To think DH shouldn't be embarrassed by his own child?

(121 Posts)
BatCave Mon 03-Dec-12 10:04:59

DD is 2.4, and going through, well, a toddler stage of demanding stubbornness with a screaming fit if she's told "no".

Busy shop yesterday and we had foolishly foolishly decided to take her and the baby shopping. She was bored, tired etc and had a screaming fit in the middle of a busy shop. I mean ear splitting shrieking of epic proportions. DH was getting stressed with her, moaning and shouting at her - it wasn't working so I took over trying to calm her down and get her back in the pushchair. HE WALKED OFF!!! I had the baby in a sling was trying to wrestle a screaming toddler and he just walked away.

When I questioned him after he said he was really embarrassed and had seen one of his mates. He thinks we have the worst behaved child in the world, keeps asking me where we've gone wrong?!

I'm sure we have a normal toddler.... Don't we? Please tell me this is normal...

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Mon 03-Dec-12 10:07:10

Yes. you have a normal toddler.

And a daft husband. grin

He needs to get a grip. Kids play up. He looks far more of an idiot by walking away because it makes him look like he can't cope with his own child.

Perhaps, if he can't handle a toddler, he should consider parenting classes. grin

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 03-Dec-12 10:08:12

Yes it's normal. The toddler, not the DH. That is not normal.

I found keeping calm and distracting them with jokes/games works better to calm them down than trying to control them but every mum in the world has been that mum whose child just won't stop screaming in the middle of the shop/cinema/church etc.

InNeedOfBrandyButter Mon 03-Dec-12 10:08:30

I would of been embarrassed to tbh, I never let mine tantrum like that I would of picked up the dc and got out the shop, or not took dc shopping on a busy day.

MolotovCocktail Mon 03-Dec-12 10:10:17

Totally normal. Your DD is goig through a developmental phase, which will soon pass and will improve as soon as she learns to verbally communicate in a more meaningful way.

However, what can explain your DHs behaviour, I don't know. I would NOT be pleased if effed off, leaving me to struggle with 2 young children because he saw his mates!!

Buy him a toddler development boom for Christmas. Get him to lean a thing or two about our DDs behaviour.

And while he's there, a thing or two about his.

littlewhitebag Mon 03-Dec-12 10:11:26

Get him to take DD to toddler group and see all the other toddlers behaving exactly like your DD. She is normal!

BatCave Mon 03-Dec-12 10:12:05

InNeedOfBrandyButter, I'm genuinely intrigued as to how you'd just never let them do it. Is there a secret to this please tell me. I was attempting to pick her up and put her in the pushchair but that's really not at easy. I didn't want to hurt her or the baby with her kicking at me.

I concede, it was a bad idea to go shopping.

MolotovCocktail Mon 03-Dec-12 10:12:14

Jaysis! Awful type-o's there! Buy him a 'book' and get him to 'learn' typing on iPhone, lame excuse!

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Mon 03-Dec-12 10:15:07

Your husband sounds like a child, your toddler sounds normal

A tip for the future ? 2yo's really don't like shopping. Why were you braving pre-Xmas shops all 4 of you ? Next time, leave your H at home to look after the kids and you go alone, or vice versa.

it worked for us. Shopping is not a nice family day out...despite some people having unrealistic expectations of it. It pretty much always ends badly.

FestiveWench Mon 03-Dec-12 10:17:21

Arrange for your DH to spend more time with other toddlers smile

Mrsjay Mon 03-Dec-12 10:17:59

you have a normal toddler and a precious husband grin tell him to suck it up

InNeedOfBrandyButter Mon 03-Dec-12 10:18:58

I had them in the trolly around supermarkets if I had to go with them and used french stick or grapes to keep them quiet (MN no no but it worked). In the park if they started I would and did put them in a firemans lift and march home. In a shop I would of firemans lift with one hand buggy in the other and into the car/outside. Not saying they didn't tantrum (well dd didn't ever) but I wouldn't of stayed in the shop.

Even today my ds now 5 started to get stroppy on the way to school, I said you either hold my hand and walk nicely or I'm picking you up and carrying you to school upside down, and he walked nicely.

KenLeeeeeee Mon 03-Dec-12 10:19:30

Totally normal toddler and a very silly husband. Tell him to get his act together and not run away when parenting gets to the hard work bits.

BatCave Mon 03-Dec-12 10:24:07

Thank fuck for that.

I keep telling him till I'm blue in the face that she's normal, everyone watching the show had that sympathetic "I've been there" look on their faces. He just gets stressy and can't handle it. He refuses to go to toddler groups - there's a Special one for dads and their kids on a Saturday but he won't go, he says he'll feel awkward. He don't read the books, look on the Internet etc re parenting like I do. He's a great dad, loving and caring, he's just shit when it all goes wrong.

We were braving the shops because he really kept nagging me to do it, I knew it would be a disaster. I've done all my xmas shopping online.

He just says that he sees lots of other children happily in pushchairs and "why can't we have one like that?"

Tailtwister Mon 03-Dec-12 10:24:41

Sounds like normal toddler behaviour to me! Your DH needs to realise that children do have tantrums and yet, it is embarrassing but anyone who has had or spent time with children knows it's just how they are sometimes.

Walking off and leaving you to deal with it on your own is immature and selfish IMO. If you want children you have to take the good with the bad.

Mrsjay Mon 03-Dec-12 10:25:46

put them in a firemans lift and march home. In

we did this althoughwas more of an under arm lift for me grin

AlienRefluxLooksLikeSnow Mon 03-Dec-12 10:26:35

Brandy she was trying to get her out of the shop hmm

OP Did he think you were loving the unwanted attention? No-one feels great when a toddler starts kicking off, but the fact he left you, with baby in sling to try and get her kicking and screaming back in buggy is lame beyond lame.
Yes, to leaving him at home with both of them in future

MolotovCocktail Mon 03-Dec-12 10:28:02

I think I love InNeedOfBrandyButter a little bit smile

AlienRefluxLooksLikeSnow Mon 03-Dec-12 10:28:13

why can't we have one like that!!

Classic! Follow that kid and his parents round all day, you'll see that one's just like your one!!

InNeedOfBrandyButter Mon 03-Dec-12 10:30:26

Alien she said she was trying to calm her down and make her get back in the pushchair not try to get out of the shop hmm

OP I always found instead of trying to talk to them and calm them down tell them very strictly with no room for saying no to, We are going home unless you stop this right now, then if they carry on pick them up (you will not hurt her, if they throw themselves on the floor they can take being picked up) and do a firemans lift. It won't hurt them or your back.

Small children just don't like shopping. There is nothing whatsoever in it for them.

Agree, next time one of you looks after the children at home or in the park or wherever, one of you goes shopping.

I have to take the toddler shopping. I have no other option.

