Noises, anxiety, and tears Oh My
Hello. I (31F) am a step parent of a 13 year old and 17 year old, both girls. I am lucky that their moms are pretty easy to get along with.
My husband and I are very happy. We have a string relationship with open communication and honesty. The one area in which we consistently disagree is discipline for the kids.
I grew up in a mentally, physically, and emotionally abusive home. I have no framework of what a balanced amount of discipline is. He grew up in a very healthy home. He was rarely disciplined and turned out great.
My parenting philosophy is to explain why something is wrong then provide some sort of punishment, which is typically removing phone, game, or TV privileges for a set amount of time. His philosophy is to explain why something is wrong amd tell them not to do it again, with no additional consequences. With our older daughter, this has always been enough because she has a very strong sense of personal accountability. Our younger daughter consistently does the same things wrong over and over and never changes these behaviors.
For example, she let our dogs outside without watching them or putting their boundary collars on for an extended period of time. They ran away and were across town before she even knew they were gone. She has been told multiple times that she must either put their boundary collars on or stand at the door and watch them. Another example is dumping food in the sink. Not like milk or broth, but half a bowl of ramen noodles or spaghetti Os. I have to clean the kitchen sink drain pretty much every night.
I know these are mild examples, but it is clear to me that her behavior will never change without some sort of punishment, like taking her phone away. My husband refuses to give or enforce punishments and I am just exhausted. I feel like I am beating my head against a wall trying to keep the house from being a shitstorm and keeping everyone alive.
I am tired and angry. I sat in the bathroom at work today and sobbed. I am at my wits end and I don't know what to do.
Thank you for listening. ❤