Dear Husband

I know how much you love your kids. It is one of the reasons I fell in love with you. I also know how annoying it is for people who are new to parenting — like me — to suggest that you might be doing things wrong, that you might need to change your whole approach. Particularly someone who doesn’t have biological children of their own, like me. But I have been around your children long enough to know them really well. And to know how smart and quick they are.

They don’t know that they are doing this because they don’t appreciate the logic of their behavior. But they are trained, well trained, to manipulate you and get their way. Your kids are not dumb. In fact, they are brilliant. Resilient, quick to figure out how to get their way or dodge punishment.

The problem with your kids is that they are used to not being held accountable. They are used to being babied, they are used to being overly protected, to take meds and be given labels for their behavior. They are used to their parents feeling bad about their adoption and then the divorce, which has them going back and forth between homes.

I understand you would feel guilty but don’t stop being a parent. Bad stuff happens to kids every day. But the worse that can happen in my humble opinion, is to not give them the tools that they need to help them be successful, excusing their behavior, not holding them accountable. That is the biggest crime of all — to not parent them like they should be. I am afraid for your kids. I can’t stand to watch idly. It makes me insane and angry and frustrated.

I just can’t watch. It makes me feel like leaving. I couldn’t sit at dinner tonight because I can’t bare to watch it anymore. In fact, it’s the reason I haven’t been able to leave my room all day. I can’t stand to be a part of this. You won’t let me do anything about it and because of that, I feel like an accomplice. You are checked out. You try to be their maid. These kids need discipline. They need someone to care about their mistakes enough to give them consequences. These kids have no consequences. They get treated constantly to everything. They don’t lose privileges, ever. Their life is one big treat after another. They don’t earn anything, they don’t listen to you, they don’t listen to their teachers, to adults.

They will have problems. I guarantee it. And it’s on you. You need to step up your parenting, give up your trying to control things by doing things for them. You need to expect much, much more of them. I don’t know how you don’t see it. It scares me terribly and I need you to know.

Anonymous

~ by Stepfamily Letter Project on February 23, 2010.

2 Responses to “Dear Husband”

  1. Wow, this is exactly how I feel about my DH. He feels so guilty about shuffling his daughter back and forth between two homes that he is overly permissive. He doesn’t parent his daughter, he’s more like her best friend which I find distressing. You can’t be their friend and their parent. It just doesn’t work and when they get out of school they will pay the consequences for the poor job the “parent” did.

  2. A parent who loves their children should discipline them. A lack of discipline will ultimately be a form of child abuse for them because it will ruin them. More parents need to understand how they are really hurting their children by not disciplining them.

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