Delay tactics at bedtime and conflict with my husband

Hi everyone,

Am new here and have just purchased the course as really feel like I could do with some extra support. I have a 4 year old and a 6 month baby and definitely struggling to find my feet since baby came along. I’m planning to start the course this week but in the meantime have an issue that I would appreciate some advice on….

Essentially, my 4 year old daughter is a master at prolonging bedtime. Yesterday, after I put our baby to bed, my husband began her bedtime routine. I could hear her screaming for me. I hesitated for a moment as didn’t want to interfere, but then decided to go and see if I could assist.

I went to her room and managed to calm her with a hug before leaving the room so my husband could continue the bedtime routine, with the promise of one more hug after he reads her a story.

My husband wasn’t pleased because he believes I gave in to her and basically reinforced her stalling tactics.

Was it ok for me to intervene and help her regulate when she was upset, or does giving in to her request for mummy as a stalling tactic undermine the bedtime routine? My husband was pretty mad at me but I didn’t think it was that big a deal and can’t just ignore my daughter when she’s screaming for me.

What does everyone else think?

Thanks so much,
R

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Hi @R2104,

Just wanted to wish you a very warm welcome to the Community. I don’t have specific advice as I have one child and no husband, so not sure I can add value like others can but I’m sorry to hear you’re finding it hard just now.

You’re in the right place and I’m sure one of the experts will be able to support you xx

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Hello @R2104 and welcome. Lovely to ‘meet’ you x

I have 2 daughters and the first year after our 2nd was born was so hard. I hope that you are getting some help and able to rest at times. I found it started getting easier once our youngest was 1 year old.

I can relate to the conflict with your husband. Me and my hubby often disagree on things and I feel he undermines me a lot of the time. He thinks he knows better than me, but he’s not the one reading the books, doing the courses, talking to friends etc. Anyway, that’s not what you asked! Sorry. Moan over.

I don’t know if there’s a right and wrong in that situation. Maybe the parenting experts here will have a view. My gut says it might be easier for her to settle if it’s just one of you who settles her and she says her goodnights to the other one before she goes to her room. It’s so hard to hear them cry though isn’t it? I suppose what’s important is you and your hubby agreeing how to handle the situation in the future. And then once you’ve decided, letting your 4 year old know that’s the deal. So if you agree you will leave him to it then let her know that even if she cries out for you, Daddy’s there and loves her and will hug and read to her, but you need to get on with some jobs so that you can rest and sleep and then you’ll be there when she wakes up in the morning with a huge hug for her.

I hope that doesn’t sound mean. I think maybe that’s what I would do.

Sending you love. You are at a really hard stage right now. It definitely started getting better for us once the first year of both was past xxx

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Welcome @R2104 and thank you for your post, which will I have no doubt resonate with other parents in the community!! Getting a baby and 4 yr old to bed can be exhausting enough, without friction between parents, increasing the stress in all directions.
I have to confess that when mine were that age, I would sometimes interfere and inadvertantly ‘rescue’ my son when my husband was trying to set a boundary as I couldn’t bear seeing my son upset. But not only was I undermining his way of doing things, but also it is normal and OK for parents to have a slightly different approach with their and children. Indeed they can usually learn how to adjust for that. Infact children often have phases when they prefer one parent, and ‘rescuing’ the child gives them the message that the other parent has less value or authority!
Sometimes, with the best will in the world, we can be over protective. Obviously if your husband has lost his rag, helping to calm the situation is appropriate, but that doesnt seem to be the case as far a I can see here.
However, I would suggest that in a situation where you are regularly contradicting each other, that you find a moment (not always easy!) and sit down together, when your daughter is not around and try to find a way to avoid conflict; agreeing not intervene, or perhaps agreeing a ‘tag’ system where if one parent is getting upset/angry the other steps in. It is always distressing when your child is upset, but in the bigger picture, your daughter can learn that your husband too can help her learn to manage big emotions, or not getting what she wants at that moment. and as you say - much of this may simply delay tactics - all the more reason to work together and not get drawn in to her tactics!
Thank you for sharing this issue as working together can be difficult!

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Thank you so much for the supportive comments everyone.

Really appreciate you taking the time to provide such lengthy advice @Dr_Clare_Bailey. What you’ve said about the bigger picture has really resonated with me and made me realise how important it is not to intervene all the time. My husband and I had a good chat about it last night and we are both feeling much better, particularly after reading responses here.

Thanks again everyone, am grateful for the support!

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So pleased you and your husband are feeling more together about it and its often helpful to hear other people’s experiences, as in previous comments . Do let us know how you get on!

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Thank you so much, will keep you all updated!

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This has been really helpful to read @Dr_Clare_Bailey . Thank you. Reassuring that it’s ok if we have slightly different approaches with our child. I had been beating myself up that we weren’t always on the same page. (Well ok, not just beating myself up, having a bit of a go at hubby too! :grimacing:). I think I need to go a bit easier on myself (and with him). This has also helped me see it from his perspective. Maybe I’m undermining him sometimes. I need to watch for that. You’ve inspired me @R2104 to make time for a proper conversation with my hubby too. We never take the time - we’re always too knackered! Thanks for this thread I’ve found it really helpful :grinning:

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Hello @R2104. Welcome. Hope you find the support you’re looking for here. Let us know how get on with the course. I’ve found the bits on praise really helpful. It’s not something I had thought about much before and didn’t consciously do it, but it’s made a real difference in our home now that I am, I can see! The quote in the course “Praise does wonders for our sense of hearing” really grabbed me. And I’ve found it to be true. Mine seem to pay more attention to what I say now that I’m praising them more when they do things well. Hope bedtime has improved for you. There’s an article on bedtime too here that might be helpful. Good luck :heart_eyes:

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Thank you @StressedMum. Having the conversation with my husband really helped and we haven’t had the conflict since I posted as we are better aligned. I’ve started the praise section and you’re so right, it’s really powerful. Thank you for your reply, hope you’re having a good week x

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Good luck. Hang on in there @R2104 :yellow_heart:

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