The best thing I did was buy him his own plastic shopping basket. He walks around nice and puts his biscuits, juice and chocolate in his basket. He loves it

MolotovCocktail Mon 03-Dec-12 10:36:08

My DD is almost 4yo now and is as sweet and agreeable as anything.

We took her to the park when she was 2.5yo once and had THE most GOD ALMIGHTY meltdown ... It was horrendous.

I wish I'd known about theFireman's Lift then (please, how would I do it exactly?).

Oh well, there's always room to try it on DD2 when she goes all Toddler on me grin

Pandemoniaa Mon 03-Dec-12 10:37:12

I would of been embarrassed to tbh, I never let mine tantrum like that I would of picked up the dc and got out the shop, or not took dc shopping on a busy day.

It never takes long for the Perfect Parent to come along, does it? Quite honestly, if your 2-year old has never had a tantrum in a busy shop then you've lead an exceedingly charmed life. The rest of us have accepted that they are part of toddlerhood (and sometimes beyond!) and certainly, coping with them isn't assisted by your partner disowning the tantrummy child.

It's also known fact that everyone else's child is uniquely well behaved at the time yours is throwing itself on the floor and shrieking like a banshee. Something well worth reminding your DH, OP.

With any luck he'll have learnt his lesson about pestering you go shopping when there's absolutely no need though.

birdofthenorth Mon 03-Dec-12 10:38:50

DD is same age, 2.4. Tantrums fewer and shorter these days but almost always in public! I think people telling you not to go shopping with the family are a bit idealistic, sometimes logistics demand it, and besides, they do have to learn to be good somehow, and sheltering them at home is only one solution. I am also unconvinced by the fireman's lift them home argument -without your shopping? Isn't that letting the tantrummer win? I am genuinely all ears as to how others deal with this though -DD's not too bad but I'm yet to find fail-safe solutions myself.

DH sounds a but like mine, who wouldn't walk away I don't think, but does find it mortifying. I would be mortified if it was a tiny boutique shop -non-plussed if it's a huge Tesco!

bedmonster Mon 03-Dec-12 10:40:02

We were braving the shops because he really kept nagging me to do it, I knew it would be a disaster. I've done all my xmas shopping online.

Why couldn't he go to the shops on his own? confused Shopping needn't be a family activitiy.

I wouldn't attempt it now, it's the reason i've always tried to be organised at Christmas. I have young children who don't appreciate spending time strapped in being pushed around while I browse.

Neither of my DDs had tantrums, really, never. I know others who do and count myself very lucky indeed, but had mine have tried it they would have been on the receiving end of a very firm ticking off. However, by not taking them shopping for prolonged uncomfortable trips they had little need to stress out.

InNeedOfBrandyButter Mon 03-Dec-12 10:40:57

Oh gosh pand please read my post instead of nitpicking, then you would see I would take my tantruming dc out of the shop. Sure if I copied and pasted parts of your post I could change the tone of yours to hmm

molo Its where you pick them up across your shoulder so your holding on to their legs and their head and arms are over your back.

BatCave Mon 03-Dec-12 10:42:20

I would probably have employed The Firemans Lift. But I did have a baby in a sling and a pushchair to navigate out too. As it was she got levered into her pushchair.

There is no negotiating with her when she's like this, it was a toss up between forcing her into the pushchair and leaving her on the floor to get on with it. Reminds me of that advert a few years back where the mum throws herself on the floor and starts screaming in response to s,all child's tantrum!

OwlLady Mon 03-Dec-12 10:44:37

I understand what InNeedOfBrandyButter means too. I think with small children, actually scarp that any children you need to pick a good time to go shopping. It is such a sensory overload even for an adult, imagine how a small child feels. It's like hell. Literally.

and yes, i have one with autism wink

MolotovCocktail Mon 03-Dec-12 10:44:57

Cheers, Brandy

I actually think you've got it right; to not allow the tantrum to continue/escalate. Toddlers just don't understand reasoning, so it is best to physically remove them from whatever the situation might be.

Now, if only the OP could have fireman's lifted her DH to her side yesterday ...

OwlLady Mon 03-Dec-12 10:45:12

but your dh was a prat. I would have poisoned mine but alas he doesn't ever come shopping with me

AlienRefluxLooksLikeSnow Mon 03-Dec-12 10:45:41

Yes, you had a baby in a sling, that's why your DH should have picked her up and took her out TBH

aleene Mon 03-Dec-12 10:46:35

i remember that advert. My DS once threw himself on the ground, right in a shop doorway and had a tantrum. A young shop assistant, he looked about 19, took one look and said "Ooh, just like that advert!" grin

OP, tell your husband walking off is not an option. An octopus toddler needs 2 pairs of hands if they are available.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 03-Dec-12 10:47:52

I don't think he's that 'great' a dad if he thinks it's OK to walk away from his wife and children when they're struggling because he's embarrassed in front of his mates. Is he 12?

Why was he 'nagging' you to all go shopping together?

Mockingcurl Mon 03-Dec-12 10:48:52

My youngest son (now 18) had terrible tantrums all the time. The best advice I was ever given was by a friend if mines Norland trained nanny. She said to remember that you are the adult, you are in charge not them. Be very firm with them and give them no attention whatsoever. I would firmly strap him back in his buggy and completely ignore him. No eye contact, nothing. Yes it's embarrassing in public, but just smile at people. Everyone understands.

They will stop eventually.

Btw, IMO your husbands tantrum was worse. You might want to point out to him that he has a child that is copying him.

littlemissnormal Mon 03-Dec-12 10:49:12

Haha I firemans lifted my 4 year old all the way to school last week, much to the amusement of everyone driving past! Worked up a right sweat too, no need for the gym after! wink

MrsGeologist Mon 03-Dec-12 10:49:25

So he thinks your DD is uniquely embarrassing, but instead of doing something useful to help you deal with it, he wanders off.


BatCave Mon 03-Dec-12 10:50:12

He wanted to do something "as a family" and he needed to go shopping, plus I really didn't want to be stuck at home (again) on my own with the two of them. Lesson more than learned though.

Good tip SP I will try it.

Baby is too little to be left but actually it's easy shopping with him strapped to me in a sling, he still sleeps for a couple hours in it. But actually I loathe shopping pre christmas anyway.

Just wish DH didn't think so badly of our daughter, she's such a sweet loving loving child usually smile Jekyll and Hyde

SayCoolNowSayWhiptheReindeer Mon 03-Dec-12 10:51:02

I think it's all very well to say 'don't take small children shopping' but sometimes you have little choice.

Shopping sometimes can be a family excursion - I'd much rather get DD out the house and risk a tantrum than keep her cooped up all day. Are we never to take small children out at all in case they misbehave?

