DH and I have agreed on a hybrid charter Homeschool for DD1 who will be 5 in July with the expectation that we will assess and review as we begin the school year, open to changes.

DD1 is just about to graduate from her play-based preschool and I'm anticipating how our summer will go. DH and I have gone from having no added sugar, no TV to where we are now -- some sugar and some TV. DH and I are at odds on this as I'd like to remove the limits altogether, but he is adamant about maintaining them. We haven't had the time alone we need to have a lengthy discussion on this, but DH has expressed that he feels that kids need to have limits on these things.

With TV, DH argues that DD1 gets "cracked out" when she watches too much. DH blames DD1's screaming and yelling and/or unwillingness to move on to dinner (for example) on DD1 watching too much TV. I have tried to open up a conversation along the lines of the economics of scarcity vs. abundance of TV, but anytime I go near the topic of TV, DH gets stern and has said that he feels strongly about his stance on limiting TV.

The other big difference is in how DH uses TV as an award or bribe rather than simply as DD1's right to watch and enjoy it just as he and I do.

I point out how DD2 has no "issues" around TV -- that she has had TV be available to her more than she has asked for. DD2 has grown up with the TV on and she will decide to build with blocks instead of watch kids programs with DD1.

But DH is firm in his resolve.

I think it is becoming clear to me that while DH has said he is open to Unschooling, it might be that he is open to Homeschooling without a curriculum and traditional child-rearing instead.

My conflict is in seeing my very outspoken, strong-willed, natural leader-type DD1 butt heads consistently with DH when he limits her from what she expresses is really important to her such as watching TV. Troubling, too, is the controlling parent tactic of rewarding her compliance with TV.

I had been working crazy hours for my job while DH was home with the kids but now we are both home full-time until one of us can drum up more work.

I have two things I'm trying to figure out --

1). How do I navigate co-parenting when I want to support my DH as a parent (though i disagree with the rewarding/controlling parenting, limiting TV) but honor DD1's needs?

2). If I become the full-time caregiver and DH works, is it OK to shift away from DH's parenting needs or would that be undermining DH when he is free to be with the kids?

DD1 is regularly saying things like, "I hate you!" when she does not get what she wants and it really hurts DH's feelings. I do my best to reflect what I am observing and empathizing with both, but I feel lost and sad that there isn't more peace and more joy. Currently, these conflicts between DD1 and DH end with DD1 crying and screaming and DH leaving the room or reiterating that DD1 can't have what she wants.

In my attempts to discuss our parenting differences, I feel DH dominates the discussion and will often interrupt me when I try to express my concerns and desires. In writing this email, it's dawning on me that maybe DH is not in a place to give more -- to DD1 or to me in terms of listening or changing. Maybe DH needs more nurturing?

Any input as always, is greatly appreciated.


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