to think that telling a child is Shut Up on a regular basis is bad parenting?

(71 Posts)
Wishyouwould Tue 18-Feb-14 08:28:50

My STBXH often told me to shut up. He didn't and still doesn't think there is anything wrong with it.

When my 10yr old son told me to Shut Up (I chastised him for saying it but he didn't see a problem - 'Why not say it to you, Dad does?) I was beyond upset.

I know that my EX tells our children to Shut Up. Last night my DD phoned wanting to come home because her Dad had shouted at her and told her to Shut Up again. Am I over reacting to be so upset that this is how he speaks to our DC?

isitsnowingyet Tue 18-Feb-14 08:32:51

You're not over reacting.

bochead Tue 18-Feb-14 08:42:58

No this isn't an acceptable way to speak to a child. They only learn to be polite, kind adults if we role model behaviour for them throughout their formative years.

ClaraFox Tue 18-Feb-14 09:29:04

I think it's unacceptable. Having said that though, I've been known to go through a cycle of ' quiet please' and ' will you be quiet?' To an abrupt ' that's enough now. Shut up! ' so it depends on the context.

Oh and I'm not in the least bit shouty or abusive.

ZenNudist Tue 18-Feb-14 09:31:05

Yanbu.but when pushed by my very loud ds I hAve been known to snap and say shut up and similar bad terms. Always feel guilty afterwards.i know its setting a bad example.

There are two things utterances that have always raised my hackles.

Someone being told to shut up and someone being told they're stupid.

It's belitting to be spoken to in such a way.

There was a thread about this a few weeks ago. Prepare to be harangued by parents who believe they are entitled to speak to their children however they wish, that shut up is not harmful and that you are patronising them to indicate otherwise. That's what happened to me when I agreed with the same viewpoint as yours on that thread.

Joysmum Tue 18-Feb-14 09:45:11

Shut is needed but should be used to back up more reasoned explainations.

I've liked to point out to my DD in restaurants and public places when children and adults are loud and badly behaved. I've made my point by asking her what she thinks of these people. She knows how people who are loud, dont allow others equal time to talk and don't listen, or are badly behaved are thought of by others.

So if she is any of those things, she is reminded gently backed up with what it is she's doing wrong, but if I need to ask a second time it's a sharp instruction and I will talk to her about the situation at a later time.

'Shut up' should never be the first response but I'm not anti 'shut up'.

Jinty64 Tue 18-Feb-14 09:46:01

It's a horrible thing to say to anyone.

SaucyJack Tue 18-Feb-14 09:51:20

I kind of agree...... but I still end up saying it most mornings. I only have so much patience for nine-year-olds and their stupid tantrums over getting dressed.

Would "Be quiet" or "Enough" be acceptable?

Joysmum Tue 18-Feb-14 09:53:14

Jinty why?

If a child knows the reasons why and still continues, how long does a parent wait before actually parenting and issuing an instruction?

There are so many others ways to stay 'stop talking' without sounding so aggressive. It's a horrible thing to say and I do not say it to my children or anyone else.

permaquandry Tue 18-Feb-14 09:57:36

Echo what youstayclassy said. Not nice, it's just nasty, IMHO. They almost sound like swear words and can damage you even more.

Talk to him and ask him to stop, just because he doesn't think there's anything wrong with it, clearly your dd does and he should want to avoid upsetting her.

It's not about his opinion of a word, it's how it affects others.

Hope you get this sorted and your dd is ok.

It's a terrible way to speak to anyone, flame away if people disagree with the sentiment but that's what I believe < shrugs shoulders>

When my 3 boys were younger, noisy and being irritating [14, 16 and 18 now, so there are still times] I'd say iirc

I've had enough of this, please be quiet.
Stop being so loud, it's irritating.
Stop arguing , you're being rude.

Or words akin but never shut up.

wonderingsoul Tue 18-Feb-14 09:59:50

i dont like it.. but i have said it.. when be quite , stop shouting and being loud. enough.. has not worked.. normally when im at the end of my teather.

i dont like it becasue it comes across as quite agresssive i think.

whilst i dont liek it and not proud of using it at times, i think if thats the worse and it is i say to my children than im not emotionally damaging them for life.

Burma Tue 18-Feb-14 10:00:14

Oh I say shout it when they push me to the brink grin! I do feel cross with myself afterwards but honest to god children really do know how to push you sometimes.

MrsOakenshield Tue 18-Feb-14 10:00:38

yes, agree, I hate and won't use 'shut up' or 'stupid'. I only ever use it in jest to adults, but I won't use it with a child. It's horribly aggressive and dismissive.

