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How Can I Make the Rules and Follow Through on the Discipline when my Spouse isn't Supportive?


​How can I make the rules and follow through on the discipline with our children when my spouse isn't supportive? I've been the one to be the disciplinarian, partly because my spouse was a long haul trucker until two years ago. Now, because of his absence in the past, it's difficult for him to pick up his end of the responsibilities.



We can hear the frustration in your email. We understand you have shouldered the discipline for a number of years and that has complicated things. It reminds us of military wives. When the husband is deployed, the wife/mother has to run the whole house, deal with car care, make decisions on any purchases, and care for the house and children. Then when the husband returns, the wife is expected to turn the "important responsibilities" over to him when he hasn't been involved.  

It sounds somewhat the opposite in your situation. You would like him to share the responsibility of your children. Other than talking to him about what your expectations are and what consequences are effective with your children, you really have no control over him. You only have control over yourself and how you respond to him. Perhaps the molding and shaping approach would work him back into the parenting role. 

I would suggest to actually write down the family schedule, commitments to events, daily expectations of the children, such as chores and who helps with what. Then write down what privileges are available to your children and how they lose one or some of them when they don't meet your expectations. Then ask him to help check on chores or time schedules, or sharing in the running kids to events. When one of your children doesn't meet expectations, talk with him about the consequences before implementing them and ask that he help enforce them. Remind him why that is so important.

We know this is adding more to your plate, but if you can remain patient and shape your husband into the parent you would like him to be, it will be a good investment of your time and energy.

Good luck.  We will be thinking of you.  Let us know how things are going.