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How do you handle being undermined while trying to discipline children? I feel like I'm stuck between two shit tests and the only way to pass one is to fail the other.

Reddit View
March 24, 2017

We have a three year old and he's a walking shit test right now. And I mean this literally, because we're deep in the trenches of potty training. So of course I'm meeting resistance at every step of the way. Between just me and him, I can handle it just fine. He's a three year old, his #1 goal in life is to test me right now. But he knows when mommy is within earshot, and especially when we're under time pressure to get everyone out the door in the morning, all he has to do is scream and scream until he gets under her skin.

We all know the only way to win that game is not to play it, sometimes you just need to isolate them and let them scream until they understand that acting out won't get them what they want. But wifey doesn't have the fortitude for that, and he still gets under her skin so easily. Next thing you know she's making comments over my shoulder. She'll find something, anything to nitpick on. Usually it's "we don't have time for this." Which is true....but anyone with little kids knows that they're masters at figuring out when they have you between a rock and a hard place, and that's when they test you the hardest.

Today it was that I shouldn't be putting him in time out with no pants on, because he'll have an accident. Obviously we all know I can't let his lack of pants be a free pass to act out, and maintaining authority over a three year old is more important in the grand scheme of things than a little piss on the floor and being a few minutes late to work. Obviously even the slightest hint of a comment on her part while I'm disciplining him is undermining me and completely unacceptable, even the bluest of blue pills will agree with that. But no matter what I do, it feels like in order to pass one shit test I have to fail the other.

If I ignore her she'll keep commenting, and as long as she's present, he'll keep screaming mommy and it'll never end. I've tried just ignoring her no matter what and she just keeps increasing her presence in the situation, to the point where she starts physically pushing in and taking over.

If I tell her to cut it out, she devolves into a toddler herself and starts pushing it more and more. Even if that did work (it never does), on some level I'm still losing because I'm undermining her authority and he pushes it even harder with her, perpetuating the issue. (And when I see him pushing her, I'm stuck between the rock of letting him run the show in my presence and the hard place of undermining her, but I digress.)

Walk away and ignore her bullshit would is usually an acceptable response to a typically shit test, but in this case if I just walk away, I've failed his shit test. I've basically shown my child that he doesn't have to listen to daddy and that mommy is the ultimate power in the house, because she nagged and daddy listened.

The closest thing I've found to a solution here is to physically bring my wife into another room to remove her from the situation and try and snap her out of it. When things are calm later she will admit that she knows she shouldn't be doing it, but in the moment she needs a time out too. But since I have to physically remove her it's walking a fine line and still feels like an fail in front of the kid.

Unless I'm missing something, I don't have any 100% good options, only a choice between less bad options.

What would you do?

Post Information
Title How do you handle being undermined while trying to discipline children? I feel like I'm stuck between two shit tests and the only way to pass one is to fail the other.
Author Darius510
Upvotes 7
Comments 64
Date 24 March 2017 02:36 PM UTC (3 years ago)
Subreddit askMRP
Original Link
Similar Posts

Red Pill terms found in post:
shit testgame

[–][deleted] 13 points14 points  (32 children) | Copy

Two things tell me you are pretty fucking stupid.

Here's 1

We have a three year old and he's a walking shit test right now

Here's 2

his #1 goal in life is to test me right now.

You're being bested by a toddler. Think about that. Pathetic. How about start with working with your wife on how you both are going to handle these situations so you have some passing chance of providing a united front.

[–]Darius510[S] 0 points1 point  (29 children) | Copy

I can handle the toddler on my own just fine. When he's screaming in her presence she gets emotional - so her lizard brain takes over and all of that planning is out the door. Sometimes shit goes down and you have to handle it, I'm trying to figure out the best thing to do in the moment.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (16 children) | Copy

I love how this guy doesn't address the fact that he's not really a leader. He plays video games when he should be leading then gets butthurt when he rambos his way into control and the wife isn't having it.

[–]Darius510[S] 0 points1 point  (14 children) | Copy

What's there to address? The story you just told is a fiction you weaved together from a few tiny shreds of knowledge about me gathered from a bunch of Reddit posts. TBH the whole digging through someone's post history to psychoanalyze them is super creepy anyway.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (12 children) | Copy

I replied to that guys digging and in reality, it paints the story quite well especially because he also has input from your ACTUAL wife. Very rare we get both sides here and it's quite clear you don't have your shit in order.

