in a new house, in a new state, new everything.  If we get a precedent set that dad has no boundaries it will be hard to overturn.

Any other bad cops trying to get the fun parent off the couch and enforcing the things that keep the kiddos on track?  What have you done?  What would you do?  Especially when you are accused of being too strict.
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I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir

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RandallS
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« Reply #1: May 16, 2010, 02:55:44 pm »



It looks like the two of you have completely different styles of and priorities for parenting. Like it or not, you are probably both going to have to bend some.
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« Reply #2: May 16, 2010, 08:57:30 pm »



I agree with Randall, You are probably both going to have to compromise, I think you need to sit down and go over things sans kiddies, and be on the same page. I know when my husband and I don't communicate concerning the kids chaos follows. Being on the same page, with rules and discipline makes things run much smoother.
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Owl
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« Reply #3: May 17, 2010, 12:00:21 pm »



I feel for you.  My ex would ignore the kids and then get annoyed at something and lower the boom much harder than needed - which led to me changing what he decreed all the time.  After we split he had the balls to drop them back at my house on a number of occasions and tell me they were grounded - always for some bs thing.  I refused to follow his rules in my house, but in my house things were calm and everything went smoothly.  His was chaos.

I would sit him down and make it clear that there have to be rules, and that he has to follow them too.  No exceptions.  And call him on it every time he breaks the rules.  This will piss him off, but unless you want to live with chaos, it is necessary.
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Mandi
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Did the big meanies break yer speshulness

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« Reply #4: May 17, 2010, 12:58:22 pm »



As the days are going by, I think he's starting to see the method to my madness, but on the surface I can see how it might look like a whole lot of rules.  Especially if you haven't been around to see that we do have some less structured elements. 

He took the boys up to visit his family yesterday and their rules are non existent.  They are currently caring for his cousins children.  I think he came home with an appreciatoin for our order.

Since we're financially tighter than tight the food thing will probably be better communicated on a fiscal level than a health level.  Being blessed with an amazing metabolism he just doesn't understand the rest of us poor bums who smell a potato and gain three pounds. 

Seeing his cousins kids, who are parented in a style that is closer to what he is used to and seeing our boys side by side was helpful I think.  When he was left in charge of their kids, these kids were mouthing back, calling him by his first name and being openly defiant.  Suddenly all the discipline doesn't look so bad as an alternative.

I think a little longer of seeing the results - and seeing the variances, because he hasn't been involved in the kids social interactions or really been around too many kids their age besides them will help. 

He came home last night asking what an appropriate form of address from his cousins kids would be.  They call his sister auntie.  I told him that he needs to correct the kiddo in passing, firmly and move on to the discussion.  If the kid is uncomfortable calling him Uncle Devin, then Mr Devin is also acceptable.  Unfortunately it's retrospective.  He also needs to do more than just tell the kid to stop over and over again.  (the kid was dunking other kids under in the pool) He needed to follow up by pulling the kid out and making him stay out of the pool till someone came home to watch him that he would listen to.

He's been outside of the family structure for long enough that he's having trouble picking up where he left off, and I get frustrated having to explain what to me seems like it should be second nature because it's what I do day in and day out.  He absolutely has to find his own way of relating to the boys, but I think the biggest challenge in this might be getting him comfortable being an authority figure, and relating to rules as an adult rather than feeling like a child or being threatened or afraid of not being liked because of rule making.
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I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir
Mandi
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Last Login:June 03, 2011, 01:52:13 am
United States United States

Religion: ergghhhmmmmnnnnn....
Posts: 1997


Did the big meanies break yer speshulness

Blog entries (48)



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« Reply #5: May 17, 2010, 01:08:30 pm »

I feel for you.  My ex would ignore the kids and then get annoyed at something and lower the boom much harder than needed - which led to me changing what he decreed all the time.  After we split he had the balls to drop them back at my house on a number of occasions and tell me they were grounded - always for some bs thing.  I refused to follow his rules in my house, but in my house things were calm and everything went smoothly.  His was chaos.

I would sit him down and make it clear that there have to be rules, and that he has to follow them too.  No exceptions.  And call him on it every time he breaks the rules.  This will piss him off, but unless you want to live with chaos, it is necessary.

Hubbs is a child of this kind of parenting.  Mom and dad worked outside the home, gramma was the adult in charge and her form of discipline was "wait till your dad gets home" and dad was heavy handed in discipline.

