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Shit testing about disciplining children

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September 12, 2019

Hi guys. Been a while since I've posted. For those of you who've never read my past posts or don't know me, here's a little back ground.

I'm 42, wife is 43. Second marriage for both, and we each have two kids to a previous marriage, sharing 50-50 custody with our exes. Children are on the exact same custody rotation, so when we have them, they are always together.

I'm 6'1", 225 lbs, work out regularly. Could stand to lose 10 lbs, so I started running again. In general, both of us are fit, healthy and attractive.

My kids are 12 and 7 (boy and girl, girl is oldest) My step kids are 12 and 9 (boy and girl, girl is the oldest)

In general, my kids behave much better and listen better than my step children. My kids don't talk back, they do their homework, do their chores, shower and go to bed without any guff or problems. My step children are good for the most part, except for the occasional talking back (always to my wife). They also are super passive agressive when it comes to bed time as well.

My wife always brags about how she's a staunch disciplinarian and how her kids "tow the line." She always seems to be chasing after and yelling at her kids. However, they seem to listen well to me, and when she's not around or working, I have little trouble with them.

I know she sees this and gets mad sometimes. One time, she'll criticize my more laid back parenting style, and tell me I "don't do it right" (but I shrug it off and ignore her because I see results). Then the next time, she'll be struggling with and yelling at her kids being passive agressive by (for example) avoiding getting ready for bed at bed time, then she'll come to me whining for help saying, "God, I wish my kids listened like yours... I need your help." It seems as soon as I get involved, my step kids seem to fall in line and they're off to bed. I can't exactly say what it is I do to be able to lead like that, I just know that I can do it and it happens naturally.

So, here comes my situation and my questions.... I have a rule in the house that the kids aren't allowed to have food in their rooms. Drives me nuts. I also have a philosophy that ALL the kids need to be monitored and checked on in aspects such as cell phones, video games, tv, etc. My wife follows this lead and has instituted a rule of the random room flip and bookbag search / dump.

Yesterday, I got home from work, and my wife is sitting in the kitchen with a bag of candy and a couple of cookies in front of her. She proceeds to tell me that she pulled a random search on the kids' rooms after she got home from work, and found the food in my daughter's bedroom. She flipped out and demanded that it be addressed. Now, MY daughter is actually been the biggest offender of my no food in the rooms rule historically. I told her, I agree... I'll handle it (with her staring in silence). We didn't have the kids yesterday evening, so I had to wait until tonight.

Kids all go to bed tonight, and I went to my daughter's room to say good night and struck up a conversation. I brought up that we did a random seach of the rooms last night and we found the food. My 12 year old froze, then instantly owned it and admitted it. I asked her what the rule was, and she said "no food in the rooms... I'm sorry, I won't do it again." I said, "ok, I believe you, BUT breaking the rules has consequences." I took her cable box and tv remote for the evening. She instantly started crying, and told me that I was mean and to please leave her alone. I kissed her on the forehead, hugged her and told her I loved her, then said you can have this back tomorrow.

I came back up upstairs and my wife pounced on me and wanted to know what happened eagerly. I calmly told her what I said and what I decided. She rudely said, "ha, surprised you didn't cave and followed through with a punishment." I said, "ok" and didn't DEER, and walked back downstairs. My wife followed me and continued to shit test, poking at her perceived "weakness" in my parenting philosophy. My daughter came out of her room and up to the kitchen to get a drink of water, moping and silent, then went back to her room. I chuckled about her (my daughter acting pissed) after she left the room.

My wife rails on me saying, "I can tell you're bothered by the fact she's upset." I just shrug and blow her off. She keeps ranting and "bragging" about how she "doesn't care if someone's mad at her.. blah blah blah..." female bullshit ranting. I admit, pre-redpill I would have taken that bait, but I resisted." I did however, chuckle lightly, which made her say, "what's so funny" in a snooty voice. I teased her and called her out on bullshit about not caring if someone's mad at her. She pissed and moaned more, "oh, so now you're inside my head... asshole". She then kissed me goodnight, told me she had to get up early and went to bed.

Question: did I handle this properly and what kind of grade do I get for holding frame? I give myself a B / B- at best.

Also, any of you guys have a blended family? What have you seen with respect to parenting differences?

Post Information
Title Shit testing about disciplining children
Author dll142
Upvotes 11
Comments 22
Date 12 September 2019 05:08 AM UTC (1 year ago)
Subreddit askMRP
Original Link
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Red Pill terms found in post:
DEERframeshit testthe red pill

[–]simbarlionRed Beret31 points32 points  (0 children) | Copy

Must be weird for the kids to all pile in and then fuck off to separate houses week after week....