The logistics of trying to do a firemans lift with a shrieking toddler whilst carrying a baby in a sling, manoeuvring a pushchair and carrying shopping, whilst dealing with an unhelpful DP, quite frankly escapes me. OP I think you coped admirably and your DP is an idiot (insert harsher word here)

OwlLady Mon 03-Dec-12 10:53:00

I don't think anyone has suggested you don't take children shopping, just that if you plan it at certain times when it's quieter you do get a better response for them (usually) Mornings, they are fed, have had a play before hand, have a bribe for park after, all make it easier for yourself

OwlLady Mon 03-Dec-12 10:54:27

Also if you take them out shopping when they are tired, hungry, it's really busy, peeing down with rain, it's very noisy, father becomes anxious. Well that's not really the childs fault. Not that i am suggesting it's your fault OP at all, we have all had to do it at some point and I have the incredible swearing teenager when out shopping so my place isn't to judge anyone

TrillsCarolsOutOfTune Mon 03-Dec-12 10:54:36

YABU to think he shouldn't be embarrassed.

It is embarrassing.

He does need a better way of dealing with it than walking off though.

BattlingFanjos Mon 03-Dec-12 10:55:23

My dad was always the embarrassed parent if one of us 'kicked off' in public. He's told me now I'm older he used to smack us for misbehaving (it wasn't often, I don't remember getting smacked) because he was embarrassed. He struggled with my DS when he played up (usual toddler stuff) and he now doesn't see him. It's very difficult to get around it unless that person is willing to work through it and change. Think it's always harder when there is another parent there that will sort it out, as much as you tell him that he can't just piss off when it gets hard, he knows subconsciously that they are safe with you. sod not shopping with the kids! Me and my ds have adapted to each other, he has to do some things he doesn't like and that includes shopping, he's thrown some spectacular strops in public, he's almost 5 and we have none at all now! It's all totally normal!

Spero Mon 03-Dec-12 10:57:07

Mine never tantrumed in a shop <proud> mainly because I avoided taking her as a toddler. I find busy shopping places hell on earth, noise, stress, people, so it must be an utterly miserable experience for a small child, all hot and bundled up in a buggy.

Your child soinds normal. But you need to have a serious talk with your partner. My ex used to do stuff like that. Note I say 'my ex'.

Pandemoniaa Mon 03-Dec-12 10:57:14

Fair enough, BrandyButter and I agree that the best thing to do is take the tantrummy child out of the shop as you say. I suppose where I disagree with your post is the idea that you don't let them have a tantrum in the first place. Because no matter how many distraction techniques and the like, sometimes you find yourself in the midst of a tantrum anyway. So it's damage limitation you need and in the OP's case this is a great deal easier if your partner doesn't go missing at the very moment they could be the most help.

TartyMcTart Mon 03-Dec-12 10:58:36

OP, there's no point saying you shouldn't have gone shopping. Yes, it's not ideal on a busy pre-Christmas weekend but we can't stop doing things just because we have kids, they have to learn that not every trip out is fun and get used to it.

As for your DH walking off grin I would have loved to do this when mine were younger! Instead I mastered the art of getting them in the pushchair when they make themselves stiff as a board - not easy but a quick push to the stomach and you have 3 second to manhandle them in wink

Goldmandra Mon 03-Dec-12 10:59:18

The issue here isn't how you managed the tantrum, Batcave. It's the fact that your DH couldn't manage to even remain near it.

If he thinks coping with a baby and a tantruming 2 YO is bad, how on earth is he going to cope with a tantruming 4YO and a tantruming 2YO ina couple of years?

He seriously needs to learn to use calm authority to remain in control at times like this because you won't be able to deal with three of them tantruming at times like this will you?

Your DH needs to go on a parenting course so someone can explain to him how toddlers think and how to manage their anger and your own. There should be a family support worker linked to your school who can direct you to the best place to access such a course.

These courses are no about training poor parents. They are about helping people to understand their own children, offering helpful strategies to avoid major conflicts and advice on how to manage them when they do kick off.

With a bit of support and explanation hopefully your DH will start to feel more in control and be able to help you manage difficult situations rather than abandoning you again.

FutureNannyOgg Mon 03-Dec-12 11:03:35

I've been there before, not with DH, but out with baby in sling and toddler throws himself on the floor shrieking.
IME it is not possible to fireman's lift a thrashing toddler with a baby in a sling. The combined weight of my baby and toddler is well over 50lb. Assuming I could manoeuvre DS1 over my shoulder, getting to standing from squatting or kneeling on the floor to pick him up, with a 50lb deadweight would be very hard (and I have strong legs, I dance so I do a lot of squats grin) Doing so when the toddler is resisting and protecting the baby from kicks is ridiculously hard, the best I have ever managed is the toddler under my arm, and that was a lucky catch. My solution for this (apart from avoiding getting into the situation, but sometimes you just have to, and hindsight is just fabulous, especially when it is about someone else) is a pair of Tommee Tippee reins, that are strong enough to lift him back onto his feet with.

All of this is moot though. OP had another adult there to wrangle the toddler, she should not have had to do anything at all, he should have been the one to handle her. You can afford to be a bit ambitious about taking kids out if you have 1:1 care, and a buggy for them to nap/rest their legs in. He walked away and left her in a difficult situation and that was not on. I would suggest for future outings you spell it out, even give him an option "which child would you like to take today?" "This one is your responsibility now, I need you to keep an eye on her/hold her hand/keep her out of mischief/carry her" so it is absolutely clear that it is not a case of you looking after both and him coming along for a jolly.

Kalisi Mon 03-Dec-12 11:04:36

Are you me OP? My DS has award winning public meltdowns and he's only 16 months dreading terrible twos and my DH has done exactly that before. It makes me so angry and I'm sure DS behaviour is always ten times worse when DH is around to sigh and tut and stomp around!

rainrainandmorerain Mon 03-Dec-12 11:04:50

I'm actually really gobsmacked by your dp's reaction. That's just not being a parent, I'm sorry. Fine to FEEL embarrassed - not fine to just walk off.

Do you both have an agreed strategy for dealing with toddler tantrums, btw? Personally I am not a fan of extended 'negotiations' and explanations with toddlers when they are in a state, I just don't see it working, they don't have adult reasoning skills, and parents get just get even more frustrated and upset. In any case, shopping trips or public places make everything worse, and if you don't have an agreed, shared approach, it's going to be very hard.

If you are both on a shopping trip with the kids (would avoid that, myself, but whatever suits!) - then the technique of 'remove upset toddler from shop physically' works fine. The parent left behind can carry on the shopping bit while the other parent takes charge of a wailing toddler outside.

Otherwise, something like a 'one reasonable warning/request' followed by 'direct action' works (child is asked to put something down and come - they refuse - go and take object off child and pick them up' for example). That takes the 'oh, god, what do I do with them' element out of it all, because you have a strategy - and if both parents stick to it, then it avoids that difficult moment when one parent takes over from another, as if they can 'do it better'. Which often causa another argument....

