Giving in to every tantrum your child throws is never a good idea.
A netizen recently asked, “Am I a jerk for removing my daughter from her bed at 3 a.m.?”. We need you to find out!
The Original Poster’s, OP’s (34f) daughter (7) has been having a sleep regression issue for the last 6-ish months. Basically, she gets up 2-5 times a night.
“Almost every single time she tells my husband and me that she wants us to physically tuck her back in. She shares a room with two of her three siblings (not ideal and will be changing)”, says OP.
What Happens Usually
OP thinks whenever her husband gets up with their daughter, the behavior gets more frequent. In OP’s eyes, this is because he goes all in. Doing things like singing to her, cuddling her, and talking to her, instead of placing her back in bed and going back to sleep. She basically gets a ton of attention with him at night and it makes her get up more.
What Does OP Say
“I’ve tried to explain this to him but he dismisses it, so I usually get up with her to try to curb the behavior by giving minimal feedback and just putting her back in bed.”, says OP.
The Recent Incident
OP’s daughter came to OP at almost 3 a.m. and asked her to “cover her back up”. OP was admittedly short and irritated. OP took her back to her room and told her she was a big enough girl to cover herself with blankets.
They’d practiced this and talked about it so it wasn’t like OP was expecting her to do it herself out of the blue. She refused. So OP told her goodnight. She began screaming at the top of her lungs and crying. OP told her that she (OP) was going to count to three and she could either stop screaming or they can go downstairs.
What Did OP Say
“At this point, she’s woken her siblings and I’m trying to contain the situation. I count to three, she’s screaming more. I lift her out of bed and lead her by the hand to the stairs.”, says OP.
Husband Wakes Up
At this point, OP’s husband is up. He tells OP he can handle it. OP tells him she’s taking her downstairs to talk to her and to keep her from screaming where everyone sleeps. He tells OP to stop. OP tells him he’s undermining her and to back off.
“He does step aside but follows me downstairs and is cooing to her the whole time and bringing her water. I repeat that I can handle it and to please leave us to talk. He refuses.”, says OP.
OP Finally Tackled Their Daughter
OP does manage to talk to her daughter and explain that she can’t scream like that and that she needs to be a big girl and cover herself with her blankets at night.
OP’s husband hovers over OP’s shoulder. OP takes her back to bed, she covers herself up, and they leave the room.
OP’s husband immediately turns to OP and tells her that she is abusing their daughter. OP couldn’t convince him that what she was doing wasn’t abuse. OP tries to explain but he ignores her and marches downstairs to the couch. OP tries to talk to him again and he just insists that she’s abusing their daughter.
What Does OP Say In Her Defense
“I was admittedly short with her but besides leading her downstairs by the hand I did not touch her and I don’t feel I was overly mean in trying to enforce her tucking herself in when she finds herself uncovered in the middle of the night. So, Am I a jerk?”, asks OP.
You 100% Have The Right Approach
“Not the jerk. You 100% have the right approach and as someone who’s spent years working with kids, you’re right that he’s encouraging her. Your husband was undermining you and that’s absolutely not okay.
However, it seems he has pretty strong views on how to handle this (and is clearly quite affected by her being upset, which in itself is not a bad thing but his response to you was bad), so I feel like you’re going to need to sit down and calmly get on the same page with this.
Right now your daughter has good cop/bad cop parents and she’s quickly going to learn how to manipulate her dad at your expense.”
This Behavior Must Never Be Enabled
“Not the jerk. Your husband needs to quit enabling this behavior. It’s very disruptive! And 7 is plenty old enough to take care of their own needs at night.”
Please Hold Your Ground
“Not the jerk, OP you’re doing the right thing here. You’ve isolated the issue (being that she has a 9-month-old sibling and wants attention). You hold your ground knowing that this behavior is unacceptable, and you don’t let your partner guilt you into backing down from what you know is best for your daughter. Excellent work.”
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