You did totally fine. Truth is I was hoping for a much more dramatic finale to this lengthy story

[–]Redpillbrigade1710 points11 points  (0 children) | Copy

I think you handled it well. My concerns are with the behavioral tactics nature of your question.

You seem very heads down into the details.

Once you get what this whole red pill approach to life and relationships is all about, you should be able to find your own answers to questions like “did I act ok in this case?”

As I think you already realize, there will always be an element of my kids versus your kids in your relationship. Each party thinks that of course they are doing a better job at parenting than their new spouse. That’s just normal, and especially with women as you know there’s an element of just talking - it’s meaningless and just airing out emotions. Meanwhile, in other conversations perhaps with her friends or whatever she will very much appreciate what you’re doing. She may very well tell you to your face in her moments of appreciation how much you mean to her as a father and how good of a role model you are for her kids. So all that is normal.

Now that you guys are blended under same roof, and your children are of similar ages and align well gender wise, do you do anything just with the boys? Go do manly boys stuff. Also giving her time to do things just with the girls and do girl shit? Get those female hormones out of your day for a change. Then how about you and just one of your kids having one on one time. I would come up with some sort of schedule that allows for these periodic get-togethers where you can further solidify your relationships with all kids, and exhibit the kind of needed leadership for the entire family. Take your daughter out to the movies once every few months just you and her. Maybe come up with similar for your step daughter too, if she behaves. Make it a point (never overtly unless they want a dictator around) that you’re the shepherd of this whole blended crew.

Also goes without saying, but you need to set some overarching vision for your blended crew so that everyone buys into it. You lead this party of 6 in new adventures and experiences. If you’re religious find some religious overtone to it. Go to church as a group.

Set the example then do all sorts of verbal jiu jitsu and manipulation with all these actors in your home, as you see them interact with each other, and constantly challenge the rules. All they’re doing is looking for leadership and they should (will, if you’re doing your job well), become very good at social relationships and handling conflict when they grow up. Blended families can be fun.

Ah and lose that weight ASAP . No excuses on that bro. She must be craving that six-pack of yours day and night. Give it to her good etc.

[–]part_wolf3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

The fact that you're getting better results than your wife is creating resentment, for two reasons: because your wife is afraid of feeling like she's a bad mother, and she's jealous that your approach is more effective. Challenges of co-parenting and having two sets of stepchildren aside, there's no right way to parent but there are definitely wrong ways.

Your wife wants to feel like a good mom, naturally, but she hasn't developed a good way to manage boundaries with her kids and you have. It's understandably difficult when she only has the kids 50% of the time, but she has to parent to the best of her ability. Your wife is clearly lying to herself, which is AWALT, but her level of ego investment in being seen as an authoritarian is a problem and it's probably hurting her relationship with the kids.

The formula for your wife's hamster is simple: kids misbehaving = I'm a bad mom.

She needs to realize a couple of things:

  • She can't control the kids (hers or yours), you can only influence them.
  • Being authoritative and using discipline (your approach) is vastly different from being an authoritarian and utilizing fear and intimidation (your wife's approach).
  • She's not establishing and enforcing boundaries consistently, and without it the kids won't have any structure.
  • Kids don't listen to your words beginning at the toddler stages, they only observe your actions.

Your wife hasn't internalized these concepts and put them into practice, and she won't get the results she wants with her kids until she does. Yelling and threatening children makes for awfully weak leadership, and you know that; you're clearly taking the right approach with all of the kids. Your wife needs to learn to be a more effective parent - and it seems like she wants to at some level - but it's far easier for her to blame her ineffectiveness on someone else (the kids/her baby daddy).

Did I handle this properly?

You sound like you're parenting and holding frame just fine, but you're overlooking an opportunity to lead your wife and establish accountability. I would point out the fact that the kids misbehaving doesn't make her a bad mom, it just means she needs a better approach to get better results.

Most importantly, your wife needs to stop putting you down so she can feel better. I wouldn't tolerate that. When your wife asks for your help and you agree to give it to her, she should be appreciative and respond with gratitude. The fact that she's responding with, "oh, so now you're inside my head... asshole" demonstrates that she cares more about protecting her ego than she does about improving as a parent and partner. That needs to stop. Don't tolerate it, and don't offer help under those circumstances.

If she wants to be a more effective parent, she needs to own it and do something about it. Best thing you can do is to influence her thinking by creating a culture of accountability in your relationship and your household. If she continues to keep her head in the sand, call bullshit.

[–]primordialawe2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

If you think you did ok why do you care? This isn’t about how you did in that situation. It’s about the same stuff as always frame etc.

[–]officerkondo2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

I also have a philosophy that ALL the kids need to be monitored and checked on in aspects such as cell phones, video games, tv, etc.

Where does this philosophy come from?

My wife follows this lead and has instituted a rule of the random room flip and bookbag search / dump.

What the fuck is this Supermax bullshit?