All that said, I do dislike, intensely, the too cool for school attitude of a dad who won't go to a dad and child group, or who gets embarrassed when his friend sees him with his own child misbehaving. Kids will be kids, and they need a dad. He needs to step up to the mark. And if he won't pay any attention to childcare books or advice, then he's just being very selfish and letting his family down. Including you.

BatCave Mon 03-Dec-12 11:07:08

Goldmandra you're right, but I know he will not even consider doing something like that, he won't even go to a dads group. When I suggest stuff like this I get told I'm nagging or making him even more stressed out, and tbh it feels like that's what I'm doing too. He sees every suggestion I make as a criticism, perhaps it's my fault, I don't know.

I think it's important for children to learn that sometimes they have to do stuff that they don't want to, and that a tantrum is not acceptable. I'm still trying to work out the best way to teach her this. I also believe that it's possibly wise to avoid situations such as this if it can be helped, but you can't live your life avoiding doing stuff.

Spero Mon 03-Dec-12 11:11:15

'he won't even consider' ??? Then you have some very rocky roads ahead of you. The problem here is not your children's behaviour. Either you accept you have three children and act accordingly, or he grows up and becomes a dad. Otherwise it is going to be a lot of work for you. For me, the resentment got too much and the relationship ended.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Mon 03-Dec-12 11:13:04

My Dh didn't go to any "dad's groups" either. But if he had walked away from me when I was struggling with kids, he would not have me thinking it might be my fault. He would be forced to take full responsibility for his inadequacy.

He was embarassed because he saw his mate ? How juvenile.

rainrainandmorerain Mon 03-Dec-12 11:13:34

batcave - I know what you mean when you say children have to learn to do things they don't want to, and tantrums are not acceptable....

but there is a line to be walked, and I woudl be very careful your husband's attitude isn't influencing you in the wrong way here.

Yes, tantrums are to be discouraged. But for most children, they are a phase, and your daughter, at 2 (?) WILL have tantrums. It's about damage limitation, not 'fixing' her, I'm afraid.

And with small children, you have to be realistic about what you expect them to cope with. Most toddlers hate shopping. Esp of the 'just follow me around/don't touch anything' sort. If you keep putting very small children in situations where they are more LIKELY to behave badly, you aren't teaching them anything. You're just not really giving them a chance to behave well.

I'm not having a go at you, btw. I just think that your husband is at fault here, and taking on his unreasonable and uninformed expectations will not help.

BatCave Mon 03-Dec-12 11:21:05

rain that makes perfect sense and yes I understand. Damage limitation, yes that's a good way to look at it.

I know I have a man child, I often resent this fact and I always doubt myself. He takes every suggestion as a criticism and I then feel bad.

Goldmandra Mon 03-Dec-12 12:29:37

Can you engage him in thinking about this without offering suggestions? My DH is very poor at thinking about anything from our DDs' point of view. If I tell him he should have handled something differently he goes straight on the the defensive.

These days I ask him what the child was doing and why, what the child heard when he spoke and how she might have interpreted it and whether he can think of a better way to have handled the situation. I learned this as a method of conflict resolution to teach children but it works well on DH.

Can you take a quiet moment, possibly when the children are in bed and ask your DH to talk you through how he thinks you might have experienced the episode you have described? Ask him why he thinks your DD tantrums and what he thinks she needs to learn. follow it up by asking him to suggest how he thinks tantrums in public should be handled in the future. Try really hard not to tell him how you felt but lead him through working out what a s****y thing he did to you for himself.

Once you've got him to proposed a strategy for managing public tantrums that you both feel comfortable with remind him of that strategy every time you go out and expect him to keep to it.

If he resists, ask him if he plans of never being able to take his own children anywhere without you because if he can't handle tantrums that is what he will have to do.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Mon 03-Dec-12 12:33:00

Good Lord, I would hate to have to micro-manage my husband's behaviour, attitudes, thought process and strategies to that extent shock

Op isn't his therapist, she's his wife. If she wants an equal partnership wrt childcare and shit work, he needs to get a fucking grip, she needs to stop making excuses for his juvenile behaviour and not gently and carefully debrief him every evening.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 03-Dec-12 12:40:01

What AnyFucker said.

Goldmandra Mon 03-Dec-12 13:04:35

I hate having to do it too but sometimes that is what it takes. I'd rather work at solving the problem than walk away from a relationship because my DH couldn't understand the damage he was doing.
Obviously it would be better presented at a parenting course but the OP's DH won't go on one.
If your DH/DP already gets what is going on in his DC's heads you're lucky and I'm pleased for you. Mine doesn't get it and clearly neither does the OP's.

rainrainandmorerain Mon 03-Dec-12 14:52:19

goldmandra, I think you describe a counselling process well there.

But if I had to treat my husband like that, I would leave him.

Spero Mon 03-Dec-12 15:03:18

I agree, I would rather be single than be my partner's therapist on a daily basis. If you are ok with that, that is great, and he is incredibly lucky he met you. But you need to be honest with yourself and the situation you are in and what you are willing and able to do to fix it. I am a bit worried the op is in denial, in making the child part of the problem here. Childs behaviour very normal and time limited! husband however will be a selfish arse for ever, unless he is willing to change.

If he is not willing, op has to be very clear headed about what kind of relationship she is in and whether she can cope long term.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 03-Dec-12 15:06:49

I agree, a husband who has someone willing to be his counsellor, for free, in perpetuity as well as being his wife is very lucky indeed.

But I don't think anyone should have to live like that and I think men, not just women, should take responsibility for learning to understand how to deal with their young children.

Whocansay Mon 03-Dec-12 15:13:13

OP - apologies have not had time to read the thread, but just wanted to make a suggestion, as I also have an 'angel' who is sometimes a handful!

When we go to the shops, or anywhere where he could potentially kick off, I give him a job to do. For instance, in the supermarket, he will 'smell' the food (yes, even the stuff in tins!) to 'make sure it's nice', and put it in the basket. He then helps to unload and pack. I say help....grin

Anyway, this sort of thing makes him feel wanted / important / included and distracts him from the fact that we're on a boring errand.

Your toddler is perfectly normal. Your husband is being ridiculous though.

All the best.

MoreBeta Mon 03-Dec-12 15:14:16

I learned early on that taking DSs to shops was a bad idea. I still dont even now they are 10 and 12.

Internet shopping is the way to go. Tell DH that. Problem solved.

