Quoting James Mama:" What was the situation?"
So... I just got a job. And I'm in nursing school. Our 3 year old hasn't had nearly as much time with me as he is used to, and it's been hard on him but right now we just don't have a choice. DH and DS have a slightly rocky relationship because DH leaves randomly for army crap. Anyway. So last night DS wakes up at like, 11:30 PM when DH and I were about to go to bed, and comes and sits on my lap on the couch, he looked like he wanted to cry. We asked him what was wrong and he kept saying nothing, but he just looked so sad or something. He wouldn't even LOOK at DH, and wouldn't respond to him when he talked to him. He does this when he's mad, he just ignores. Well, we were all sitting there on the couch and I tried to get DS to talk about why he was mad or sad or whatever he was, and WHY he wouldn't talk to DH, but he kept saying he wasn't mad or sad or anything, he just didn't feel like talking. So I'm thinking, okay he's just being grumpy he got woken up in the middle of the night, whatever. So I tell him he's being rude to daddy and hurting his feelings by not talking to him, and take him back to bed. I was talking to him in his bed for a minute, and he says to me, "Daddy is really mad at me because I wasn't talking to him." and i said, "I don't think daddy's mad babe, he's just sad. It hurts daddy's feelings when you don't want to love on him." So we talk about it for a minute, and I suggest we all spend the evening together tomorrow playing DS's new Kinect game. So I try to call DH in the room so we can suggest it to him since DS was feeling better, and DH ignores me and doesn't come into the room. So DS starts crying again and says, "Daddy is still sad with me... Can we go apologize?" So I say of course, and get up with him to go into our room and apologize to daddy. I walk him in there, and DH just says, "Really? You think this is okay? No. I'm not talking to him yet. He needs consequences for disrespecting me." (Obviously talking to me, not DS)... And so I said, "He asked me if he could come apologize and I said yes... I think deciding to be brave and come apologize is what he needs to learn from the situation, don't you?" and he said, "No, he lives in a world of no consequences with you. With me he gets consequences." So I took DS back to bed sad, cuddled with him for a minute and told him that daddy loves him very much and he will come talk to him in a minute. And he did. But I felt as though DH was way out of line to flat our refuse to accept the apology of a 3-year old who was trying to make up for hurting his daddy.
DS gets consequences for EVERYTHING, leaving toys out, not listening, not eating his food, etc. But I feel when it comes to his EMOTIONS, he still needs to be TAUGHT how to handle them. He acted inappropriately, yes. He was rude to DH when he didn't respond to him and ignored him for no reason. So in my mind, the way to handle it was to separate him from the situation that was stressing him out, and help him understand WHY it isn't okay to do that, and WHY it hurt daddy's feelings and HOW to fix it. And all on his own, DS figured out how to fix it, and wanted to apologize. But DH said he had no consequences because it was "less than 5 minutes" before things were just okay again, and that's not okay. In my mind, we were all about to go to bed. What is gonna happen, We're all gonna go to bed upset, DS thinking he really hurt daddy's feelings, and then we're not even going to deal with it or make it better until 24 hours later when DH gets home from work? That makes no sense, you can't deal with a 3-year old's emotions 24 hours later, they need immediate action to be able to understand it.... I dunno. Dh thinks in this situation I let DS disrespect him with no consequences. But I thought DS was having difficulty handling our new schedule and needed to TALK about it, not be punished for feeling sad or lonely or whatever.... We both feel we were 100% in the right... It ended in a big fight and I slept on the couch because neither of us would cave. He felt I was letting DS off easy, and I felt he couldn't set aside his pride for the sake of his 3-year old's emotions..