Hi there,

I'm hoping for some advice, I have a 3 year old girl and a 2 year old boy! I can honestly say for their dad they are absolute angels, the perfect children even!

However, when Daddy is not in the room, and it's just Mummy - it's a totally different story! They don't listen, won't do as they're told, constant whinging and tantrums! I am at my wits ends here and have no idea where I'm going wrong!

Out of the two of us, I am the patient one, and try my best to give them as much attention as possible and I never used to raise my voice or anything, but recently I find i'm being pushed to the point where I do snap at them out of frustration! 

It's really affecting our family life and marriage, to the point where Daddy will say it's easier for me to take them out on my own, you can stay in. etc. etc.

He doesn't get it at all because they are sooooo good for him, does exactly as he says, never cries or tantrums, happily play quietly with each other! I can definitely see that it is targeted behaviour towards me, because even when they go to nursery, the Teacher cannot stop singing their praises on how well behaved they are!

I know it sounds silly, but my husband is awfully strict with them - has been since birth! Not to the point where he is shouting or hitting (he honestly doesn't need to! he gives them a look or changes the tone of his voice and they will come and apologise to him!!) He's always said I wasn't strict enough and let them get away with too much, and now they don't respect me. 

I hate to admit it, but maybe he's right? That's not to say my kids and I don't have a good relationship! They still come to mummy for cuddles and all their needs. But the backchatting/ tantrums/ whinging is constant. 

They are also constantly fed and sleep all through the night with a lil afternoon nap, so I can definitely say it's not from hunger or overtired!

Help please!!!
Hi, I understand that this is a difficult and upsetting situation. These are the ages where child begin to be difficult, perhaps it is time to become stricter with them and adopt some of the beahviours your husband displays. It may take some time to see the change, but consistency is the most important part of discipline. You may find it helpful to read our articles on early years behaviour. If you feel you need further support please e-mail us at or call our freephone helpline on 0808 800 2222.