[–]Darius510[S] 0 points1 point  (11 children) | Copy

He has no input from my wife, he did the same thing with her post history, going on even less. It's all based on assumptions piled on assumptions piled on assumptions. It's SO CREEPY, seriously. It's enough raw material to run with to paint a magnificent tale of woe...but it's still fiction and I'm not interested.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (3 children) | Copy

Creepy? It's how the internet works dude

[–]Darius510[S] -3 points-2 points  (2 children) | Copy

That doesn't make it less creepy.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

Lol you're a lil bitch and naive if you're "creeped out" by people looking at your public post history.

[–]Darius510[S] -1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy

That's not the creepy part.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Ok then? You tell us? What would you tell you?

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (11 children) | Copy

Good. Work that into your plan that you make WITH her about what she is going to do when shit goes south. Like leave the room. It's not uncommon for women, especially SAHMs to think they are the experts who must handle every situation. You have to make sure she knows that isn't the case and that he does too. Figure out with her how you are going to put that into action.

[–]Darius510[S] 0 points1 point  (10 children) | Copy

Ideally I'd want her to leave the room. Problem is that she doesn't always, so what then? Like the other day he did something shitty, got put in time out, and kept trying to get up and run out of the spot. She's hovering over telling me how that doesn't work - because it doesn't work for her, because she's not consistent enough with it. So I know he's only screaming cause she's hovering. It's hardly the first time she undermined me so I tried establishing a code word to like snap her out of her stupor and remind her not to undermine me. She ignored it, twice. I walked over to her, pulled her in to the other room, told her to cut it out cause the only reason he's screaming is because you're giving him an audience - and in the ten seconds it took to do that he stopped screaming and was sitting quietly in time out, and he was a good little boy the rest of the night.

It worked out so well that my gut tells me this was the right response, but I dunno, I still feel like there may have been a better response that didn't require me pulling her into another room and basically putting her in time out too.

[–]TheLionQueen1110 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Tell her, you got it handled.

If she keeps nagging... Tell her again, you will handle this, and she should go do something else right now.

If she keeps nagging, away from your kid, tell her that it is not acceptable for her to nag you or get attitude with her, she is to back off, or you will start shutting her out of your life.

She fixes her attitude, or you leave her.

If need be, get a restraining order on her. Take your kid to the police station, say she has been making threats to you about harming the child, scratch your arms with your nails, leave red marks, show them to the cops, say she is hitting you and digging her nails into you, and is making death threats to kill you in your sleep, and that she says she will kill the child if you leave her. Get her out of the house, and keep the kid with you at all times. Divorce her, try to get full custody, try to get her to give you any child support you can get.

Then find a women that does not act this way, and next time, make sure she is well under control from the start, and perhaps don't marry her, making it more easy to leave her so she knows to keep her attitude in check.

Yes, i know that it is harsh, but that is what needs to be done.

[–]weakandsensitive0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Tell her, you got it handled.

Except he doesn't. When an adult is attributing malice to a 3 year old child, he doesn't have jack shit handled. So why give advice 1) pretending like he does, 2) pretending anyone's going to believe him, and 3) pretending anyone's going to defer to him. Guy is a retard.

[–]BrazilRedPill4 points5 points  (2 children) | Copy

To the bitch: Don't take out my authority. It's with me now (her: but...). No but. Now it's me and the kid. You just listen (her: but...). I don't care, you do your way when you want, it's my way now. So watch me (her: but...). Enough of this. I will take the kid to the bedroom and it will be only me and him. Just listen (lock the door and do your education).

To the kid: It's me and you now. Don't call for mama. You have to set things up with me and only me now. We are going to count up to 200. If you are quiet in the end you are free to go, otherwise we count again, untill I say so (put him on a chair, sit in front of him, hold his legs and slowly count untill 200. No emotions. Loop untill he is quiet. After that, explain what he did wrong, why he shouldn't do it, kiss, hug and high five him).

[–]BluepillProfessorMod / Red Beret1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

I think I like this answer the best. I was going to suggest locking the bathroom door and sitting down with the bratty kid for a come to Jesus meeting but this also takes care of the other bratty kid in house. A twofer.

