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ADD & Child Care

I have a lot of trouble disciplining my children when my husband seems to undermine me in front of them. I know he doesn’t mean it intentionally. He doesn’t do it out of a lack of respect. He just tends to instinctively behave more like a friend to the kids rather than a parent. If I’m trying to tell them to get ready for bed, but he’s rolling around on the floor with them, getting them all riled up, it tends to diminish my authority. It sends mixed messages, and a lot of times I feel like I have to be the bad guy, and that’s not fair. I’m not the bad guy just because I want my kids to go to bed before midnight, or not have ice cream for dinner. Oftentimes, I have to do what I call double discipline. When my children are misbehaving, and my husband is enabling them, I have to use twice the discipline because now I have to discipline him as well. It usually goes something like this:

“Okay, time for bed.”

Chaos continues to ensue.

“I said it’s time for bed.”

I’m a ghost.

“Doug…” my husband.

He’s in his own world.

“Doug?”

He’s just as hyped up as the kids.

“Douglas!”

“Yes?”

“Can you help me out here?”

“Okay guys, time for bed.”
That they hear. Why is it that I have to fight twice as hard to be heard half as much?

— Anonymous

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