[–]redwall923 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy

I'm going to channel my inner jack10 that I hope continues to speak to me when I need it...

My daughter came out of her room and up to the kitchen to get a drink of water, moping and silent, then went back to her room. I chuckled about her (my daughter acting pissed) after she left the room.

My wife rails on me saying, "I can tell you're bothered by the fact she's upset." I just shrug and blow her off.

Opportunity wasted IMO.

Are you truly not bothered at all when your child is upset? I hope not. I hope that your child's emotional well-being is a thing to you. In fact ... I'm sure it is. There are healthy and unhealthy ways to view your child's emotional well-being. And it looks like you're definitely trying to avoid any sort of unhealthy, co-dependant getup. All good and well...

Consider if you had responded to your wife's question along these lines ...

Yeah babe ... how can it not bother me when my daughter is upset? I want what's best for her, and she keeps choosing to break the rules. I hope that as she grows up she gains wisdom in her choices and can find a way to live her life in a way that suits her.

There's a vision there. You're not agreeing or disagreeing. And your wife clearly feels bothered when other people are upset ... she's an emotional sponge, right? You, kids, grocery clerk. You could hear about it all if you let her squeeze all that out on you.

Your goal has to encompass all of life. You don't want to be an emotional sponge, no. But you also don't want to be an emotional dead-pan wall. I see my example here as a way to show that gooey center you want to show your wife sometimes.

My four cents.

[–]red-iron-man1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Are you truly not bothered at all when your child is upset? I hope not. I hope that your child's emotional well-being is a thing to you.

OP don't listen to this part of his advice. If you're going to be bothered by your child getting upset when you discipline her, then you won't have the frame for dealing with anyone in life if they get upset with you. That's what nice guys do. On the other hand, if your daughter is upset because some young guy broke her heart, then of course show her compassion. However this isn't that case..

This part from redwall92 is all wrong: "Yeah babe ... how can it not bother me when my daughter is upset? I want what's best for her, and she keeps choosing to break the rules. I hope that as she grows up she gains wisdom in her choices and can find a way to live her life in a way that suits her."

All she did was fucking bring food into her room and OP did the right thing and called her out on it. Nothing more. OP didn't make a big fucking deal about it and moved forward. OP you did the right thing. Don't listen to this guy. If you would say anything it would be the following:

"No it doesn't bother me because she broke the rules and now she's experiencing the consequences and that's part of life. Hopefully she remembers this next time she wants to have food in the room".

[–]_-resonance-_1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

You’re an asshole for giving yourself a B. There was nothing better you could do besides hold frame, which you obviously did (as well as Amused Mastery). Appreciate the story, as I’ll hold frame sometimes, feeling kind of shitty inside as GF (we each have a kid from before) scolds me for something, withholds affection and goes to bed. I’ll just read or whatever (not react), and next day everything is fine. So your story exemplifies for me how the shit tests, however strong and brutal, are nothing more than a storm that fucking passes. Thanks.

[–]Big_Daddy_PDX1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Who lets kids have a television or internet laptop in their own room? Terrible idea.

You sound but hurt about your wife’s comments, so it sounds like you’ve got more of a problem here than you’re admitting. You missed a prime opportunity to ignore her idle chatter and play w/ your wife. “Eating cookies out of the box again?! Off to your room for a spanking!”

[–]40mullet0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy

Why having food in kids room drive you nuts? Does your kids know why? Do you have food in your car, office? How this will play out when your daughter is 17? Do you think blue pilled fathers should change their parenting style after becoming red pill aware?

[–]redwall922 points3 points  (2 children) | Copy

I'm a "no food out of the kitchen" guy as well ... except for movie nights. Then we all pile in the living room with the popcorn and drinks. On a movie night, I know I'm risking the spills and messes (with five kids). But I accept that risk in order to get the reward of a movie night with popcorn and drinks (that doesn't cost an arm and a leg like a movie night out would with five kids).

If somebody's a no-food guy, what's that to you? I tell my kids from time to time that they can take food wherever they want when they buy there own house. Until then, this is my house, and this is one of my (more stiff) rules.

[–]40mullet0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

This is your kids house too?

Whatever, I just dont understand this part of the mrp. This is agreed by everyone here, that most guys here were faggots years and years, even decades. Their wives did not respect them. What about children? Did they respect their faggot father all this time? Why should they? Because he is stronger, can DEER effectively and discipline them? That is not respect, that is fear.

I asked why this "food in kids room" bothers OP. Is he cleaning this up after? Ants? Sticky food? Childhood trauma, mom jelled when OP took food in his room? There are usually better solutions than just my way or highway.

Daughter is not respecting this rule, as OP said. And taking stuff away will eventually got her to respect it? Good luck with that.

And random room flip? Fucking idiots.

