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Dr. G.
Dr. G., Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1523
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist in the state of Minnesota
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I am a step father. When my step son is grounded as a discipline

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I am a step father. When my step son is grounded as a discipline for something he did wrong both my spouse and I agree on the measure of discipline. The problem arises when she gives in and allows my step son to resume the activity he was grounded for, making the discipline ineffective. He also knows this and manipulates the situation and a rift then occurs between me and my spouse. How to I overcome this situation?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 7 years ago.
Hi Mark, I see this problem everyday in my practice. When the parents are not on the same page with discipline then the children use this to their advantage. You first can show her this post where I tell her she is dead wrong to sabotage the discipline and that if you both agree on something than she needs to stick to it. She can relinquish discipline over to you so that she cannot interfere and mess things up. Or you both can touch base with a counselor and decide on a set discipline strategy with a therapist holding her accountable. If just talking with your wife does not work then this may be the way to go. She needs to understand that undermining the whole discipline process really perpetuates the child's problems because it is teaching him he can manipulate mom to do whatever he wants and there is nothing she can do about it. I don't know if she falls for the manipulation or is it that she feels guilty but whatever it is you guys have to stick to the punishments. If she absolutely cannot understand this and will not stick to it then you are out of luck and she will have to reap what she sews. With that said, you still can stand your ground and set the rules for the child and the discipline. Of course you may look like the bad guy but that still should not stop you from doing what is necessary and right. Good luck. If you want your wife to come on here and ask the question that might be good also.
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