Hi, I'm really in need of some advice and support, please.
I have three young children, and am married. But the dynamics of our family are so dysfunctional (in regards to discipline) and I believe damaging to our children.
My eldest son is 5 yrs old and is quite highly strung/sensitive. He has social anxiety but it is improving. He shouts to ask for what he wants (more like demands) on a daily basis, and often has meltdowns involving screaming and hitting me when he's told no. While much of this is pretty common for his age, the main problem is how me and DH deal with it. Of course it really tests our patience and makes us very angry. I try my best to stay calm and not shout back, and just give him natural consequences for his actions.. Eg "if you can't play nicely with the ball then I'll have to put it away", but yes I do lose it at times and shout or try to put him in time out, which doesn't work as he just comes out.. And I hate myself for losing it.
My husband is even worse. He frequently smacks DS, and is quite belittling into his actions and words. I absolutely hate it. But DH won't admit this is wrong. He says nothing else works (even though smacking doesn't work either), and that DS has to learn. I tell DH that he is damaging DS, and he is going to grow up being scared of him. DH says he doesn't care, but I know deep down that he does. He just won't admit it. In many ways he is a great dad. But he doesn't handle stress well.
I'm far from a model parent, I'm far from being the calm and gentle parent I want to be, but I'm trying and I read lots of articles and books about calm parenting. I truly believe in it, and about trying to connect with my son. DH just refuses to read anything, and it seems he doesn't want to change his approach. I am so frustrated and scared for DS.
Also, DH blames the state of our relationship for his behaviour towards DS during discipline. I understand that he's stressed and unhappy with things, eg lack of intimacy, and for sure that has an impact on his ability to cope with stress. But I refuse to be held solely responsible for his actions. He's passing the buck to me for what he does. No accountability.
I suggested this morning seeing a family psychologist. I want change. I want to protect my son and parent him respectfully. But DH said no.
What can I do? I'm so frustrated and confused. Sorry if not all of this makes sense. I'd just really like some feedback or opinions please.