Why this bothers me? Was raised by these stupid rules, didnt obey them, disciplining was fysical most of the times, faggot father was trying to impress mother. One rule was you have to finish your plate, I accidentally added too much salt and didnt want to eat it, I sat 8h at the table and refused to eat it. No way I give up first. I was ten. No disciplining didnt make me do it anymore. This shit happened every day. Started smoking and drinking when 13, stole my first car and jail when 15, beat up my father when 16.

[–]redwall920 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Daughter is not respecting this rule

Not sure what you mean there ... who respects a rule? This is one of the evidences of a child's respect for her parent. Parent makes house-rule. Child disagrees with the rule. Parent/child may talk about it and see each other's viewpoint (or not). Child respects parent and obeys. There's no such thing as respect for a rule. The rule can be a dumb rule from the child's viewpoint. No food out of the kitchen. No drinking from the milk jug. No texting while driving. No over the ear headphones on in the house. No jumping on the couch. No playing in this particular area of the house. No loud music after 9p. Etc, etc, etc. House-rules are a part of life.

Consequences are a part of life as well. I want my children to understand that they have choices; they have agency. Along with their ability to own their choices and make their own path they will also understand that there are consequences for their choices.

Sorry to hear about what sounds like a tough childhood for you there. But I've had the same talks with my kids around the table. You put it on your plate? Then you're to finish it. Now we're not hard and fast and unbending about all things to do with the clean-plate-club. But it gets things done. And my kids feel like they have a choice. Put a lot on my plate? Or put a little on my plate? And see if I like it first then go back for seconds. Their choice. They know what's going to happen as a consequence.

My son's been drunk once underage (that I know of). He and a friend got into my alcohol; he was seeing zombies by the end of the night. His choice. Now he's not allowed to have friends stay the night for a while. And he had to pay for the stuff he drank. And I've put the strong stuff under lock and key. My son also know that if he drinks and drives, he looses his license. If he drives without his license, I'll call the cops. These are talks we've had. He sees the reason behind these consequences. But he also knows I want him to live his life whole-heartedly and get a job and enjoy driving to and from school and his job and making money and having friends. So he's living for what he wants. The drinking? Not what he wants (except for when he wants it). And hopefully the consequences that are lined up for that choice will come to mind and hopefully he makes the choice that lines up with his best interests personally (ie don't drink).

And random room flip? Fucking idiots.

Yeah ... I'm not a fan of this. But if the rule is no food, and if the rule is clearly communicated, and if the rule is repeatedly broken, then the consequence may be simply that ... random room checks for food. Any food that's found is tossed - no matter who paid for it. When my children grow up and buy/rent their own place, then they can have the food wherever they want. But the kid's got to see the consequences as tied to their choices (both good and bad).

[–]JameisBong0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I don't think the kids respect her,but they respect you...keep that going. It is very likely they see the contradictions in her behavior and in my experience that's what causes kids to lose any respect for parental authority. Great job handling her outburst, ignore and set limits,she will likely intensify her shit tests if she's not getting a reaction.

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

Great on all aspects, don’t forget to slap an ass, show her the candy you found under her pillow and you’ll punish her later too.


Good post on stoicism in MRP

[–]BostonBrakeJob0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Handled it fine. But you don't need us to tell you that.

I will say that, and this is part mental masturbation and part something for you to consider and work toward if you choose, had you responded to the first "shit test" with some sarcasm (i.e. "I know right, I'm usually such a pushover.", "Me too! I gave myself a gold star on my way back out here for it") the conversation would've most likely shifted right there. Meaning, she wouldn't have been following you around pecking for a reaction.

Remember, it's her test, not yours. Think of it like a test in school. The teacher puts the test on your desk, but instead of answering all the questions the best you can, you write "Meet me in the bathroom in 5 minutes ;)", fold it into a paper airplane, and send that motherfucker back up to her desk. In this hypothetical scenario the teacher wants to test your knowledge but you have something else in mind. In school it'd be a fail and maybe expulsion. But at home, that's an A+. See what I'm sayin here.

But yeah man, ya did what ya had to do and it sounds like you have a track record of that too. Something else to consider, in mentioning her shit talking about her parenting style vs. yours, was this explained for context or is it something that bothers you?

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

Lose that weight and those shit tests will turn into comfort tests. Plus she'll be begging for the D. Also, who cares if she recognizes your phenomenal parenting prowess? What does that get you if she does?

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

I calmly told her what I said and what I decided

The nerve she has to double guess and check what you're doing?

I'd just have told her, once, "I handled it". If she questioned it one more time, I'd withdraw my attention.

IF she persists, perhaps she shouldn't be with me anymore.

For the most part you handled it fine, but a few more incidents like this I would drop her. You don't have time for this shit (and neither do your kids).

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

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