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Question about boundaries

Reddit View
March 24, 2017
6 upvotes

2-3 months in

I would like an opinion on the situation I had tonight, and how it could be handled differently.

Fridays I finish earlier, so we can all have a family dinner together. Kids (6,4) have a tendency to play up, especially the younger one.. not sitting in his chair, running around, being silly etc... (In the past I have taken him to his room for bad behavior, and if he settled/or my wife convinced him to eat then he would get back to the table. ) He started acting up again at dinner, and I gave him a couple of warnings that if he doesn't settle he will go to his room. He didn't settle, and I took him to his room, 1 min later my wife went to him, and they both came out of the room, and told me he will eat now. I told him if he doesn't settle, and eat, he will go back to his room, and will stay there all through dinner, and then eat dinner by himself, (none of this was said in anger, I just explained to him what would happen) , 30 sec later he is running around the dinning table being silly and not eating, so I took him back to his room. 1 min later, he starts crying and my wife runs to him, starts blaming me for upsetting the child, and this type of parenting is wrong blah, blah....they come out , and I tell my wife, that I want him to stay in his room till we finish, and then he can eat, she starts explaining to me that he wants to sit on a different chair blah - blah-blah.. I was nearly done with my dinner, so I got up, thanked her for dinner, put the dishes in sink, and took the dog for a walk. When I came back everyone was on the couch (i told kids earlier we will have a movie night) waiting for me, and wife had 1 kid on each side. After movie we took kids to bed, and she went to bed with the older one, as he is not well. I told her goodnight, and told her I am going to work to do things.

I perfectly well understand what happened tonight. I got walked all over tonight, my wife has close to 0 respect for what I say, undermines me in front of kids... My aim is to understand what the best action I can take. I could not think of any way to deal with the situation, so I left to take the dog out, and give me a chance to think it over.

1st question. In a situation like that, when I am clearly being disrespected, apart from removing myself from it, what are other ways to handle it?? ( I did not want to have a discussion in front of kids)

2nd. Any suggestions on how I can reinforce boundaries. When kids are alone with me, they behave, and listen.

3rd question. My wife has the kids on the pedestal, hence a tear, and she runs.... It makes it very difficult to parent, or enforce any boundaries with kids when the other parent undermines you (and kids know it). Any suggestions?

I will be having a talk to my wife about it. Any suggestions on how to approach this? The reason I ask is, I don't think very clearly on the spot, so I have to mentally prepare myself.


Post Information
Title Question about boundaries
Author 223552
Upvotes 6
Comments 16
Date 24 March 2017 11:05 AM UTC (3 years ago)
Subreddit askMRP
Link https://theredarchive.com/post/206362
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/askMRP/comments/6189z0/question_about_boundaries/
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Comments

[–]ReddJiveRed Beret6 points7 points  (0 children) | Copy

Well let's see.

Have you ever said, "hey wife. Look we need to on the same page here with disciplining the kids, blah blah blah...." be certain you don't go DEERing or blue pill, or even Rambo. This can be a risk here.

You can talk to your wife right? She just isn't going to know what the boundary is without it being communicated. But I really hate that word...boundary. Why?

Well it comes off as being something you need to defend, like territory. Which to a man then gets you all riled up. Let's go with the military analogy of Captain and first Officer.

have you communicated the standard to your wife? what you expect to happen at dinner?

Here's why this is different. You can't just keep putting the kid in the room. First he can play there which is what he wants to do. Second he needs to learn that dinner, and family dinner at that, is an activity that he needs to be a part of. He can't learn that behavior if you keep isolating him.

Communicating thie standard, your commanders intent to her, that family dinner will be respected and that kids won't play allows her to adjust the punishment if it is needed. Maybe the kids didn't get to play much that day, maybe something happened you were not yet aware of.

Being the leader of the house isn't that your word to the letter is followed but it means you intent is. Your standard is intact. She is the one that has to enforce it while you are gone.

Clearly she understood you about movie night. Every one was ready. All you said is that we will do it. Look what happened.

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (4 children) | Copy

It's a shame you only have one room in your house. I mean if you had a second, you could, you know, walk into it and tell your wife, "Come here I need to talk to you."

Out of sight of the kids you could put forth your boundary...maybe, "We aren't always going to agree as parents, but we will not fight over decisions in front of the kids. From now on, whoever makes a decision, that's what we go with. If the other has a problem, we talk about it later."

