taterbaby67's picture

What's Reasonable?

Bear with me through this...

My son and I were visiting with my boyfriend as we normally do (2 hours away). I ran to the store and while I was gone, my son and his son laughed at him after he told them twice to stop doing something (my son is 6 and his is 9). He made them stand in the corner for 10 minutes and then, upon my return, proceeded to have them sit on the couch. He talked to them and told them, sporadically, why they were sitting. He kept telling my son to sit still and be quiet. I finally had enough (it had been about 40 minutes since it all began) and felt that his timing was too long, especially for a six year old (and 9 for that matter) to sit. I openly said something in front of the kids like "Hasn't this gone on long enough?" He became mad at me. He went on to say what his dad did to he and his brothers when they were growing up and I reminded him that he wasn't his dad.

I do believe my son should be taught to respect him, but I do not want him to fear my boyfriend (we're engaged). I love this man, but I am not going to allow my kids to be "scared" into minding -- they must be taught.

I know I was wrong about confronting him in front of the kids, but how do we sit down and decide what is appropriate and what is not. He has some very strong, "old school" thoughts on discipline. I am a teacher and know there are other ways, but can't get him to realize this.

What to do? Suggestions, Ideas....

Thanks so much!

2xstepmom's picture

You and your boyfriend need to reach a compromise on discipline, and fast! As soon as possible have a discussion with him about expectations and limits. Write it down for future reference.

The rule is one minute of time out for each year for the childs age. When time out is over, calmly explain your expectations for future positive behavior to the child in a loving manner, then move on.

Old school is just that and your child deserves to learn self discipline in a nuturing manner. If your boyfriend is not willing to do this, then you need to move on. Your first priority need to be your child and his emotional wellbeing. This may seem harsh, but this situation has the potential to get worse, especially since your b/f has the strong views you describe, he may someday treat your child even more harshly.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

From experience, I know it's hard to change a person. My husband, too, is old school w/ many of his views. We work together, and he does try. I must admit, I have my moments also. If you really love this man, keep reminding him how you feel about discipline. If you see he is working at fixing the situation, give him a chance. However, if he simply refuses to bend, I wld take the other poster's advice, and move on before things get worse.