I agree Bridget, as long as she isn't hurting or destroying anything I think getting the energy out by kicking isn't a bad thing.
I just feel like DH is hopeless when it comes to parenting. Whenever I try to talk to him about his approaches he gets this look on his face like 'oh here she goes again' and I just want to punch him. He has no interest in reading parenting books, and I think I blew it, because during one of the frustrating points of the day, I practically threw one of the books about defiant behavior at him and said "I think you need to read this." Right, like he's really going to want to read it after that approach.
Just every time he opens his mouth he makes Josh cry or is sending to his room for dumb reasons, or not humoring him or not playing along. Josh likes to hide things and make us look for them and DH always goes right to were the thing is and finds it. DH was watching the football game today and was making Josh be quiet. DH said "My dad always made me be quiet". The only thing DH remembers about his dad as a child is being told to be quiet a lot. Is that really how he wants Josh to remember him?
I at least had a little hope before this that I could help DH learn how to be a good parent (and teach myself, in the process), but now I don't feel like he even wants to try. It's just more exhausting and depressing than it's worth for me, to see that look where he doesn't even want to listen to me because he thinks I'm being hypercritical. Here I am thinking about asking him to leave. I don't think I can live with so much struggle for much longer.
When Bobbie and Jessica were babies and Rich & I were broke up, I attended a support group for single parents on welfare. A part of that group involved parenting tips and tricks. I learned a lot of invaluable lessons and it really was fun.
I think I would try to go Gwenn. And it seems to me like a friend would understand about your dh buying her ticket if he comes home in time, especially if she knows that is a possibility when she buys the ticket.
Bridget and Kate, I'm sorry you guys have SOs that don't want to be involved with your children. That must be so hard.
And there are many things he is knowledgeable about and he researches that I don't care about and don't want to spend time on, and that's good for both of us, except when he's out of town and I realize I've never had to light the pilot light on the hot water heater before.
I don't mean to imply that it's always been smooth for us, but he's usually listened to my ideas with respect and even if occasionally I wish he'd be a little more interested in the education part of parenting, I guess I'm just glad he's going along with what I say and when he does come up with stuff on his own, it's well-reasoned and thoughtful. He does just fine with street learning.
Kate, I do think it's just a little ironic you threw a book about defiant behavior at your dh.
Bridget, I think I could write another five paragraphs about your dbf. But I better control myself and settle for a
Gwenn, I don't know what I'd do in your situation. I'd probably not go, but I'm more like your husband and I don't like concerts so I have a hard time putting myself in your shoes. Don't make my vote count.
Kate, I can understand your struggles as you well know.
I really resent that I put so much thought and time into everything I do with the kids and he just squashes it all with one stupid comment like, "They need to learn blah blah blah."
And he pulls that crap too, trying to bring up how he was raised. And then when I ask him how that made him feel, or if he felt happy as a child, or if he enjoyed school, or if he believes in God..he has no clear answers for any of it. He totally lacks self reflection and it makes him totally lacking as a partner and father.
Last edited by Bridget; 01-23-2011 at 10:16 PM.
Gwenn - that's a tough one. I think I would probably skip it, but that is coming from a person who doesn't really care for going to concerts, so take that with a grain of salt. If you really want to go, can you buy the tickets and then sell them if you find out he is coming home?
Kate - I don't particularly enjoy reading parenting books either, but I do it when I feel I need to. Why does your dh think it needs to be entertaining? Can you talk with him sometime when everyone is calm and ask him to please read the book?
Bridget - I'd be livid. What on earth were you supposed to do? go in there and tell her if she didn't stop kicking the door that she was in trouble? grr.
Lydia - I'm sorry about your house situation. I hope you can find a way to resolve it without too much pain.
I know I'm missing a lot here, but this thread goes so quick I can't keep up.
"Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out." -Anton Chekhov
LOL Lydia, I didn't really throw it at him, just kinda tossed it into his lap. And as soon as I did it I regretted it. I had planned on approaching him about it calmly but it was another one of those days.
