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John-Michaels, Counselor (LPC)
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 659
Experience:  25+ years working with familes and 6 children of my own.
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How do I get my husband to better understand our kids? I think

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How do I get my husband to better understand our kids? I think his expectations are way too strict? Now he's given up on all of us because they don't instantly listen and do the first time.
Hello! I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and have six children of my own. Note, this is not therapy, but information. I hope I can help you though. You are correct, both parents do need to be on the same page. I do hope you and your husband can come to a consensus for the sake of your children. I hope i can help you do that. First I have some questions though. Do they respond the first time YOU tell them to do something? Do you expect them to? What do each of you do when they don't? I know this is a lot of questions, but this information and any details could be helpful to me in formulating my answer. Thank you!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No, they don't always listen to me either. I usually ask again and then start to count. If that doesn't work u threaten to take away a toy, but I'm trying to stop doing that as I just have a big pile of toys and they still don't listen. I have a much more collaborative relationship with them. Sometimes it's too much because they think they always have a say or control. My husband has a much shorter acceptable response time, and wants his rules followed without any question. I want to be on the same page, but cannot get my husband to even talk to me lately. He's said he would never go to conselling. I hate to see so much stress and anger in our family and I know it's not good for anyone. Lately we tend to yell at them a lot when they don't listen or send them on a time out. My son, 6, cries easily and a lot, and my husband has taken to openly calling him a crybaby thinking it will make him stop. I know my patience with the kids is so much less when I'm not being supported or are angry at something he said.

I have some suggestions that might put you both on the same page. It will likely take some sacrifices on the part of the both of you, but the end result will likely be worth the effort.. You can assure your husband this is not counseling. I have simply worked with children for many years and these techniques seem to work. Bear with me as it will take me a little bit to think them through and type them. i really do believe I can be of help though.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you. I'll check back tomorrow

These are some behavior modification techniques that might prove helpful:


1) Define clear expectations for your child and stick to your guns. There are basically 3 rules to follow. If they follow these rules, you will be happy and they will succeed in life. Those rules are:


a. SHOW RESPECT - be nice,

b. BE RESPONSIBLE - do what you are told,

c. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY - own up to your mistakes.


Write these rules down for your kids and make sure they understand what they mean. if they will follow them you will be happy and they will be successful!


2) Use effective communication:


a. Say what you mean,

b. mean what you say,

c. but dont be mean with what you say.


I know this sounds cliché, but it has been proven to be a very effective method of communication. Basically what I am saying is, first of all, be careful what you say. Make sure you are willing and able to follow through with any threats or predicted consequences. Secondly, if you say you are going to do it, be sure to do it. Last of all, if you follow the first two steps, there is no reason to raise your voice. Back up your words with your actions, not anger.


3) Be Consistent. Never give in to their demands or manipulations, no matter how tempting it might be. You are the parent and you must remain in control.


4) Expect compliance without warning, They will meet your expectation. if you count to 10, they will wait till ten. Teach them to respect you by complying the first time they are told


5) Use Natural Consequences as much as possible. If they wont put it away they lose it, etc. This may be inconvenient, but carried out, can be very effective.


6) Give as much affirmation and positive attention as possible. This can never be related to their negative behavior, but during those times when they are behaving. Make sure they know you notice.


7) Give each child some special mom and dad time. Try to schedule some special time between each child and parent on a regular basis. i am only talking a few minutes a day or an hour or so a week. This is totally unrelated to their behavior. It is not a reward nor can it be removed as a consequence. This is simply because you love that child no matter what he does. They need to know you care simply because you care.


I know this is a lot to swallow, but I really believe if you will apply the principles. you family life will be revolutionized. Give it a try!

John-Michaels and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your kind words. I hope it works!

Hi! I appreciate you allowing me to help you maybe arrive at a solution the other day. I hope I was helpful. Let me know if I can help you in any other way.

John Michaels, MS, LPC