Goldmandra Mon 03-Dec-12 15:19:04

Maybe the OP's husband doesn't need someone to be a daily counsellor, just someone to help him see that the only solution to feeling unable to deal with his children is walking away. Once he realises that he can be in control he'll probably be able to transfer that skill to different future situations and life will be better for them all round.

rain I guess you wouldn't have married my husband in the first place but then again maybe he wouldn't have chosen to marry you. It takes all sorts.... smile

StuntGirl Mon 03-Dec-12 15:22:11

He's not a good dad. Just putting that out there. He might be good at some bits, but I bet they're the bits he chooses, and probably always the nice bits?

Not everyone needs parenting classes. But those who don't seek advice from elsewhere. Your husband is not only not doing that, he's actively removing himself from parenting situations when it gets a bit tough.

rhetorician Mon 03-Dec-12 15:29:35

"he's just shit when it all goes wrong" - given that this is about 75% of the time with under 5s (50% on a good day!) he probably needs to just get on with it. Sit down with him and agree a strategy - in this case he could at least have taken the baby while you dealt with toddler. I find my child's behaviour embarrassing at times, but she is 4 and doesn't care what other people need a united front, and he needs to support you, not abandon you!

PickledInAPearTree Mon 03-Dec-12 15:32:19

Totally normal op. ds nearly two a d goes into the dark zone if taken shopping.

Your husband was a total plonker I'd be fuming.

When ds does it dp gave him the firemans lift out the shop and we plonked him down outside to calm down.

Everyone's toddler is a nightmare at times he embarrassed himself more by going off in a strop!

Spero Mon 03-Dec-12 15:33:20

Someone who cant see a situation from a child's perspective and who can't or won't talk about it with his partner without being 'counselled' seems like an enormous drain on the energy of the counselling party. He would have to bring quite a lot to the relationship in other areas to make it worth while, in my view.

But as you say, each to their own. As long as you know what you are signing up for and don't let the resentment eat you alive a little further down the road.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 03-Dec-12 15:34:37

We haven't got children yet so can't really comment on how to deal with tantrums, but my husband swears blind that when we do and the little darling decides to have a tantrum in a shop, he will deal with it like the woman in the cold remedy advert - have a full on childish temper tantrum himself, throwing himself around the floor, screaming and crying! He hopes the child will be so shocked it will stop!

I guess this will only work once though, because after that the child may find it quite funny and then deliberately have a tantrum in the hope that Daddy will follow suit!

Common sense would have suggested he scooped her up, took the buggy and got her somewhere quiet to calm down. You and the baby could have carried on with the shopping.

I had something which stopped many a supermarket meltdown (and gave the shoppers and staff a smile)

Has he never been to the 7th circle of hell that is a large soft play place and seen multiple toddlers in action? shock

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Mon 03-Dec-12 15:37:14

I don't profess to know what is going on in a child's head (I suspect a great big whirl of me me me tbh smile ) but I didn't need any parenting classes to tell me that if you sign up to having children together you deal with the bad bits as well as the good bits together

taken the buggy

rogersmellyonthetelly Mon 03-Dec-12 15:38:50

Seriously? If your kids don't embarrass you regularly then you really aren't getting your money's worth! I can count at least twice this month where one or the other of mine has made me cringe inside with something they have said or done. When they were toddlers it was tantrums, now it's back chat or repeating something they have overheard (usually a swear word muttered under my breath) at an inopportune moment.
It's fine to be embarrassed by your kids, but it's not fine to walk away and leave you to it!

actually it might have been right first time around taken/took

<<throws self on floor and starts tantrumming over grammatical inexactitude>>

rainrainandmorerain Mon 03-Dec-12 15:52:30

goldmandra, fair enough, horses for courses etc - someone else who fundamentally sees themself in a more 'supportive' role in a relationship then me would probably be much more likely to take on a partner who needed a wife in a therapist/counsellor role.

I have never wanted that. I want a partner, and not someone who needs a huge amount of 'managing'.

To be fair to parents everywhere - you don't always know how your partner (or you) will be as a parent. I often think things which pre-dc were minor bumps in a relationship become much less manageable once there are children involved. i could probably handle someone who walked away from situations to calm down when I was young, free and childless - but I couldn't take someone walking away from me/his children every time there was a challenging situation.

Off topic, but when I hear women talking indulgently about their partner being a 'dreamer', someone who just doesn't get organised and relies on them to do all the practical stuff.... I think 'don't have kids with him. No matter how cute he is now, no matter how fondly you look upon his quirks of not realising he was reading a novel all day instead of doing the shopping - when you have someone who genuinely needs you yo do stuff for them, you won't want this man-child around.'

OxfordBags Mon 03-Dec-12 15:56:42

That sounds like some appalling behaviour - from your OH! He is on a hiding to nothing if he keeps expecting and demanding things that are simply not going to happen; 1) expecting a toddler to be an angel 100% of the time and 2) expecting even mythical angel toddlers to not lose their shit in a hot, busy, stressy shopping environment where they're getting no attention, stimulation, fun, etc. Too many parents expect behaviour that is developmentally way beyond their child/ren and also expect behaviour from children that they wouldn't sometimes expect from other adults!

OP, I struggle to see how you can describe him as a great dad, loving and caring, etc., when he has this attitude towards your DD. his love sounds entirely shallow and unconditional, more like a spoilt child with a pet than an adult with their child. Anyone can be loving and caring when a child is behaving in ways that please us; it is being there when they are behaving at their worst and STILL treating them with love and care that truly shows the love and worth of any parent. Ad what loving, caring parent thinks so badly of their own child?! Really upsetting to read.

What he did there is incredibly shaming and sends some very damaging messages; Daddy only loves you when you are good, Daddy will abandon you if you're not perfect. He is not loving, caring, good or decent if he not only cannot deal with his children when they are upset or playing up, but chooses to see normal less-than-desirable toddler bahviour as abnormal or terrible, etc. He doesn't get to pick and choose when he loves and accepts his child. Such treatment will only make her behaviour even worse, as it will make her deeply upset, confused, clingy, etc.

Theicingontop Mon 03-Dec-12 16:01:10

I'm one of those mums that used to really piss me off when I was childless, I let my son completely get on with it. Unless I've been a supreme idiot by taking him shopping before lunch, in which case I'll go buy him a banana.

He had a massive meltdown in Tesco the other week because I took his scarf off hmm. I went shopping with my brother because it was a larger-than-usual shop, he was bright red the whole time, even apologised to a few people. Tried bribing my son with promises of sweeties if he was good, got a right telling off for it. Ten minutes of pure ignorance and the tantrum stopped and he was miraculously fine. Anyone who gives me a filthy look for it gets one right back.

AmberLeaf Mon 03-Dec-12 16:27:56

He thinks you're criticising him because he knows he is an inadequate parent.

He needs to do something about his failings.

Its hard for you because you are not just dealing with normal kids stuff, you are tiptoeing round your husband too.