That's the thing, he doesn't seem to respect any of my methods or come up with anything on his own. I'd love it if he said "oh hey I don't like how Josh reacts to any of our responses, can we change something?" but instead he just pokes fun at Josh for crying, says "let me give you a reason to cry" which is an empty threat-he doesn't hit Josh-calls him a baby and calls it fake crying when there are obviously real tears rolling down his cheeks. I don't know how to get through to him that this is very damaging behavior.
Oh, Kate. Poor Josh.
I have to say that dbf has become a tad more sensitive in the way he approaches the kids. I just tried to speak to his heart on that and told him he needs to remember how important his approval is to them and when he says hurtful things to them it really truly hurts them. And they don't ever get over that. They store it away forever.
This whole conversation is making me sad. Sometimes I wonder what I'm getting myself into with TTC.
DH and I have lots of talks, and sometimes we see eye to eye and sometimes we don't. I love to think we'd work out differences like these but it does scare me sometimes.
That's awful, Kate. Tell him to put himself in Josh's shoes and think about how that feels. There are days when Travis' whining really gets to me and I just want to shout "shut uuuup!" at him but I stop myself because I know I wouldn't like someone telling me that and he's just being a 2 year old.
The trouble with trying to get a child to stop crying in that way is it's just teaching him or her to repress their emotions. Repressed emotions result in all kinds of psychological problems, especially as they grow older. I really, really hope your dh stops doing that.
I did mention it was being mentally abusive (not sure if that's right, I get confused between emotional and mental abuse) but anyway, the point I was trying to make is that it's abusive to treat someone in a way that makes them cry, and then make fun of them for crying. He has such an issue with people crying, he calls them oversensitive. Even when I cry--he doesn't know how to handle it.
It sounds like he could benefit from some counseling himself. It must be difficult to deal with him and his stubbornness about parenting. I think parenting is hard enough even when your partner is supportive.
If he's not going to listen to me I don't think he's going to listen to a therapist. He already doesn't like the idea of therapy. I don't want to pay someone to give advice he's not going to take. I see the usual pattern, he's trying to be extra good today but I'll put money on it being back to normal in a couple days.
Sometimes I feel really bad. I know I paint him in a very negative light and sometimes I don't know if it's all that bad. I do feel bad for the way he treats Josh sometimes but it really has been a difficult year and a half or so for all of us and I keep hoping maybe once Josh gets a little older, DH will be able to relate better.
I know it could be worse, he could be a cheater or not have a job or be lazy around the house, and he's none of that. I only wish he were more compassionate and empathetic.
I do that too, I seem to mostly post about the things I dislike about Rich and I fear that I make him sound worse than he is. Don't worry, when I read your posts I take it with the understanding that there's a lot more to him that's good, the same as with Rich.
So I never used to let DH help me out in the kitchen but we've been trying to do more cooking together lately. He even usually stays put in the other room when I'm getting snacks for us because I'm so territorial about the kitchen. I'm trying to be better, because it's a real pain to carry two drinks and two snacks.
I wasn't always patient with Bobbie and Jessica. Maybe even a little non-patient with Sydney too, I really don't remember. But our best parenting lessons I think I learned first and shared with Rich. Sometimes he'd just emulate what he saw me do that worked, other things had to be discussed or even argued about.
One area that's always been a touchy one regarding parenting between us is food. I read so much about eating disorders and forcing your kids to finish everything on their plate. I went full swing the opposite way. I never make my kids eat anything they don't like, and I always have other choices for them to eat for dinner, be it cereal, a sandwich or some pasta dish they can whip up on their own. Every once in a while, Rich tries to pull that "You'll eat what's made for dinner" crap and we go round again. I tell him all the time that even as adults there are things we won't eat, so I won't force my kids to eat anything they don't like. I figure they have a right to like/dislike whatever they want, same as me. None of them have unhealthy diets and eat a good amount of fruits and vegetables. I just don't buy the crap so it's never a choice for them, so I don't see what the big deal is about eating what's been cooked for dinner.
Eating is an issue between us too, and I go back and forth on it. Sometimes I'll ask him what he wants and he still won't eat it. We usually have to make some kind of game out of it and he'll eat a couple bites. Other times he eats it all and wants seconds. But DH is a fan of the clean plate club too.
Last edited by daylilies; 01-24-2011 at 02:11 PM.