March 19, 2013 My Husband Rewards Our Son's Bad Behavior
Hi, I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger and welcome to our YouTube channel, where I get to answer your questions. This is from Wanda:
"I am a very happily married woman [I'm so happy to hear that] with a very large dilemma:
I have been married for eight years, and we have a 7-year-old son. [I love when the math works, don't you? (Laughs)] My husband doesn't acknowledge anything my son does wrong. [Uh oh] We are raising an 'out of control' child, who is very disrespectful, controlling, mouthy, doesn't listen to anything we say, and lies about everything... but only when my husband is around.
My son can be very nice, loving, thoughtful and helpful, but never in front of my husband. This is the only thing my husband and I fight about, and lately, we fight more often than I'd like to admit. I feel like I've tried everything to get my husband to realize that this is harming our son, but he would rather ignore the situation and continue rewarding this awful behavior.
I'm losing respect for my husband because he doesn't take any action with our son. I'm the bad guy and he is the playful one, he's the one who cares - he's Daddy. Do you have any suggestions?"
Yeah. I think it is really important for you to sit down with your husband and say, "Let's talk about when you were growing up and you were 8 years old, and you were with your mommy and daddy and what was going on." At first, he won't want to answer, and then say, "You know what? It seems to me that it's very important to you that our son have total freedom and never be bad or wrong. And I was wondering if that was because when you were growing up you were always bad or wrong and you just don't want him to suffer like you did?"
So, in other words, you're giving an analysis, you're giving a potential explanation for the problem, and you're not attacking him and fighting with him. But you're helping him delve into his deepest motivations for what you and I know is hurting your boy. But when we approach him that way, he only gets defensive.
If you touch the feelings he's had since he was a child about how nothing he did or said felt rewarded or appreciated, and he was always wrong, he was always criticized or ignored, or whatever it was. Maybe he was only acknowledged when he was a pain in the butt. So whatever it is...you know something about his parents now and you have to reach into him somehow and get to that. And I would do this real ASAP because your child has developed habits - not good.
I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Until next time, here on our YouTube channel.