BatCave Mon 03-Dec-12 16:33:13

Spot on, I don't want to be his counsellor, or his mother. I want it to be a partnership, i want him to take responsibility for decisions/situations and not have to always be the one that deals with it. Even minor decisions he always defers to me, i always tell him "why are you asking me that, you can decide" He has been completely mummied until we met, he has a health condition that is exacerbated by stress, but he gets stressed out by it if that makes sense, he has trouble coping with stressful situations. But it has worsened and only really become an issue since having DC otherwise I'd have been very wary.

I think half my problem is that I just doubt myself all the time. I get so frustrated which is not helpful I know. And i dont really know how or what im thinking to be honest. i usually come away thinking ive been unfair on him. But I've got a young baby, hormones flying everywhere and we're both tired.

I have questioned our relationship recently, but I do love him so very much. I don't look at him and think "you're a shit dad/husband" at all. He can and will look after DD fine on his own, he would deal with it I guess, but when we're together he'll defer to me.

Wrt our toddler. I know the problem isn't hers. Yes it's difficult to deal with but I know it's normal behaviour really, it does concern me that he thinks its a problem

forevergreek Mon 03-Dec-12 17:25:32

For future Xmas shopping trips together follow this advice

7pm, pop children into bed
8pm takeaway delivered
8.05pm wine opened
8.10pm turn on laptop/s ( quicker on two)

And sit on the sofa in the luxury of your home, with you and dh drinking wine and laughing at daft present available. Get gift wrapped if possible smile

Save family shopping until the crazy shopper have disappered at the end of January


McChristmasPants2012 Mon 03-Dec-12 17:30:57

normal, when DS has a tantrum he doesn't get any of my attention i will direct it all to dd and vise versa. < don't always works>

i would be livid if DH walked away from me and the children

InNeedOfBrandyButter Mon 03-Dec-12 17:33:46

OP I don't mean this in a accusing way but why was your toddler out the push chair in the first place? How were you meant to have a baby in a sling, a pushchair and a toddler in a very busy shop? Maybe a double buggy or reins and a buggy board with baby in the pushchair would work better if you have a spirited toddler.

BatCave Mon 03-Dec-12 17:43:40

That's ok InNeedOfBrandyButter she was out the pushchair because we had just stopped at a café for drink and cake. Shed been really good in there and had asked to walk for a bit - we were on our way back to the car anyway. And with two of us it should have been easy enough to manage. I like to wear the baby, he's never been in a pushchair, but that's another issue. It generally works well as a means of getting about.

PickledInAPearTree Mon 03-Dec-12 17:51:53

I made that mistake on mothercare last week bat was only popping in quickly. He ran amok then scratched my face in temper when I had to keep hold of him as we were queuing!

BatCave Mon 03-Dec-12 17:56:51

Pickled - I actually avoid mothercare and elc like the plague when with DD - its a recipe for disaster!

Crinkle77 Mon 03-Dec-12 18:11:38

Typical of fellers. Run off and leave you to deal with the mess

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Mon 03-Dec-12 19:10:49

No, not "typical of fellers"

Typical of selfish and inadequate fellers who need to get a grip.

pointysettia Mon 03-Dec-12 20:40:52

What AnyFucker said. I was lucky, DD1 only did this once in Tesco's, DD2 never did it at all. Just plain good luck.

But it was DH who carried DD1 outside to calm down whilst I continued shopping. She just needed to be out of the crowded supermarket, calmed down immediately once she was out. The OP's DH needs to man up.

RawShark Mon 03-Dec-12 20:50:31

Can he take her out more on his own so he gets more confident ?
Also when he does make decisions do you ever criticise or rescind them? I'm only asking cos I think this can impact the parent being criticised in terms of their confidence. My husband is a stresser so I have watched this carefully in myself.
If you're being hormonal have you told him honestly that you may in your own words have "been unfair on him" but this is not necessarily your most rational self talking. however it is unfair of him to walk off like that and leave you to deal with it and you don;t want him to do it again. Honest communication is key from my experience

StinkyWicket Mon 03-Dec-12 21:03:50

I've had to drag a tantrumming 3 year old along the floor in Tesco before, with another one running off and a baby in the pram.

It's not fun but it's normal!

If it was my DH, I would look at him disdainfully and tell him he was being an idiot if he thought the behaviour anything less than normal! I appreciate some husbands may be more sensitive than mine though wink

BatCave Mon 03-Dec-12 21:33:09

RawShark I have been really mindful of the fact I might do this and have been making sure I try not to, but it is difficult. For example tonight. DD wouldn't eat her tea, she asked to get down from the table so I said "ok, but there's nothing else to eat. If you're hungry your tea is there" this is the rule, it always has been, she has the option of her tea, up at the table, but she gets nothing else made for her.

5minutes later he comes in - oh I've thrown her tea away as she doesn't want it. Cue toddler - "I want my tea..." So I did roll my eyes. And he says "I was just trying to be helpful" so I probably did criticise him. I know it's a really petty example.

I have been hormonal and unkind a couple of times but I've always apologised and said I was in the wrong.

Honest communication is key and we are singer when we work together.

RawShark Mon 03-Dec-12 21:37:32

Hmmmmmn well I have no more suggestions I am afraid! Hopefully he won't do it again now you've discussed it hmm

lovebunny Mon 03-Dec-12 21:38:52

ltb. keep the child.

Goldmandra Mon 03-Dec-12 22:21:15

5minutes later he comes in - oh I've thrown her tea away as she doesn't want it. Cue toddler - "I want my tea..." So I did roll my eyes. And he says "I was just trying to be helpful" so I probably did criticise him. I know it's a really petty example.

Either your DH has serious theory of mind issues or the last thing he was doing was trying to be helpful.

He heard you say she could come back and get it later. He knows that is an established rule in your house. He throws that meal away and then come and tell you in front of her so she knows he's done it.

A neurotypical adult, particularly a parent of a two year old would understand the implications of those actions. Unless he is not NT, he was deliberately rocking the boat there and you have nothing to apologise for and it is not a petty example.

BatCave Tue 04-Dec-12 08:52:44

Goldmandra he genuinely believes he's helping, because he was'helping' me by tidying up and doing the dishes. I don't know I've just always assumed he was a bit "useless" at life because his overbearing mother had just pandered to his every need for his whole life. He tries really hard and has got loads better at coping with things since we met but he still defers to me on a lot of things. Partly that's my fault maybe. He has severe ibs and it is worsened by stress and makes him nervous and stressed. I don't know I've never really thought about it like that.

Goldmandra Tue 04-Dec-12 09:03:16

BatCave you are clearly a lovely person and you are also very patient.

I would have been angry with DH for doing that before I realised I had to explain why his actions were so unhelpful.

Your DH sounds very like mine.