Everything was all good right up until it wasn't.  No discipline, no discipline, no discipline, abuse.  So he's got an association that discipline equals abuse, anger, and resentment.
Logged

I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir
Owl
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Last Login:March 07, 2012, 02:46:28 pm
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« Reply #6: May 17, 2010, 01:13:26 pm »

Hubbs is a child of this kind of parenting.  Mom and dad worked outside the home, gramma was the adult in charge and her form of discipline was "wait till your dad gets home" and dad was heavy handed in discipline.

Everything was all good right up until it wasn't.  No discipline, no discipline, no discipline, abuse.  So he's got an association that discipline equals abuse, anger, and resentment.


That just makes it harder!
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« Reply #7: May 18, 2010, 02:32:38 am »


Something that's jumping to mind (with the massive disclaimer that I am not a parent and only look after other people's kids on an intermittent basis) is that rules/structure does not equal discipline.

It sounds like things are improving, but if you want them to improve more then this may be a good area to compromise and find a balance. Keep the strict discipline, cut down on the rules.

I think I can count the rules I had as a kid on one hand: 1) only do things to other people with their permission (by this I mean physical things, mostly fighting related), 2) you make a mess you clean it up (first in the literal sense and later in the metaphorical also), and 3) be polite. All of these were strictly enforced, but pretty much everywhere else I was free to screw up and learn from it. I'm not in the best position to judge how that worked, but I've found it a pretty useful tool when caring for other people's kids (including long term as an au pair).

Not saying cut down to that few rules, or those rules, just that reducing rules while maintaining strict repercussions for breaking them may be a good place for compromise/finding balance with Hubby.

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Mandi
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Did the big meanies break yer speshulness

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« Reply #8: May 18, 2010, 01:07:57 pm »

Something that's jumping to mind (with the massive disclaimer that I am not a parent and only look after other people's kids on an intermittent basis) is that rules/structure does not equal discipline.

It sounds like things are improving, but if you want them to improve more then this may be a good area to compromise and find a balance. Keep the strict discipline, cut down on the rules.

I think I can count the rules I had as a kid on one hand: 1) only do things to other people with their permission (by this I mean physical things, mostly fighting related), 2) you make a mess you clean it up (first in the literal sense and later in the metaphorical also), and 3) be polite. All of these were strictly enforced, but pretty much everywhere else I was free to screw up and learn from it. I'm not in the best position to judge how that worked, but I've found it a pretty useful tool when caring for other people's kids (including long term as an au pair).

Not saying cut down to that few rules, or those rules, just that reducing rules while maintaining strict repercussions for breaking them may be a good place for compromise/finding balance with Hubby.



Rules wise, I can't say that there are many that are spelled out in a laundry list, but there are a lot of things that are on the 'no' list. 

Rooms need to be clean and beds made before you will be allowed to go out and play.
Homework gets done as soon as the kids get home from school and have a quick snack. (getting them back in school mode after they've been out playing is too hard once their focus is gone)
Bedtime is 9 with very rare exceptions, usually when I've lost track of time. 
Stay out of the fridge/ pantry/ cabinets.
No ball in the house. (you'd think this would be common sense but...)
Don't go any farther than the end of the block.


My primary most important rule;
Do as you are told when told by a parent/adult guardian/ teacher, the first time you are told, without mouthing back and without asking for lengthy explainations.  If I have asked you to do something it is for a reason, even if that reason is not immediately obvious.  In time all things of an appropriate nature will be made clear. 

Things like sending them to throw something away, to get something (diaper, pen, book, etc.) or bring in groceries fall under this one.  The general I am your parent and you will be obediant and respectful in being a productive member of our household.  If I ask you to go play upstairs for ten minutes, or to sit and read quietly for a half hour, I'm not looking for your opinion on the request.  Currently I see these things as exercises in skills building.  Once I feel confident that the boys are fluent readers, then it will be more of a choice thing but for now if they had their choice they would spend far more time on bikes and at the neighbors house and they would use the books as doorstops and eat nothing but chips and candy.

This is the one that hubbs takes issue with I think.  This is the one that gets the best results though.  It is the one that they know the only acceptable response is yes ma'am and the one that extends to how they behave when they are under the supervision of other adults.


The stuff like don't hit eachother, I don't really address since it's sort of a duh.  The times that it's gotten out of control then we move from discipline to punishment, because that's an infraction against keeping the peace and we all suffer when we have to fix what went wrong, restore order and patch everybody up.
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I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir

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