02-08-2020 09:41 PM
02-09-2020 02:05 PM
Welcome to the ReachOut community, and thank you so much for sharing.
I just thought I'd say I really understand where you're coming from, and I think if I were in your position, I'd be concerned too. You're right in that, generally speaking, you shouldn't reward a child that is throwing a tantrum as they learn that that behaviour gets them what they want, so they'll keep doing it. So you're concerns are definitely legitimate as also evidenced by the health visitor who echoed your thoughts.
I understand that your wife wants the best for your son, and it definitely sounds like she wants to make him happy, which is great. But, it sounds like you aren't feeling heard or listened to, which seems like one of the main problems here. You and your wife had the child together, and it's important that she listens to you and respects your parenting style as well, especially if health professionals support what you're saying. If I were you I'd bring this up with my wife and just explain to her that you're feeling unheard, that you have had this child together, and that you deserve to take part in how your son is parented. It might be an idea to come to some sort of compromise. It might also be worth engaging in couples counselling to aid this discussion/compromise.
I have tagged some of our most regular users here for their amazing support and insights!
02-09-2020 06:14 PM - edited 02-09-2020 06:16 PM
The Negative Effects Of Spoiling Children
By Madisyn Taylor
When children are spoiled we do them a great disservice because they are not being allowed to earn and learn.
It might feel that buying gifts and presents constantly will give them fond memories of childhood however your wife may be interfering with your childs developement.
One of the most precious gifts you can give your children is the independance they gain when they learn to earn what they covet and become stewards of their own happiness.
When children are not afforded the opportunity to be self reliant and that possessions come at a price they develop a sense of entitlement that blinds them to the necessity of work and the needs of others.
We may spoil our children because giving is pleasurable or to avoid conflict . Yet children who are given acceptance ,love and affection in abundance are often kinder,more charitable and more responsible than those whose parents give in to their every wish or demand .They develop a sense of self that goes beyond possessions and as adults understand that each individual needs to be responsible for building the life they desire. If you are giving into your childs every whim/demand ask yourself, Why ?
This is a summary of the article and it is written probably with children older than 2 in mind , however the habits built now will be very hard to change .
For what it's worth I agree with you completely and too often there is a good cop bad cop scenario on the home front. That role needs to be constantly reversed other wise the examples you have given in regard to you and your wife are only going to open a big divide in the upbringing of your child for many years .. No reason for you to always be the nay sayer, you just need to get your wife to agree to be the bad cop from time to time . Good luck with that ,
02-09-2020 11:58 PM
02-10-2020 11:16 AM
See if she will have a look at the abridged version of the negative effects of spoiling children. Meanwhile for your own sanity at home , you may have to reach a compromise with your wife , so that toddler gets given in to by you both and sometimes not. The whole job gets easier in time as your child develops so does his vocabulary and understanding of the world around him . Maybe you just have to laugh it off with your child for a little longer, with baby talk and smiles
"oh you want daddy's toast, ? oh poor daddy , daddy will be hungry , oh here eat my toast while I am starving huuunnggrryy, you rascal ! if you can turn the tantrum into a laugh you could be on the way to getting more cooperation from your wife in the future and possibly reducing the length of tantrum and even lowering your stress levels. When I went through it I used to joke or semi joke with my friends , if my kid lives to three he has a good chance of a long life. Learning on the job with my toddler nearly killed me some days
02-11-2020 07:15 AM
I agree that a laugh it off approach is a good thing. I do often try this but his reactions have gotten so drastic and happen so quick that once he gets upset I can't reason with him and me even speaking to him anymore makes him get more and more upset. It's like a switch is flicked and there's no going back. If I'm on my own with him then I just have to let him cry it out which works in the end. But this isn't an option when my wife is around. I actually don't remember the last time she did let him cry it out to be honest.
I'm starting to realise that this is just as much to do with my wife having zero trust in my instincts as a father or generally having any respect for me as an able parent. I'm even starting to question everything I do with him and feel like I have to run everything by her first.
Even this morning she had a problem with me arranging to have my mum babysit him due to her having just found out that she has to go away for a couple of days with work at the same time that I have had a prior arrangement booked for months. It was brought up between my Mum and I over the phone yesterday and she simply offered to help out so that the date clash wasn't an issue. I informed my wife this morning and she immediately said that she wouldn't feel comfortable with him staying out whilst she was away and that I'd just have to cancel my arrangements meaning I'd be letting other people down in the process. But then there have been plenty of times where she has arranged for our son to stay with her parents when it suits her without ever running it by me. But then I trust her and her family so wouldn't expect her to check with me first.
