Were we both wrong?
05/17/2013 at 02:10 AM

Hi there, my wife and I had a situation recently whereby she said she had 'promised' the kids a sweet treat, I am suspect about the use of the word promise as to be honest it would be unusal for her to say, 'I promise you can have a yogurt later' more likely she would say, 'yes you can have a yogurt later if you eat all your dinner/behave' I know her and her language and the latter sounds more plausible, however I digress... she 'promised' the kids a treat, my wife and I were busy and the kids wanted me to sort this treat for them as they had now finished dinner, I said they would need to wait a few minutes, they continued to whine and complain, we want it now, on and on.. I said again the only reward you will receive for continued complaining and whining is to lose the treat, now wait a few minutes and we will sort it, any more and I will refuse the treat, their whining continued.. I then said right im sorry but that's it, no treat for you now, it's very sad but I tried to warn you and you would not be patient. The kids were then understandably upset, the end of the world had come to see their reaction but I was resolute and said, no you were warned about your behaviour and Im sorry but dad is not changing his mind over this now. I exited the room only to come back and discover my wife had given all the kids the treat I refused them and then proceeded to tell me she had made a promise and I had no right to break that promise on her behalf over their beahviour, (even though she had been silent for the whole transaction up until this point) the youngest is not yet 6 and I was unfair to expect him to be patient and even more unfair to make her word void by breaking her promise. I suggested that it was not about her promise, (one I had no knowledge of her actually making until she revealed this after I had handed out the punishment), it was about the childrens behaviour and she had undermined me by giving them the treat I had taken away from them. Am I wrong to feel aggrieved by this or was I wrong to break her 'promise' how then does this work in future times, say she is not there and I have to punish the children, how am I to know my punishment wont be overturned as she tells me 'she promised' this or that without my prior knowledge, are we to tell each other everything we 'promise' each day so it is off the table, withold punishments until we are both present in order to negate any undermining in future, as we all know bad behaviour needs dealing with rapidly rather than waiting.

Thoughts folks