While the above certainly undermines you in front of the kids, her running to them for any tears doesnt. You are the stoic, she is the emotional. In a year or twos time she will come to you complaining that the kids are always whining for her but behave for you. Remember, don't solve her problem, but maybe hint that the kids love attention when they get boo boos.

Try and remember it's not a war you have to mentally prepare yourself for...simply tell her how you want shit to run, and be congruent after you make a decision.

[–]crimson_chris2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

Soooo right. My kids are 7 and 4. My wife complains how the kids never listen to her, but they start to behave better when daddy gets home. It's because she.... A) does not enforce boundaries with the kids B) she does not follow through on discipline consistently

I just had a convo with her yesterday @ underminding me - and when she does it goes bad for her 99% of the time. And again no logic. She knows they behave better for me yet she periodically shit test my tactics. Go figure.

Anyway - you should talk her and get on the same page - but don't discusss it in front of the kids. I specifiacally I don't care if you disagree with me, just don't do it in front of the kids (or behimd my back).

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

Don't you hate it when your comment posts twice??

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy

Going to timeout in a corner is a SupperNanny move for poor behavior. Him in his room is not really a timeout location.

Women always put children first especially very young children. If they perceive the kids are attacked and that means anyones parenting other than their own, they will defend them rightly or wrongly. How this defense (justified or not) is handled by her and you needs to be determined by discussions upfront and proper leadership bearing (i.e non-emotional or angry, but assertive, AM...)on your part. Parents need to be on a united front, because kids will learn to play you against each other.

I've lived through this in the past and royally F'd it up in my pre-RP days. It's still a bitter memory for me.

Let her know your goal is for the family to eat together and share conversation and a meal at the family table. She wants this too. Set expectations for behavior -age appropriate of course. Women as parents tend to be short term in vision... let's fix the emotional issues now. Men tend to be more long-term, as in we need to do this correctly, even with a few lumps in learning, so that our future will be better. These short and long term visions need to be understood and expectations managed.

[–]UEMcGillI am become McGill, Destroyer of Blue Pill2 points3 points  (2 children) | Copy

I gave him a couple of warnings that if he doesn't settle he will go to his room

1 min later my wife went to him, and they both came out of the room,

These are huge red flags but let me address your questions and we'll circle back to them:

1st question. In a situation like that, when I am clearly being disrespected, apart from removing myself from it, what are other ways to handle it?? ( I did not want to have a discussion in front of kids)

2nd. Any suggestions on how I can reinforce boundaries. When kids are alone with me, they behave, and listen.

3rd question. My wife has the kids on the pedestal, hence a tear, and she runs.... It makes it very difficult to parent, or enforce any boundaries with kids when the other parent undermines you (and kids know it). Any suggestions? I will be having a talk to my wife about it. Any suggestions on how to approach this? The reason I ask is, I don't think very clearly on the spot, so I have to mentally prepare myself.

You're not being disrespected. You have poor boundaries and you let your wife "Take over" when you are being the disciplinarian. In my house, you start the discipline, you finish it. Period. By allowing your wife to run in after you've put your son in his room for failing to follow the rules, you allow her to undermine your authority. He will use it to manipulate you both to get a favorable outcome.

This is simple. Give him one warning. Tell him the consequences of his actions, "Sonny boy, we sit and eat at the table, if you don't want to eat, that is your choice, but you will go to your room and be quiet until we are done. Also, this is dinner. Once it's gone you will have no more dinner. What would you like to do?"

Then, when he fails, and he will because he's not used to you being consistent, you get up and walk him to his room. He may kick, scream, leave etc., but you will tell him the whole time, "It's your choice, sit and eat or go to your room?"

If your wife even starts to go to his room, you have two choices. Carrot or stick. Carrot is ask her to come with you before she goes in there, tell her "I need your help on board with this. Please don't interfere when I am discipling him or it hurts both of us."

Stick is, tell her to knock it the fuck off real loud.

Until he says, "I want to eat and sit" you put him back into his room every single time. Repeat it once, and then STFU.

Neither your wife nor your son take you seriously because you don't follow up on anything with either of them. There's no such thing as a couple of warnings. Let your son go without dinner one night. He won't starve. Let him scream and have a fit, why would you be swayed by the emotions of a 4 year old, be it your wife acting like one, or your son actually being one.

