Don't get me wrong, my son is basically a good kid. He doesn't cuss, doesn't get into physical fights, and his grades are decent. But sometimes, like all kids, he does things that are totally inappropriate and/or disrespectful. When this happens, it seems that my all-too-laid-back husband sits back silently, twiddling his thumbs, and I am left being the disciplinarian. Umm, HELLO! I didn't sign up for the role of "Bad Cop". This is not something I should have to deal with all by myself. It's not the image I want my kids to have of me. Sure, as a parent, it is my job to be just that: The parent. It is NOT my job to be the kids' buddy. While I like being able to talk to and get along with the kids, there is the understanding that I am the adult and they are the children. But the last time I checked, I was NOT the ONLY parent in this household. So why is it that I am always the one who has to have the unpleasant task of punishing the kids?!
Recently, my son did something totally inappropriate to try and make other kids think he was "cool." In the process, he embarrassed my husband and I as well as a good friend of ours. Of course, he knew better, and he knew he was in trouble for his actions. But when it came time to discipline him, here's how it went, as usual:
Please note, I do not yell or scream. This conversation was done in a speaking manner.
Me: "Okay, so please tell me why you did what you did? You knew better. What were you thinking that made you feel this was acceptable behavior?"
Son: "I don't know."
Husband: Sitting on couch, silently, twiddling his thumbs.
Me: " I don't know is NOT an answer. You obviously knew when you did it. You embarrassed us and you embarrassed (insert name here.) We have had this talk before, and you understand that this kind of behavior is totally unacceptable. Let's try this again: Why did you behave that way?"
Son: "I thought the other kids thought I was boring and I wanted them to think I was cool, so I said what I did."
Me: "I understand that you want to feel like you fit in. You are better off just being yourself and not trying too hard to get attention. The kind of attention you got is the wrong kind, and it's not going to make people think you're cool. You do realize that there will be consequences for your actions, right?"
Son: "But MOM, I am NOT a child!" followed by eye-rolling.
Me: "The last time I checked you were a child. You are not old enough to vote, you cannot legally hold a job and pay your own bills, and you're only 11 years old. You are the child, and I am the parent, and that means that you need to show some respect and follow the rules. Rules are there for a reason, and when you break them, there are consequences."
Husband: Still sitting there silently.
Son: " No, I am NOT a child. Why should I get grounded? Kids get grounded. Can't I choose my OWN punishment? Why are you taking TV away? That's not FAIR. Dan isn't punishing me! Why do YOU have to be mean?"
Husband: STILL hasn't chimed in to support me here.....
You get my drift? I feel like I am the only parent at times, and it's not fair in my mind that my husband leaves ALL of the disciplining to me. After all, we're supposed to be a team and back eachother up. Don't get me wrong, my husband is a fantastic Dad. The ONLY area he is lacking is in the manning up and helping with the unpleasant task of disciplining the kids. In this area, he simply sits there and lets ME do it all. This really bothers me a lot, since I don't want to be known as the "Bad Cop." When I ask him why he never steps in to back me up, he simply says, "Well honey, it sounded like you had it covered."
Arghhhh.....Makes me want to throw a tantrum of my own!
Anyone else go through anything similar? How do you handle the task of disciplining the kids? Any ideas about how I can get my husband to work WITH me rather than sit by silently