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My New Spouse And I Argue About Disciplining My Children

by Sonja
(Lake Jackson TX)

My spouse comes home and gives me a look like, "They didn't finish their chores again." They were supposed to, because we had it written down that they were to be done by 4pm during the summer since they are home all day.

My children are 10 and 12, and I feel they need some type of leeway. He says they will not learn to do it right or not at all if you don't take something away from them to show them they have a consequence for not doing what they were told over and over again.

I get angry at him, telling him they can't be perfect and then turn around and get angry at my children because he's harping on me, not them, about how they can't seem to do their chores properly.

I blow up sometimes and I feel it's because I can't make it right and then feel the guilt and regret that I yelled, so I don't follow through with the consequences. In the process of the outbursts, they are a little outrageous at times.

I just need some inner peace and am hoping that prayer will help, but feel I need some assistance from my husband instead of just constantly nagging me about how bad they are going to be when they grow up.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Sonja, and thanks for telling your story here. It is good that you want help for yourself and your family.

Regardless of the provocation, you are 100% responsible for your anger, and that's where your work begins.

Start with the anger journaling exercise on this page, and then go on to the positive journaling on the same page. In the positive journaling, focus on the best of yourself, your children and your husband.

See the future like you want it to be, and do your best to bring about that outcome.

If you have any trauma from your past, do the trauma writing exercise on that page, followed by these imagery processes for emotional healing.

You mentioned "my children" and not "our children." If your husband is a step parent, he needs to know that it is his job to back you up as the biological parent. Research on step families shows that it never works for the step parent to be more strict than the biological parent.

Believe in yourself and your family, Sonja. Focus on the goodness inside and all around you, and that will help you toward your goals.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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