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I wish my husband would help me discipline our 3 children. Ideas to encourage this behavior?
Thank you for thinking I might have some advice…As a single person with no children to put in time out, I will do my best to answer this question based on what I know about male and female dynamics. When I get married, I may eat my words.
This initial question popped into my head:
Do you trust his leadership and authority as a disciplinarian? If your answer is yes, how do you communicate to him that you believe he is fit for the position?
I don’t know your husband. He might just be a bump on a log, but my guess is that if you show him you believed in him as an authority figure for your children, then, overtime he would step up to the plate.
Often, when we are in relationship with someone, we get comfortable. That comfort can cause us to say and do things in a manner that is de-energizing to the other person.
You may be perfect in communicating your needs to your husband. But I know women, who in frustration with trying to settle rowdy kids and feeling zero support from their husband, could easily say (in a tone that most men would filter as hugely disrespectful),
“Why won’t you help me?!?!?”
The expression is totally understandable and valid, but if we communicate in the heat of the moment, it probably won’t come out too motivational. If a man feels like he is being spoken to like the rest of the children, in a mothering tone, my guess is that he will either eventually explode (which is wrong) or not react and go passive.
Just as many women want their men to communicate in a gentle and kind manner, I think we, as women, need to work on holding ourselves to the same standard.
My advice below will not work for all men but here are three ideas that might encourage your husband:
1. If you are the type that has lashed out in your frustrated moments, try controlling yourself and saying nothing for awhile even though you desperately want his help when little Billy is throwing his blocks at his baby sister’s cabeza. (That’s “head” for you english speaking people.)
2. Then during that time of disciplining yourself from “in the heat of the moment” statements, make a point of just being with your husband when the kids are not around. In your own words, when something about the kids comes up, say something like this, “I hope that I haven’t taken over in raising our kids. I so desire to be a team with you and raise and discipline these kids together. They need to see what I see, which is your strength and leadership as a man. I hope you know how much I believe in you and desire to see you be that figure in their life.”
He might not say anything.
Let him process if he doesn’t. And then maybe change the subject and talk about something lighthearted or just focus on hanging out like you used to when you were just friends…before little Billy graced the world with his block-throwing presence.
3. After a time, when disciplining is needed, just include your husband and stay as positive as you can even though little Billy is making you want to rip your hair out. Say to Billy, “Dad will have the final say on how you are disciplined for your sister’s concussion.” Let your husband decide this time and mentally commit that you will agree. Even if it’s different than what you would have done.
A man won’t step it up and help if he fears the decision he makes will be shut down or changed by you…so for awhile, give him the reigns. Hopefully over time, your husband will be encouraged and helpful because he knows you trust him. And the “team” mentality should be back in place.
Kudos to you for wanting to know how to encourage your husband. I hope it helps! (Kudos? Seriously, I need better sign offs… It’s literally what pops into my head. I think I am stuck in 1992.)
From my heart,
Love and Respect (Now) is a division of Love and Respect. Please be considerate.