Do you have patterns and routines in the house that you use regularly with your DD, such as the food staying on the table (which I still use with my 5 and 9 year old!)? Does your DH know what these are? I have found it helpful to make it very clear to DH if there is a particular way of doing things and the rationale behind it. e.g. its always breakfast then school uniform in the mornings because I don't want to be scrubbing breakfast of their clothes 5 mins before we are due to leave. DH is happy to stick to these sort of routines once he knows what they are and it is less stressful all round because we are all operating on the same set of rules.

Don't assume you DH has picked up on the routines, I would tell him explicitly.

Spero Tue 04-Dec-12 10:51:25

Hmmm. Well, if he 'genuinely' believed he was helping, then he is utterly oblivious to the rules around mealtimes, which I assume have been in place for sometime now?

So are you doing everything? Will he be the parent on the sidelines throughout their childhood?

I am well aware of the dangers of projecting m bad experiences onto your situation, your husband may well not be the selfish irritating git my ex was. They do seem to share certain characteristics - my ex made it very clear that pretty much everythingto domwith child care was my domain and if I dared asked for help he would make sure he sabotaged it - for eg like throwing her food away if she didn't eat up immediately.

Because I am not the lovely patient partner that so many of you others are, I could not stand this for more than a few years. I really don't see why one half of a partnership should be doing way more than half the work for mostof the time.

Kalisi Tue 04-Dec-12 11:22:52

I'm afraid something doesn't sit right with me either OP. hmm
I think your dh is more aware than you give him credit for.
So he shouted at dd for having a tantrum, then stormed off when you took over. He threw your dd tea in the bin when she didn't eat it all and then told you about it in her presence. He asks 'Where we have gone wrong" with dd behaviour despite the fact that he seems to have very little input in her actual upbringing. Sounds to me like he is having control issues with your daughter. He doesn't want to put in the graft but then gets shitty when she doesn't respect his authority. It also seems that he blames you. Personally I believe he thinks you are too soft on your daughter and these actions are his little passive aggressive 'stands'.
I could have got it completely wrong though blush

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 04-Dec-12 11:56:10

I agree with Kalisi about the passive-aggressiveness.

And I'm still shock at his being embarrassed in front of his mate. That's the behaviour of an adolescent, not an adult.

How much time does your DH spend with your daughter? In the evenings, on weekends, does he work long hours?

You say you didn't want to be stuck at home alone with the 2 DC (again) -- is he not around much on the weekend?

It sounds like he just has no clue what he's doing and instead of doing something about that he's lashing out and blaming you and your daughter.

You really need to sort this out, before your DD gets much older and starts learning some very damaging lessons.

I also think the bit about dinner is quite odd. Does he often misinterpret things unusually?

Oblomov Tue 04-Dec-12 12:09:34

I don't think it's such a crime to be embarrassed by your child.
Dh and I were embarrassed by our children last sunday when we took them to look at settees/sofa's.
We told them, that we appreciated it wasn't exciting, but it had to be done and we expected them to behave. They didn't. We had to leave. They were so bad, jumping around , despite being repeatedly told not to. We drove home in silence.
And yes, I have been on parenting courses before.
But sometimes children just don't behave and it is embarassing.
THAT is normal.

Oblomov Tue 04-Dec-12 12:14:21

Re Molotov's Fireman lift, dh does a great one, which normally results in peals of laughter. And even I can do it. But it too normally just results in laughing.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 04-Dec-12 12:54:28

It's not the being embarrassed so much as the fact that he 'dealt' with it by walking away and leaving the OP to struggle, and the fact that he said he was embarrassed because one of his mates was there. The first is irresponsible and the second is childish.

BatCave Tue 04-Dec-12 13:00:01

Actually, yes, Oblomov you're right, I should really have worded my AIBU better in retrospect. It IS embarrassing, but it's the way he reacted that is the issue.

Goldmandra thank you, alas I don't think I'm that patient really. I want to be a bit more accepting of him really.

dreaming he's gone to work in the morning and home after she's in bed monday to Friday. That's why he wants to spend time as a family at the weekends. He will actively participate, including in discipline but I'd have to explain how to, generally he just moans at her. When she was a lot younger he would blame the fact that I was breastfeeding on him being able to care for her and in some respects he's doing the same with the baby now.

Writing all this makes me think perhaps we need to have a full and frank discussion about laying down rules for discipline. Most rules are unspoken but obvious to me. I guess he just doesn't get it. There is a selfish streak, watching football does take priority for him EVERY weekend over most things, but he will at least watch it at home with us.

kalisi & lady I just can't see it, but maybe I'm blinkered. I do know that something isn't right though, Sounds to me like he is having control issues with your daughter. He doesn't want to put in the graft but then gets shitty when she doesn't respect his authority. yes I think you're right here but I don't think he blames me. I think it's more if a case in that he is completely lacking in confidence to make his own decisions, but at the same time he won't put othe effort required to research toddlers and discipline or ask someone for help.

My mind is spinning really, so many thoughts and they don't always agree.

Goldmandra Tue 04-Dec-12 14:01:58

I think thread has probably given you a fair bit of food for thought, BatCave. It certainly has me!

I can't tell from reading whether this is a case of no understanding or no will to understand. A little bit of me can see something in your DH's behaviour which reflects a level of jealousy or resentment of your children which doesn't make me feel comfortable.

I guess you need to look at other aspects of your DH's life and see if he has problems working out how other people maybe thinking too. If he doesn't and this is restricted to your family relationships you probably need to get some lines of communication open before this goes any further.

If understanding the thoughts and feelings of others is genuinely difficult for him you still need to be frank with him and find ways to make sure he does understand a little bit more. There is even more need for him to attend a parenting course. Otherwise his future relationship with his children is could be quite dysfunctional.

Dozer Tue 04-Dec-12 14:14:39

His behaviour doesn't sound great tbh. If it isn't possible for him to see his DC in the week at all due to work he shouldn't be prioritising watching football / shopping at the weekend. It's sad that you feel you all have to watch it at home to get some time with him. And his attitude towards your toddler and you sounds poor.

Dozer Tue 04-Dec-12 14:17:31

I think the term is "manchild".

So he doesn't see her at all during the week, and on the weekend still prioritises football? I do think you need to have a frank discussion. He just doesn't sound like he has a clue at all.

How much time, in a given week, does he spend taking care of his daughter all by himself? Can you increase it? He needs to really understand how to take care of her properly and it sounds like he can only learn by doing.

MyLastDuchess Tue 04-Dec-12 14:29:01

It's also known fact that everyone else's child is uniquely well behaved at the time yours is throwing itself on the floor and shrieking like a banshee. Something well worth reminding your DH, OP.

