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Dr. G.
Dr. G., Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1467
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist in the state of Minnesota
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My husband and I often have disagreements concerning the TV

Customer Question

My husband and I often have disagreements concerning the TV and the types of programming that our 3 year old is exposed to. He is much more "liberal" and I think, self-centered, in his choices. He's not putting our child's best interests first; he's putting his own wants and needs first. How should I best handle this situation? I have tried talking to him but it doesn't seem to get me anywhere and it's causing a lot of conflict and tension.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 years ago.
Can you give me some examples of programs you think are not appropriate.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
There's so much that I can think of, but I'll try and give you a brief summary. One of his favorite programs is "Two and a Half Men", a program that often has sexual/adult situations and inappropriate language (e.g., ass, bitch). He will also watch some of the Cable cop shows which feature crime scenes that seem to be getting more and more bloody and gruesome, in spite of being on "free" broadcast television and not on paid Cable. He also seems to think it's o.k. to watch a movie that's Rated R as long as he lowers the volume or fast-forwards past certain scenes. Violence in certain movies can happen very quickly and unexpectedly -- there isn't always a warning or chance to avoid it.
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 years ago.
Well it sounds like you have a legitimate concern. If he won't listen to reason then you just have to remove the child from him viewing those programs. Or else you can take the approach of taking the remote and watching what you want. Or have your husband go in a different room. You make a valid point and if he won't listen to you then take matters in your own hands.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I do as you've suggested now, however, I need help in dealing with this in a way that will be hopefully, be more beneficial to my marriage, and our family, in the long-term. I will remove my Son and take him into the bedroom, however, that's getting harder to do because at 3, he will tell me "I want to go into the living room" or "I want to go with Dada". I also insist that my husband go into another room to watch TV, however, it's not o.k. with me that this be a constant thing and that individual TV watching start to be the priority over interacting as a family. What can I say to my husband that will hopefully, have him understand, that his actions are not in the best interests of his Son/family? He seems to resent me always bringing this up and even tells me that he's tired of me "censoring" his TV viewing and that he's not going to watch "cartoons and Little House on the Prairie" all day. I'm beginning to feel as if the ONLY thing that might work is if he hears that I have a legitimate concern from someone else. Needless to say, that's not a good feeling, and this is a very frustrating situation.
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 years ago.
The way to approach him is to get his full attention with no distractions and tell him you are concerned that 1)he is not spending enough quality time with your son, 2) your son can pick up on words and scenes from inappropriate television content, and 3) you feel disrespected that he is not taking your concern seriously. this is the way I would pursue the conversation. I am not saying it will change his mind but this is how you approach him in a respectful and assertive manner. If he doesn't listen to you then 1) that tells him he doesn't care much for you or his child, and 2) you need to resort to the techniques I listed previously. Good luck.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'm not sure that I understood this response correctly -- there appears to be a typo or something and I don't want to jump to any conclusions. Did you mean to say that if "he doesn't listen to (me) then 1) that tells ME that he doesn't care much for me or our child, or that I should say that to HIM"?

 

In either case, I was taken aback by this response. Perhaps I was wrong to think that this medium could be used to effectively dispense this sort of advice. I'm stunned that a Psychologist would make such a harsh statement without knowing a lot more information about the individuals involved. I've described just one issue in our lives. My husband and I are both educated professionals and loving parents. I have no doubt that he cares about me or my child. It's just that he can be a bit insensitive and immature when it comes to this particular issue and I was hoping to get some constructive advice that would enable me to better approach the situation.

 

Thank you for your efforts but if I'm going to be honest, I was disappointed by your responses. I'll deal with this on my own.

 

Have a nice day.

 

Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 years ago.
I am sorry you didn't like what I told you. To address your last question, I meant it tells ME those things. Level of education has nothing to do with the matter, and yes it does show a big sign of disrespect and uncaring. If he is going to be like this over something as insignificant as television shows then I hate to see how he is over big things. Good luck to you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The issue is not that I didn't like your answer -- the issue is that it was a harsh statement to make and a snap judgment formed only by a handful of emails, with few follow-up questions that could give you, as a couseling professional, a more informed position on which to make an assessment about people that you don't know. And even now, the way you choose to respond is to say "I am sorry that YOU didn't like what I told you." with zero regard or thought to the fact that you may have been even a little flip and offbase in that part of your response. With all due respect, THAT shows disrespect and lack of caring "Dr. G.".

 

Good luck to you and your patients.

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