Posted in Behavior, Parenting Culture, Toddlers

Can’t discipline my toddler


I grew up with a very strict single parent, who was also very loving, playful and kind, so I knew my boundaries from a young age, knew I was loved and very much imagined I’d pass this down to my own kids. My partner’s experience of both his parents was very different: inconsistent, angry and irrationally strict without clear boundaries, affection or (IMO) love. Until today, I really like my inlaws, who are lovely to me, but I see how they struggle to express love towards my partner and his sibling. Now, with our own toddler (2.5 years), my ‘no’s are usually broken, e.g., ‘no biscuit after brushing your teeth’ but then she will cry (I’ll know it’s not a hungry cry but a bedtime delay tactic one) and her father will come to rescue her into the kitchen for a biscuit. Screen time, table manners, P&Qs etc. My partner and I have a difficult relationship, so real effective discussion is rare with us. I usually have to wait for him to learn the hard way, or give up and delegate to me, eg, bath times and bedtimes. I sense deep inside I’m giving up. Our toddler is amazing. I adore her. She also listens to sense- i don’t overly rationalise but she really listens to reasons why we need to wear our coats out or not get two toys instead of one etc. She is a different person with me though. I know she plays up a lot more with my partner, mostly because IMO she knows she can get away with a lot. We also have a 13 month old. I worry as he’s already mimicking actions from his older sister, like throwing toys, shouting, pushing etc. What can I do?

  • Kieli
    Dec 30

    I know you have said that you and your husband struggle at communicating, but raising a child is difficult. Especially when you have different views/tactics. But it’s so important to figure something out to get into his head that you are both trying to raise respectful, mindful kids. And if one person does it one way and the other does it another way, it will just confuse the kids. My suggestion is if he won’t realize it until he fails, then take a step back and let him discipline the kids (or not), and let him see how they react, and then later act when they want something they can’t have. Then simply suggest to him how you would have handled the situation, and how the outcome would have been

  • Anonymous
    Jan 01

    I’d throw the biscuit at my husband if he tried that crap. I will deal with a lot my husband undermining me in front of our kids is a big no! That just teaches them that they don’t need to listen to you and will get their way. To fix one issues your husband and you need to fix your own communication. My husband and I don’t always agree and we get into arguments about our kids. Parenting is hard especially if you grew up and two totally different lifestyles/parenting styles than your spouse.