Last night, my husband attempted to discipline our son. In general, I do the disciplining in our house. I don’t know why it has ended up this way, but it has. I think it has to do with fact that my husband’s parents didn’t discipline much. He was pretty much left to his own devices. I, on the other hand, grew up in a fairly strict household. I do not want to be just like my parents, but I do see the benefits of consistent discipline, even more so now that I am a teacher.
Anyway, last night I heard my husband yell at our son out the kitchen window that he had to come in the house for the night because he had broken the rules. I asked what the problem was and my husband informed me that our son was in the farm field behind our house with two neighborhood boys after he had been told to stay out. I did not interfere. Our son came stomping into the house and went straight up to his room, crying. He is only five and prone to fits of tears. After a short time, maybe five minutes, my husband went upstairs to talk to him. They both came downstairs. All seemed to be okay. A short time later, I realized that my son was out in the front yard with the two neighborhood boys. I asked him if his dad had allowed him outside. He said yes, but he had to stay in the front yard. My husband confirmed this.
Now, in a short time, I will be spending all day, everyday with my children. I am very careful about the punishments they receive for three reasons. Number one, I want to be very consistent. Number two, I don’t want to make empty threats. Number three, I do not want to punish myself in the process.
I told my husband that it upset me that he allowed our son outside because he told him that he was in for the night. If he says its for the night, then it needs to be for the night. I don’t want our son to think I am making empty threats and that 10 minutes after he’s punished, I’m going to change my mind.
Maybe I am overreacting. Maybe I’m tired of being the bad guy. In the long run, though, I would rather be the bad guy and my children grow up to be respectful adults than the alternative, much of what I see everyday at school.