[–]Darius510[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Yeah, I think I'm leaning towards this one as well. Like if she doesn't back off immediately there are only three viable options:

1) Move her away from him. 2) Move him away from her. 3) Walk away from both of them.

3 still feels too much like a cop out to me, and 1 has too much potential to backfire and/or spiral out of control. 2 only requires physicality with him, doesn't involve paying attention to her when she's acting out, doesn't escalate the situation and requires much more effort on her part to follow me around if she cant let it go.

[–]SteelToeShitKickerRed Beret2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

Mommy, go to your room.

I don't use that one often, but at the right time, and if you have enough respect, it works like a charm.

[–]weakandsensitive0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

if you have enough respect,

25% of the time it works 100% of the time.

This guy has no shot. His responses here and his entire attitude screams gigantic turd.

[–]alphabeta49Red Beret2 points3 points  (6 children) | Copy

Two things.

1) Your kid isn't testing you. He's exploring the world, and that includes what happens when he shits in the pot vs. doesn't shit in the pot. That's a harmful mindset because you're expecting resistance when in reality he's just exploring cause and effect. Amused mastery FTW.

2) I've dealt with my wife interrupting my time with my kids, and I've interrupted my wife's time with my kids too. When we weren't in the middle of a situation and we could both be rational, we agreed to let the other correct the kid and not interfere unless there's physical harm being done. Any disagreement can be brought up later in debriefing. This helped with the interrupting issue and also helped the kid know that daddy and mommy were on the same team. United front sorta thing. Have you talked with your wife about this when there wasn't a current situation in progress?

Ok, three things.

3) You must earn your child's respect. Your "daddy" title does not automatically give you this, although you seem to have the impression it does. Relying on the title that you contributed a bunch of cheap sperm to attain is weak.

[–]Darius510[S] 0 points1 point  (5 children) | Copy

The toddler shit test comes from a far more innocent place, that's for sure. It's not that I expect resistance on everything, but you and I both know it's impossible to avoid and is often wrapped up in total nonsense (ex. the blue cup vs the green cup.) I try my best to acknowledge as little of it as possible.

I've done plenty of #2, it generally hasn't been a problem for months until very recently because there's lots of other stress piled on - buying a house, moving, potty training, an 18 month old being an 18 month old, and Aunt Flo to top it all off. So when there's an uncooperative child wailing about whatever she just wants it to stop because she's anxious enough as it is.

I dunno what I said that gave you the impression of #3 though? Like it frustrates me when she does this not because everyone must bow before daddy, it's because I'm handling the situation just fine and her interference is often the main thing standing in the way of resolving it. She very Type-A and always thinks there's something you can do to fix the situation, when especially with kids a lot of times you need to just back off and let things resolve naturally.

[–]alphabeta49Red Beret0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

It sounds like you have a high anxiety, low avoidance wife. In other words, she's anxious and has no problem interfering when the anxiety tells her to.

My wife is similar.

It's a process. You demonstrate, not tell her, how easy it is to take it easy. Instead of engaging her, telling her to leave you alone, or fighting, instead try a look of amused disapproval. Like saying, look at you, all huffy and cute thinking this is important. Go eat a graham cracker ;)

It sounds like you're working on the mastery, but being amused quickly disappears when you're challenged.

[–]Darius510[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Yeah, that's def her. We're like polar opposites on that scale. Where is that from?

Before the crack of dawn on a workday I find it difficult to be amused about any of it though, but I guess the same goes for her holding it together as well. I swear 90%+ of our arguments in the past 15 years started before 8AM.

[–]alphabeta49Red Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Be bigger than your aversion to early mornings.

Where is that from?

Look up attachment parenting, and attachment in general.

[–]yamgninrub0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

You are being defensive and explaining yourself too much.

[–]weakandsensitive0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

The toddle shit test comes from a far more innocent place, that's for sure.

what the fuck is wrong with you.

[–]ReddJiveRed Beret1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

What you have here is a bratty First Officer that's getting no leadership from her Captain. You came stomping in making demands that your authority be respected more then the mission. Which you haven't very clearly communicated. Like your autistic newb with the family dinner issue.

What's you standard here? What's the intent? is the intent just to piss everyone off? Because that's clearly working.

One of the few times sitting her down and talking is now. When you communicate the family standard and you don't do it over a 4 hour discussion it is simply, in private,

"hey girl, I expect this....." and then lay it out. She may not like it but she will respect it. Communicate the intent of what you want.

ie. Kid potty trained.