I realise I'm going off on a tangent here but everyday I feel less and less like his father and more and more like my wife's pa who is there to simply help out as much as possible but have absolutely no say in how things are done and I really am starting to feel like it's creating a divide between myself and the two of them.
02-11-2020 01:23 PM
Hi @thomaswomas ,
Just catching up on this post, and I can really relate to a lot of what you're saying. I'm also the parent of a toddler, and dealing with challenging behaviours is definitely one of the most challenging parts of this (also delightful!) stage.
I'm hearing from you that you don't feel like your wife and yourself are on the same page when it comes to approaches to discipline, is that right? It's a really common experience for parents of young kids, especially if you have different family backgrounds, expectations of acceptable behaviour or parenting styles.
i have found the resources on the raising children website to be really useful for different ideas for behaviour management, and I thought I'd just share this link here in case you find it helpful , it's full of different articles and ideas on toddler behaviour and common challenges.
One thing I've found helpful is to try and discuss general boundaries and parenting decisions with my partner at a time when we're both calm, and child free -it can be really hard to have those discussions in the heat of the moment, with a screaming 2.5 year old!
I hear you say that you feel like your wife doesn't trust your parenting decisions, and you feel like her PA - that must be really painful and upsetting as a husband and dad. Do you think talking about these feelings with her could be helpful?
02-11-2020 01:35 PM - last edited on 02-11-2020 03:39 PM by Janine-RO
I feel I am entering dangerous waters here, as I don't wish to give offence to any female forum readers, my wife was quite overprotective after she gave birth, this may or may not be a common occurrence . To the point that she wouldn't allow anyone , not even her parents or sister to mind let alone babysit our son, well at that point in time she thought of him as her son not our son. And like you I didn't get much of a say .
I probably sound silly here but your wife ,in my opinion is really way off course with bags of lollies for a toddler. We held off sweets and soft drinks until he was nearly 6.
But thats a minor point compared to the shut down thats starting between you two.
She may be feeling a bit frightened and panicky about the whole baby thing and taking it out on those nearest and dearest, ie you. Before you get to breaking point on this you are going to need a lot more help than my ramblings.
Tell her , promise her what ever , go so far as saying I am doing my best but it's clearly not good enough, but you both need to go together and sit down with a child care person or a marriage counsellor or a psychologist , agree with her if she tells you you are not doing a brilliant job just say it's the best iI can do.Ask her to come with you for some professional advice before too much damage is done between you . Kids are tough no two are alike in what works or doesn't work. One of my friends went so far as to say, our first child was so easy we had another. Then go on to tell me if the 2nd child had come first they would never have had another as that was the child from hell. Not implying anything here but the 2nd child nearly broke the marriage.For years my wife totally panicked if she thought our son wasn't fitting in or ticking boxes as she wanted or expected. She took it personally as if we were bad parents. No we weren't but there is a ton of peer pressure and high expectations in mothers groups it almost becomes a competition. It's easier as a team and at the moment you are 2 individuals butting heads with too little teamwork. If you are Australia your Gp can get you 5 or 6 free visits to a psychologist under medicare's mental health plan. Told him I was getting depressed so I went , then she went using one of my bookings alone, then we went together Not sure if that is within the rules but we got cooperation from both the doctor and psych. Having someone outside family and friends listen to you both can work wonders . It certainly helped us understand each others point of view better. Just being two people who love each other isn't always enough.Keep trying its better than losing your family
02-11-2020 02:03 PM
As a PS I should have said seek professional advice when you feel you have tried and are getting no where with normal discussions ,not rows, at home. As when all else fails the impartiality of those professionals can really help you both resolve the problems
02-11-2020 04:04 PM
Hey @sidneysdad ,
Just a quick note to let you know I made a small edit to your post - just in case it could be upsetting or triggering for other users.
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences, and I think your advice about seeing a psychologist under a mental health plan is a really excellent one I think that parenting, especially parenting young kids, can be a really stressful time in a lot of people's relationships, and working with a professional to communicate with each other through these challenges and strengthen that relationship is a really great idea.
Thanks so much again for all the amazing advice and support you give here .