to think you can't just leave DC in dangerous situations because they won't listen to you?

(75 Posts)
TractorTam Wed 06-Aug-14 09:36:27

DH has always struggled to get the DC to listen to him. This is mainly because he'll repeatedly ask but there'll be no consequences (though he threatens there will be) if they don't listen. I back him up, but it's not really working as obviously if I'm not there then hes stuck. His recent approach has been to ignore them if they won't listen to him but in.some circumstances this has meant leaving them in dangerous situations.

For example:

He had the toddler sitting on the side in the kitchen while he made a drink. He told her they were going in the other room now. She refused and said she wants to stay there, so he left her there. Next to hob (though not on) and with a drop onto concrete tiles.

He wanted to put a bag in the car after school which was on the opposite side of a 40mph road. DD (6) said she didn't want to, so he left her on the other side calling for her bag. Now I'm fairly certain she wouldn't try and cross, but I wouldn't have taken that risk.

We have a car park about 30 metres from our house. If the DC are taking a while to get out (I.e. Looking for something they've dropped) he'll just leave them and go indoors, ignoring the fact that's leaving them to cross a car park by themselves.

If we are out and DD is on her bike then one of us needs to be close as she's still a bit unstable. I was following her the other day and toddler refused to leave where we were (feeding ducks off a bridge near a road.). Rather than stay to retrieve toddler, DH left her because she wouldn't listen!

Now it's all come to a head because we are camping in Wales at the moment. Yesterday we were climbing and playing on rocks/in a fair sized waterfall. Toddler and I went to change hernappy, lleaving DH and DD splashing. I get distracted as toddler needs a drink and snack. Go back 10-15 mins later and find DD climbing rocks on the other side of the waterfall alone, while DH is sitting on this side (a good 30m from her and unable to hear one another over water) playing on his phone. When I asked why he's left her alone he shrugged and said she wouldn't listen when he wanted to be finished confused

These are just a few examples but the last one has really angered me. She could've fallen, banged her head and been under water and he wouldn't have known. AIBU to think he is being completely ineffectual and that you can't just leave DC in these instances?

whitepuddingsupper Wed 06-Aug-14 09:39:37

YANBU, he sounds like an immature tit. Tell him to grow up and start being an actual parent not just going "whatever, do what you want then" if DCs aren't listening.

Dickiewiddler Wed 06-Aug-14 09:41:01

I'd go nuclear about the last one. Bloody wild. Does he have any other communication issues? He sounds very inflexible in his thinking.

NigellasDealer Wed 06-Aug-14 09:42:28

he is not being a dad really is he?

Pyjamaramadrama Wed 06-Aug-14 09:46:32

Of course yanbu, why can't he just scoop them up/take them by the hand in these instances and remove them.

It just sounds really lazy.

KnackeredMuchly Wed 06-Aug-14 09:46:35

He's been let off too much and isn't given enough consequences for his actions.

Going nuclear is the right expression and my DH would be told he has to follow my rules on safety or it's the highway.

ShyGirl1001 Wed 06-Aug-14 09:48:26

YANBU. I'd go ballistic over the last one, so dangerous!

Tell him to pull his finger out his arse.

BookABooSue Wed 06-Aug-14 09:48:57

YANBU. He is being completely irresponsible. Do you know why he is acting like this?

It could be because he expects everyone to do as he says or because he wants you to feel you can't trust him and then absolve him from all parenting responsibility, or he assesses risk completely differently. For example I have friends where the entire family have imo an odd approach to risk but they grew up around big machinery, building works, etc. It has obviously impacted what they see as normal and safe for dcs.

If you know where his behaviour is coming from then it might help you to tackle it.

TractorTam Wed 06-Aug-14 09:50:00

He's of the impression that DC will get upset at being left, and therefore follow. But they don't and even if they did its hardly a great approach is it? Luckily DD is very brave and couldn't care less about yesterday but a lot of children would be terrified about being left in that situation

BigHairyLeggedSpider Wed 06-Aug-14 09:52:24

Jesus I'd be having words! The last one especially. A little girl fell off a waterfall at Nantcol campsite in Wales a few year ago and sadly died. I would not be leaving my DC alone with him as its only a matter of time before one of them gets hurt. sad

TractorTam Wed 06-Aug-14 09:53:56

Then this morning, toddler is practising using cup. He fills it too much then tells her he'll hold it. She protests, he sits and watches as she pours it all over herself then says she should've listened hmm

Eauneau Wed 06-Aug-14 09:57:12

What the actual fuck at the last one? Tell him to sort himself the fuck out!

I sometimes try and use the old 'bye then' and pretend to start walking off if we are out and he isn't coming, but it usually doesn't work so I have to go over, bundle him up and tell him how 'sad' he has made me grin

But I would never just leave him!