Oh yes. My DS (now 2.4) was a very, very difficult baby who was always crying and was very hard to settle. We took him on a long-haul flight at one stage and he amazed us by sleeping beautifully. I was sitting next to a father with a child of similar age who was crying and unhappy, and the father was asking me what my secret was! I think DS just wanted to show the other baby up grin

I think your DH really needs to read a book about early childhood development, and/or have a chat to a childminder or similar, and/or go shopping more during times when there are lots of toddlers about. Or just get him to think about the stage of life that your DD is at - she can't express herself much verbally, she is only just at the stage when she is learning that she can't have everything she wants (having up to now had you jump to fulfil her every wish), and she's struggling with learning that lesson. It's quite logical if he thinks about it.

schobe Tue 04-Dec-12 14:29:40

He's out of the house Monday to Friday while the kids are awake, but he still insists on watching football as 1st priority at the weekend?

Can he not record games and watch them after the kids are asleep? Or he could just watch match of the day like most normal people who have had to compromise since having children.

Does he really think that because he's in the same house in front of a football match, that's spending time together?

And his idea of 'family time' is going shopping for himself but dragging you all along.

He doesn't sound like he knows one end of a child from the other tbh.

DingDongKethryverilyonHigh Tue 04-Dec-12 14:38:31

my dh is like the op's, he really cannot cope with the embarrassment he feels during a public tantrum.

I would rather he walked away and left me to deal with calmly than him stressing me and the kids out more by him trying to interfere in how i choose to deal with it.. because then i get embarrassed by HIS behaviour!

BatCave Tue 04-Dec-12 15:13:39

Yes Goldmandra it really is. Is funny, I think about these issues a lot, but writing them down and hearing everyone's opinions here makes it sound very different indeed.

I suppose the way I think of him is that he is rather immature and a bit selfish, rather than nasty. Manchild - yes indeed.

*Does he really think that because he's in the same house in front of a football match, that's spending time together?

And his idea of 'family time' is going shopping for himself but dragging you all along.*

In essence, yes.

dreaming I would say he looks after her on his own for about 2 or 3 hours a week or so. Mostly in the morning when she wakes up early and he'll let me have another hour in bed if I've been up with the baby. He tends to take her out for an hour on Saturday mornings. That's not counting when he puts her to bed at the weekend, and I'm downstairs feeding baby. Actually, it used to be more, when I was working, but I've been on mat leave for the last couple months. Thing is if I pick him up on stuff like this, I am always made out to look like I'm nagging him or being unfair.

I guess you need to look at other aspects of your DH's life and see if he has problems working out how other people maybe thinking too. If he doesn't and this is restricted to your family relationships you probably need to get some lines of communication open before this goes any further

On the surface, I would have said no, he has lots of friends, but if I think back really carefully he has had issues with him thinking his mates don't want to spend time with him since DC, or similar, and he can't project other people's circumstance and takes it very personally.

Jaynerae Tue 04-Dec-12 15:31:59

All children are different - some might appear to be perfect - it's not always down to parenting - it's a combination of the child themselves as well.

My DS is an angel - always has been, never had a single temper tantrum, he's 13 so never likley too now either!

DD on the other hand - well she started the terrible two's at 9 months and continued them until 4! I treated them exaclty the same - both brought up the same, just totally different children. DD had almighty temper tantrums if sh could not get her own way, Tesco's one sticks in my mind the most, proper lying on the floor arms and legs kicking, screaming hissy fit - I just lent on the trolley and watched, till she had finished.

Thing is I don't care what other people think, I know I am a good mum and my children are different, I know I have enough confidence in my abilities to handle anything they throw at me.

DH on the other hand is not confident. He would take DS out anytime. He would not take DD out without me and would not take both children out together with out me either. He was too scared she would kick off and he wouldn't know how to handle it. And was too worried about other people watching.

He finally took them out together when DD was 6 and hadn't had a tantrum for a couple of years!

You just have to get on with it, DH and I are different as are DS and DD.

So Don't take any notice of people critising you or your DH, just talk about it and decide what your coping strategy is together and stick to it. Consistency and consequences.

IfNotNowThenWhen Tue 04-Dec-12 16:49:33

My child had tantrums in shops until five! By that point I would walk away and pretend I didn't know him grin

My Ex is a manchild like your DH OP.
He is really selfish, always puts himself first (and doesn't see that he does that).
To illustrate exactly what kind of person he is, last year I asked him if he could look after ds on NYE so I could go out for once, and he looked puzzled and said "well I'm not going to do that am I ? It's New Years Eve!" Fuckwit.

He can't deal with bad behaviour at all. He is totally ineffectual, and either just stands there, or shouts/gets into a row with ds.

I have tried to teach him strategies (and I do not have an easy kid, so I have learned a few!) and pointed him towards parenting books which have been reccomended to me on here, but he just can't be arsed learning, so ignores me.
I am fortunate in that I am not married to him, so when I have to tell him what to do it doesn't annoy me as much as if I were.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Tue 04-Dec-12 18:14:39

He won't learn how to deal better with his dc's behaviour by watching men run around in shorts or dragging them round the shops and running away when they have a tantrum, will he ? hmm

BatCave Tue 04-Dec-12 20:38:03

No, absolutely not. I'm just not sure how to go about changing this. Thing is, he's grown up with that attitude drummed into him his whole life and I think he's got to come to the realisation himself, me nagging him clearly doesn't work confused

Spero Tue 04-Dec-12 22:28:07

You talk to him. And if he can't talk with you about this without getting defensive or unpleasant, see if you can get help from professional counsellors or therapists. And if he cant or won't join in you have to be very honest with yourself about what kind of relationship this is and what you are prepared to do to stay in it.

After trying steps 1 and 2 - both failed to bring any change - I did an audit of my relationship and realised being a single mother would be easier and cause me less resentment and misery in the long term. Now I still do 90% of all child care and housework but I don't also have to seethe while he choses football over his child or gets angry if my daughter doesn't behave exactly as he wants her to.

willstanton Thu 06-Dec-12 08:53:35

I was extremely lucky with mine. I always took them shopping from the day we got out of hospital so they would become used to the experience. Yes little babies cry from time to time but not much to be done about that bar popping back to the car for a nappy or bottle then starting over. By the time they were toddlers they were pretty used to the whole experience. They would have the odd tantrum but I found just apologising to everyone around them and leaving them to it worked wonders - when they saw me walking off they knew I meant it (I was round the corner with them in view the whole time) and calmed down straight away. Good behaviour generated a treat such as a gingerbread or grapes. Bad behaviour did not. Mind you mine were generally easy and I know this might not have worked with other kids.

I loved going shopping with DH and the kids though - if one of them kicked off we would just threaten to put them in the car. One of us would finish the shopping with well behaved kids and the tantruming one would be sent to the car with the other parent, strapped in the chair and forced to listen to Radio 4.

lljkk Thu 06-Dec-12 10:24:06

DC & I mutually embarrass each other. It's part of being a family. Get over it. Just WAIT until DD has to put up with seeing how her dad can dance (or not, as it were).

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