Parents - which one of you is the mean one?

On another thread one topic that has come up is that often one parent will be the disciplinarian while the other is the type who either doesnt want to discipline the kids, doesnt see the problem, or plain simply lacks the discipline and fortitude to be a strict disciplinarian.

Now that doesnt mean the person doesnt love their kids or anything. They might be great in other roles but when it comes to discipline they just dont have it.

So I’d like to ask you parents, which one of you is the mean one and which one of you is not?

BTW, I feel for the single parents where there is nobody to have your back.

I am the mean one!

But I am also the nice one. FYI - I tell the kid I am a “mirror”. What he sends my direction will be returned back to him. Treat me good, I will treat him good. Treat me nasty, I will treat him nasty.

I also hold him responsible for his actions - there are consequences if he breaks rules.

I was the disciplinarian, but my wife was the mean one. The kids knew what to expect from me, she was the nice one all the time until they touched one of her nerves. Both of them have several extra assholes as a result.


As my son described it to his therapist, I’m the “active” parent, which also makes me the nice one, the creative one, the one you know what to expect from, etc.

We were a team. When the kids miss behaved who ever was closes or not busy took care of the problem. If we disagreed with each other then one of us would take the other aside and discuss how the problem should be handled.

An few exceptions. If they disrespected their mother within my hearing I instantly stepped in. disobeying their grandparents would have me responding before the grand parent could react. I never wanted the grand parents to have to be a disciplinarian. It would cost everyone too much.

The wife is the disciplinarian. I’m the push-over.

The kids are cats, but still…

Wow, exactly the same for me.

And I don’t know about you but my attempts at discipline and organisation are regularly thwarted by my wife if she doesn’t see the point. She openly tells my daughters not to listen to me if she disagrees with my priorities.

That earns her their gratitude (“Mum is so cool”)… until they do one of the innumerable things that she disapproves of and screams at them for 30 minutes. Of course, I’m expected to enforce her decisions, too :rolleyes:.

My wife spends more time with them during the day, so she probably has a lot of cumulative little things that equal “meanness.” However, I am the disciplinarian. When both of us are around, it’s me who puts them in time out, it’s me who takes away favorite toys, it’s me who raises his voice, it’s me who becomes “BIG MEAN DADDY[sup]TM[/sup].”

Yup. Same thing. I think it’s a fairly common pattern.

He is. I am caring, loving, kind, supportive, sympathetic, and patient.

Yes I am, dammit, and wipe that look off your face before I do it for you!

I’m glad I was the only parent. Her dad, when he was around, would punish her one day for something he didn’t like, then when she did it again - nothing. No consistency. In my house, rules and punishments were posted on the fridge. Not that it was always rainbows and unicorns, of course.

My wife could not bring herself to be “mean” for the longest time. Several times I would get calls when I was at work and I would have to come home and deal with something.

She couldnt even stand the thought of me getting onto them even when she asked for my help. Very often I would make her leave the room or even go get in her car and drive away while I dealt with things.

She is much better now.

I’m the disciplinarian. I’ve got two boys, 1 and 3. I overdo it some. I have a tendency to jump to “Hey, stop doing that.” (because if you keep pushing on that thing, it’s going to pop back and smack you right in the face, and you’re not going to like that) instead of, you know, letting that thing pop back and smack him in the face so he figures it out on his own. It’s just that I was a boy, and I’ve had all these things pop back and smack me in the face and I didn’t like it.

Now, it’s not like my wife doesn’t ever discipline them. She’s just, uh, let’s say “generous” with them disobeying her direct orders. Both boys are pretty hip to this and take advantage of it.

When she’s flying solo with them there is turmoil. When I’ve got them by myself things go pretty smoothly. (Although this might have more to do with her seat-of-the-pants approach.)

Well that might be a part of the fact that Dad’s tend to task it easy on their daughters and come down hard on their sons while Mom’s take it easy on their sons and go after the daughters.

We shared to duty fairly equally. Thankfully it was rarely ever an issue. My wife leaned more toward keeping the kids inline with their chores and I leaned more toward general behavioral issues. I did very few things in life right but my kids could not have come out any better. 90% of the discipline they received was before the age of 3 years old.

Fun dad here.

My poor wife. It put her in the “Only Grownup in the Room” position pretty often. But it was a role she was born to play.
Kids turned out fine. Wife’s still an adult; I’m thinking I might try it some day…

Me and the Mrs. share it pretty equally. Stylistically we are quite different though. She is the Authoritarian (Do As I Say or This Will Happen To YOU), I am the Explanarian (you should do as I say here is why and here are the consequences if you don’t and I WILL enforce those consequences) I do tend to not get worked up over some of the stuff that bothers her though. Kids sometimes are Kids yanno what I mean?

Mostly pretty equal. We’re also at an advantage because we won some sort of baby disposition lottery and ended up with a really easy-going kid. She was even a chill toddler. She’s 5 now.

My style is more rule-setting – here’s how we behave, I will remind you as needed. Her dad is more of an explainer. Sometimes, when it’s happening, it drives me a little batty because (to me) it seems like it’s over-explaining given her age. He will go so far down a road of explanations, with tangents, that it’s like the behavior happened so long ago in her memory that she doesn’t even know that’s the point of the conversation. But still, I stay out of it, because I assume (hope) some of it is soaking in on some level, maybe setting up a positive process for the future.

I used to be authoritarian, with the two Eldest Guestlings From a Prior Marriage. One turned out ok, the other…we don’t talk about him anymore.

Anyway, I dunno, I just decided that I would give explaining a try the second time around. I do keep it age appropriate and try to keep it short and strictly keep it on topic with no tangents and timeliness its absolutely CRUCIAL, none of this “wait till…”

So far I seem to have much less trouble with the Guestling the Youngest and it baffles Mrs. Guest to no end.

Mrs. DrumBum was the enforcer when our daughter was growing up. I was too much of a wus.