Eauneau Wed 06-Aug-14 09:58:11

By 'him' in my last post I mean my DS smile

CharlieBrookerScowl Wed 06-Aug-14 09:59:30

Oh god. DS is stubborn and it annoys the fuck out of me when other people suggest I just leave him/let him go and he'll follow/come back/stay with me.

I know him well enough to know a.) He bloody won't b.) It's much more effective if I remove him/retrieve him and leave whatever we were doing (so he learns there are consequences) and c.) That the few times I've taken that crap advice because I'm sick of the luckier parents thinking I'm being OTT he's got himself hurt/nearly very badly hurt.

YADNBU. A lot of kids don't care when you leave them. Part of parenting is having to drag them kicking and screaming sometimes, or at least following through on your threats. He sounds lazy at best and neglectful at worst. He's just lucky they haven't been seriously injured or worse...

Here's brew to calm your nerves! grin hmm

I'd be seriously concerned at this point that he's not interested in their safety and is more interested in himself.

Dickiewiddler Wed 06-Aug-14 09:59:34

"He's of the impression that DC will get upset at being left, and therefore follow."

I wonder has this worked once in the past and is now his "rule" about how to handle them?

CharlieBrookerScowl Wed 06-Aug-14 10:01:44

You essentially can't trust someone with that attitude to actually look after them alone. Which defeats the object of being a parent.

(I don't normally get ranty/ravey on MN but DS is constantly on suicide missions and is still fearless at almost 4yrs so I'd have a heart attack if I'd come back to see what you'd seen with your P and your DD).

Dickiewiddler Wed 06-Aug-14 10:02:24

Does he love them? Is he just not bonded with them or do you think he's viewing the world/situations differently? He doesn't sound able to predict the consequences of his actions - including that you're going to stab him shortly if he carries on like this!

Jennifersrabbit Wed 06-Aug-14 10:08:23

Nope that is bizarre.

There's something to be said for the 'leaving them to learn from experience' where you've asked them not to do something, and the likely consequence is mildly unpleasant to them. In which case you can employ the 'THATS why I told you not to' response. But the examples you have given are way beyond that.

My DD is 6 and I would be very concerned at her being left in any of the situations you describe. If she's being obstinate in a safety critical situation she gets picked up and removed. Toddler would be even more so.

DS is 8 and getting a bit beyond manhandling but he needs to understand that there are instructions which are safety critical and if he doesn't obey them he can't do whatever it is. I still wouldn't leave him in a rampantly unsafe situation.

BookABooSue Wed 06-Aug-14 10:20:02

His approach makes no sense. Leaving them isn't making them listen. It's leaving them at risk.

STBXH was like this (apart from the waterfall and the worktop, he has done the same as your dp eg he left DC at other side of a car park; left DC alone and out of sight-line beside a busy road at night. He also left DC hiding and went inside; left them running back and forwards beside full-size sheets of glass balanced against a wall; left them playing beside a deep pond, etc).

I don't know how you fix it but I do sympathise. Could your MIL help to convince him he's being a bloody idiot?

mommy2ash Wed 06-Aug-14 10:24:39

seriously your children could have been killed or seriously injured in a few of those scenarios. once something horrible happens it's too late to go back you need to do something about this now

weatherall Wed 06-Aug-14 10:33:30

Hmm I think he needs to reflect on his parenting.

He seems to have rigid ideas about DCs being obedient. Does he have aspergers? Did he have an authoritarian upbringing?

Yes, it is good to encourage DCs to listen to the patent's instruction but 'punishing' them by leaving them in danger isn't the answer.

Doe she not spend much time with the DCs? He doesn't seem to know how to parent.

He sounds quite detached which is quite worrying.

Inkspellme Wed 06-Aug-14 11:54:02

I don't get why he always just asks them do they want to do something? Like asking does your toddler want to get down off the worktop and come into a different room. asking implies a choice when in reality there isn't one. if she doesn't agree to come when told nicely what you are doing next you pick her up and bring her. What's the problem? same in the other situations. negotiaions with very young children is just daft.

Dickiewiddler Wed 06-Aug-14 12:02:26

Come back OP, I want to hear more! Some of this is very familiar.

BlackeyedSusan Wed 06-Aug-14 12:54:29

oh dear. if he can not be trusted, then he should not be trusted. personally, i would not leave them with him until they are a lot older and can be responsible for themselves.

Yes I know he should be responsible, yes I know this puts more work on you and makes life difficult for you, but sometimes it just has to be done for the safety of your children. (you sort of get used to it and adapt inthe end. and better a lot of extra work than finding your child has fallen off the rocks or the table. or been run over,)

Aeroflotgirl Wed 06-Aug-14 14:20:17

shock especially the last one. I do relax the boundaries a little with ds 2.5, but not that he is unsafe. He likes climbing the low bottom windows to see outside, but never top floor windows. Top windows are closed as he will climb out and fall, our windows are very awkward and I can't get suitable window safety closers for them.

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