HOW that happens should really be irrelevant as long as it happens.

[–]BobbyPeru1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

You are being reactive.

Reactive = BP

Proactive = RP / leadership

Have strategy meetings with your wife and discuss where you can improve. Specifically, address a unified front, without being passive aggressive. Approach it with a positive attitude and ask/ listen for her input.

This is what leaders do.

Right now, your lack of leadership has created 2 toddlers in the house.


[–]A_RexRED KNIGHT1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

use MRP lessons on the kid. Amused Mastery works wonders for that age. Create boundaries, and enforce them in an even, consistent, business-like fashion. My 3 year old acts up? She gets one warning. Does it again? Immediate time out. Zero emotion on my part, all professional. I then ask her to explain why she got a timeout. I then tell her if she does this same thing again, next time is a time out AND a toy is taken away for the day. Do it. Be consistent. Do not get angry or emotional at their horseshit - that's what they want, they want to impose their will on you. Be above that.

Now for wife. You need to sit her down one night and explain that the kid tests her so much because she responds to the test directly, acknowledging its validity. This is the only time I've ever schooled my wife in red pill philosophy. I told her that the reason daughter always tests her and almost never tests me is not out of fear - it is out of respect for the fact that I will not tolerate a boundary crossed, I will not stoop to her level by acknowledging or attempting to placate a temper tantrum, and I will not let it phase me in the slightest no matter how annoyed I get, because if daughter sees that, she won the power struggle.

It's taken a while but wife has caught on. Also, wife must know that any threats to discipline the child must be carried out 100%, immediately, every time, no waivering, no watering it down. In this vein, never, ever, threaten a punishment that will not be carried out immediately or very shortly (like, don't say "we won't go to Disney World if you don't eat your dinner - too long a time horizon, and you aren't canceling a vacation, so don't make retarded unenforceable threats).

Finally, you and wife must present a unified front. If one decides to discipline but the other disagrees, disagreement will be reserved for later discussion after punishment is completed and out of child's earshot. Support the decision for the time being, discuss future handling later (unless it's particularly egregious, like wife loses her shit and starts beating the kid).

[–]Darius510[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

The hard part about this is I agree with you 100% and I've done all of the above. Wifey understands in principle when logic prevails, but she's simply not as good as holding the line as me. I keep telling her to stop indulging him when he's acting like this, but it's just not natural for her. Whenever there's some other pressure like needing to get out of the door and to work on time, if he pushes her she'll crack, because she can't stand to let him scream in time out when the clock is ticking. He only really pushes it with me in front of her, because it's like he can get to me by proxy through her.

Like I agree with you 100% on what to do with them individually, but the issue is really what to do when it's coming at me from both sides at once.

[–]Thrice-Locked1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Holy shit. You've let this situation get out of hand. 3 years old and not potty trained? Put the little one in underwear and tell him to use the potty from now on. When he soils himself, don't get mad, just say "awe man,now we have to clean you". Take undies off and put his little butt under Cold bath water/garden hose outside. The goal is to make him wet and uncomfortable from the waist down for at least 30 seconds. Problem solved.

[–]gettingmymojobackRed Beret0 points1 point  (7 children) | Copy

Unpopular opinion these days but when I see these "my toddler is a walking shit storm who doesn't listen" posts the first thought I have is "want to know how I can tell you don't spank your kids?"

I know that the politically correct way of child rearing is to never spank your kids, but my personal thoughts are "fuck that". Thankfully my wife was on the same page.

If you're doing it right, the discipline progression should be set expectations, give warning expectation is not being met, removal of rewards (favorite toy, game time etc), time out, then a spank on the ass. Occasionally, one spank on the ass early can put a quick end to bad behavior without all the other steps. Use your judgement.

Caveat, this does NOT mean beat your kids or be a controlling dick to them. This means that occasionally if junior refuses to sit at the table with pants on and eat his dinner, that the option to put him in the corner, followed up by a swat on the ass if he still refuses to behave exists.

If done correctly, you shouldn't have to do this at all past the age of 5-6, and MAYBE one or two dozen times before that. No, I don't believe you can negotiate or explain to a toddler WHY they need to listen to you. Just that they NEED to. I personally don't think it makes sense to remove one of the best tools (used sparingly) out of your toolbox.

