How do you deal with 1 very angry parent who doesn't want to discuss how to discipline, because their way is the only way?
The kids are suffering, because they (& I) feel that it's unfair to be "grounded" all the time, for something that isn't an appropriate punishment. When I want to discuss the situation, he responds with, "Whatever, do what you want!" . . . that's the end of the conversation.
Sometimes using the "grounding" discipline is not the appropriate consequence to fit the "crime" that has been committed. It is helpful for parents to have a repertoire of ideas to mold their children's behaviors. That's great that you are open to discussing other types of discipline with the other parent. He could be getting angry easily because he is first frustrated with the child's inappropriate behavior, and then he feels that his decision has been over-ridden.
Discussing alternative types of discipline could be conducted when all parents are calm and in a good mood, or during "a neutral time" when no children are present. After the parents make an agreement to explore other forms of teaching to behaviors and discipline, remind the children of usual expectations and pre-teach to them that consequences will follow inappropriate behaviors. Then, if he issues a consequence later, support his decision, and the two of you can follow-up with each other later.
Sometimes coming to an agreement may not be easy because it is normal for two people to have two different ideas and/or two different types of parenting styles. Ultimately, if the children are receiving teaching and consequences, and their behaviors are being positively changed, the goal of parenting is being met. If the children seem to be "suffering" from consequences that they have earned, remind them that they should have made better choices when they had that opportunity.
Feel free to call the Boys Town National Hotline, at: 1-800-448-3000, to discuss this or any other parenting issue. Take care of yourself!
Sounds like parent is stressed and is not sure of how to effectively handle each scenerio. And of course, kids do not come with an instruction manual. If they did, you would see me carrying it everywhere ;) So let's see what the specifics of the problem are. He is stressed an it overwhelms him to the point that he shuts down. This problem should be delt with separately that what the kids do. I would suggest one of two things. First, when he clam, try talking to him about how he was disciplined growing up. Let him do the talking for the most part. It is really important not to be judgemental of what he says. Because of course, he could not help it when he was a child. Then I would talk about how you were disciplined growing up. Understanding his past is very important in trying to get on the same page with parenting. So now that you know some stuff you may not have known before. It is not time to come up with a discipline plan for the children. Take some time to talk about each child. For example, you may have a different discipline plan for Lizzy b/c she has ADHD (just an example). Then once you have figure out the methods you plan to use, stick by them! This is so important. If you fail at "following through", then your kids will learn this and push the situation more. You might want to announce to the kids that you and dad have a plan now and they will follow it if they break the rules. Then, when dad gets upset and uses the plan, you must back him up as much as possible. He will feel more confident about being a parent and so will you. Good Luck ;)