[–]223552[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

I have no issue with kids boundaries etc. I will repeat it until they behave, and they do, when my wife is not around. The problem is, kids know they will get away with anything if mum is there...

I did tell her not to go in there, because he was warned, and this is part of disciplining, and if we only do these a few times, he will start behaving properly. But, she had that crazy/emotional look on her face that meant no logic would get through. I did not want to raise voice in front of kids (done that too many times in the past, and don't like it....)

Questions is how do I enforce boundaries with wife???

[–]UEMcGillI am become McGill, Destroyer of Blue Pill1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Well in going to hold you accountable for your words.

I gave him a couple of warnings...

One warning, then discipline.

Your wife is the same thing. Pull her aside another time. No one around, kids in bed, no TV, no finger banging phones and be clear and concise.

"when I'm disciplining the boy I need you to stay out. If you think I'm wrong, please tell me after and we'll work to correct it. I would never undermine you in the same situation. Can I get your support on this?"

Yes or no, that's the only answer. She'll hamster bullshit reasons and the like, but you use your best WISNIFG and don't let her get out of accountability. If she says no, then prepare to divorce her. When she butts in next time, you remind her firmly and gruffly, she agreed and you expect her to keep her end. If she renegs serve her with divorce papers because a wife that undermines you with discipline doesn't deserve to be a wife.

Think divorce is too extreme? Then your not ready to hold boundaries.

[–]mtdog2 points3 points  (2 children) | Copy

This is all good advice. Couple other things to ask yourself:

  1. Am I sweating the small stuff?

  2. Who's really ruining dinner? A 4-year-old acting like a 4-year-old? Or is it Dad going Red Pill Rambo?

It's hard with the little ones, been there. But sometimes you need to embrace the chaos and just enjoy them for what they are: little drunk circus monkeys.

You're going to miss these days.

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

Couldn't find if u had kids or not. Letting them run around the table when dinner is going on shows a lack of control and respect and will translate to other areas. This isn't redpillfatherhood though so you do you.

[–]mtdog2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

I have three.

I am not advocating letting them run wild all the time. And certainly, once you put your foot down, you have to take all the way.

With that said, sometimes you just have to let them be kids and have fun with it -- don't worry so much if a toddler can't sit still. It's what they do.

Kids grow up really fast. They'll be sitting quietly at dinner their whole lives -- they're only little for a short time.

You don't have to be a hard ass all the time.

[–]Redpillbrigade171 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Just be the leader. Enough said. You're too entangled. Others gave you the right advice: 1. Have a one-on-one with your wife on parenting. 2. Don't tolerate shit.

Even if you do the right thing there's a chance you'll end up in divorce a few years down the line.

Good luck.

[–]tslextslex0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

A couple of thoughts:

You need to get wife focused on a conversation when the kids are asleep. Your points are simple:

  1. We will not undermine each other in front of the the kids because that is confusing and, ultimately, scary for them. They need limits and boundaries and will be happy, and grow up well, when they are imposed. But nothing is more destabilizing for a small child than to see Mom and Dad at odds. So it is not going to happen again. Not ever. We can discuss child rearing as much as you like -- although you will find I'm not compromising certain points -- but we cannot discuss it for even one second in front of the kids. Doing so is disrespectful to me but, more far important, it is bad for your child.

  2. As for learning how to sit at a table -- a vital lesson that it is time to teach now -- when Timmy misbehaves at a dinner, he is going to be removed to sit in time out in this chair in the corner for X minutes. (I'd say two. Sending him all the way to his room is, as mentioned below, not useful at this age.) He comes back to the table and if he misbehaves again, he goes back to the time out chair. (With a 4-y-o you do not want to add time or increase consequences for repeat offenses. They can't "do the math." You calmly impose the same consequence each time. It's exhausting, but won't go on forever.) This isn't behavior for which you'd spank a kid -- the point is learning a degree of calm and stillness at dining table. And, BTW, at age 4, dinner shouldn't probably last more than about 15 minutes. If you can train him to that, you will be well along.

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

Quick fix. Bring your plate with you and eat on the floor in front of his room. He can't leave then. Nor can she get him.

Long fix. Lift, side bar, OYS and become a man of value. Then your wife will listen to you and respect the boundaries you try to impose.



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