Or I could be talking out my ass. All I know is that all the families I know who can't get their kids to listen DO NOT spank ever.

As for the wife, it's as simple as get on the same page first rather than trying to deal with these differences on the fly. That shit doesn't work.

[–]Darius510[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

Physically hitting your wife when she talks back to you isn't an acceptable response to a shit test, so why should I hold to a different standard with the kids? I feel like spanking is like cheating and ultimately undermines my authority. I'd prefer not to lead by fear.

[–]gettingmymojobackRed Beret1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

I slap my wife's ass multiple times on a daily basis, does that count?

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (3 children) | Copy

Spanking brings the nuts out of the woodwork doesn't it? My old man used to tell my brother and me "get out of my sight before I kill you" and he whacked me with a broom more than once. I eventually wised up enough to run when he started swinging it.

The problem I see with a lot of these dumb bitches is that they put their children into situations where the children cannot possibly succeed. Just the other day I was in a department store and I heard some kid screaming. Sure enough Mom expected him to stand quietly by while she perused what was on the sale rack. I've yet to meet a five year old boy that likes shopping for anything other than food. Yet she felt no shame in admonishing him for his failure to stand quietly while she considered what her fat self would look best in.

Most kids are born wanting to please. If you can't get them to cooperate more often than not, you're doing it wrong. You in the global sense.

[–]WesternhagenWinner1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

I'm not "against spanking" philosophically, I have just never found it necessary. Just lucky I have unusually good kids? Maybe. But seems to me that spanking is an admission that your leadership - exerted through explanation, example, and psychological dominance - has failed.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

I agree with you. I never laid a hand on any of my four. Didn't need to and I never featured getting hit with a broom and didn't think they would either. Kids are not that difficult to outsmart.

I'm enjoying watching my oldest son with his soon to be two year old. He is eternally patient with the boy which is something I very much like seeing.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I used to have a stick with my name on it, held together with duct tape by the end

[–]A_RexRED KNIGHT1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

I have no issue with a spanking occasionally, but I forbid it in my house. Problem is, in this goddamn day and age, God forbid your kid blurt out that they get spanked to the wrong person at school/daycare/wherever. The shitstorm that could ensue is not worth the trouble. Enforce boundaries through other means works fine, if you actually enforce them.

[–]WesternhagenWinner0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I don't remember potty training being a "shit test" - i.e., deliberately disobeying in order to see if parental boundaries are firm. Kids genuinely wanted to achieve the objective of being potty trained - they did not "resist" this - but accidents happened as expected. They'd get upset and then it'd be all about parents remaining calm while cleaning up the mess and not making a big deal out of it.

A_Rex has it covered on maintaining united front with wife.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

What the heck has been going on here lately. It seems like groups of 2-3 posts hit within the same day about the same topic. Are you guys reading other posts or just posting and not putting any work in?

[–]ReddJiveRed Beret1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

Was wondering the same thing. Like all the betas had their periods

[–]BluepillProfessorMod / Red Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Maybe it was the Wiccan spell on Trump?

[–]BluepillProfessorMod / Red Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I will leave it right there:

[–]Aechzen0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

What would you do?

Tell her to walk around the block, or leave the house.

I've had to set boundaries like this with the wife, for the same reasons you need to set boundaries with your wife.

I've taken a solo dad vacation with the kids for a week. I know how to handle the kids. When she undermines me, she gets harsh words from me. I don't usually recommend writing a letter to your wife, but I did, about this. Because it happened more than once, and she would go into a mom-craze mode where she was immune to rationality and I couldn't fix her emotions in real-time.

She can either fully take over, and leave me out of it, or she can let me do things my way, and back the hell off. That's the deal I've made with her.

As for your toddler, amused mastery, dude. Turn his emotional fit into a game. It doesn't take much. Silly noises, hey, look at that truck / bird / dog / whatever. It's much easier to emotionally reset a three-year-old boy than a full-grown woman. When all else fails, pick him the fuck up and carry him where he needs to go. If you get shit on your clothes, you wash your clothes. Comes with the territory. He won't shit his pants forever. Keep lifting, so you can keep picking him up for a damn long time.

[–]TravelingShitLord-2 points-1 points  (0 children) | Copy

Put her over your knee just as fast. Gotta keep all the kids in line.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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