A firm 'be quiet' or 'that's enough' should be effective and are civil.

RedFocus Tue 18-Feb-14 10:01:55

Oh not this one again, there will be another thread about parking in a minute grin

wonderingsoul Tue 18-Feb-14 10:02:13

stupid is just vile.. its an actuall insult and can go very deep.

Topaz25 Tue 18-Feb-14 10:03:20

YANBU, it's rude and doesn't teach children good manners. I can certainly understand why people would snap and say it under stress but it shouldn't be repeated regularly.

GretaWolfcastle Tue 18-Feb-14 10:03:27

had this before
i said it was

was roundly shouted at for being a smug twat

i have never ever said it to any of my kids

HoneyDragon Tue 18-Feb-14 10:03:37

I think shut up to mean shut down and dismiss is wrong.

However I have been known to wail

"Please, please just for 5 minutes will you all shut up, please?"

And it works because they know they broken me

I think its like calling your child stupid. No you shouldn't at all, but a hug and a hair ruffle and and a don't be stupid in silly play, is entirely different to gelling your child they are stupid.

GretaWolfcastle Tue 18-Feb-14 10:03:44

if that makes me a better parent - hey i take it!

GretaWolfcastle Tue 18-Feb-14 10:04:03

you talk to your kids as you want them to talk to you and others....

Greta I missed that thread.

HoneyDragon Tue 18-Feb-14 10:08:00

No you all to your kids as they they should talk to others. Not want to others.

I don't know about you but I often run into people that I want To say "shut up" to and indeed point out that they are "stupid". grin

HoneyDragon Tue 18-Feb-14 10:08:26

*all should be talk, sorry

blahblahblah2014 Tue 18-Feb-14 10:10:45

Is everyone afraid to tell their kids off and discipline them these days? Shut up is a basic instruction - Can you kids not follow this? Really dont see what is wrong with this. No wonder kids get away with murder these days when their parents wont discipline them in any way ( and softly softly talks do not do the trick when they are being little shits or are being naughty)


I've never been afraid at reprimanding or disciplining my children, I've chosen to speak to them in a way that I'm comfortable with.

I wouldn't be happy to be told to shut up by anyone and I wouldn't speak to anyone else, never mind tell my own kids.

It's all about expectations.

GretaWolfcastle Tue 18-Feb-14 10:25:30

agree diego - wouldnt like it to be said to me, so dont say to others. Or even H

people get SO CROSS about this choice! grin

SaucyJack Tue 18-Feb-14 10:26:30

I wouldn't be happy to be told to shut up by anyone

Neither would I. But would you be behaving in a way that needing telling in the first place at your age?

If I took to following DP round the supermarket whinging for sweets and kicking the trolley because I was BOOOOOOORRRRRRREEEEEEEEED then I wouldn't necessarily expect to be spoken to politely either.

GretaWolfcastle Tue 18-Feb-14 10:29:16

you are an adult

anyway - this thread never ends well - am happy in my choices, perhaps -smugger-- wink happier than the shaddaaap shouters

do they also offer slaps to kids in supermarkets? grin

On the last thread I said that as a teacher I wouldn't speak to my own children in a way that I wouldn't use at school with other people's children. The 'shut up' defenders were adamant they would be happy for a teacher to tell their child to 'shut up'. I doubt that very much.

Burma Tue 18-Feb-14 10:49:38

It's the smugness on here that makes me want to scream Shut The Fuck Up to certain posters....

Of course a teacher shouldn't tell a child to shut up, I've got twin boys and another younger boy and quite honestly I could chuck a grenade in amongst them some days and it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference. I don't defend myself for saying it occasionally but I do snort at the idea of me quietly reasoning with 3 maniacal, testosterone fuelled boys in full swing and expecting them to listen grin!

SackAndCrack Tue 18-Feb-14 11:07:59

Ergh its horrible and Im guilty of it. Not every minute of every day but I do, probably once a day and I always feel very guilty.

This is no defense at all but DC1 is going through SN dx at the moment and as well as getting help for him, I need help for me to about how to handle him better. We rub along nicely most of the time but I know I need to deal with him diferently to an NT child sometimes and I dont get that right. This is frustrating for both of us sometimes.

MrsOakenshield Tue 18-Feb-14 11:16:56

I don't think people are being smug. For me, this just happens to be one of those things that, no matter what, I won't do (along with smacking) - for me personally they are such horrible, dismissive, disrespectful things to say to anyone, and as the OP has discovered, I certainly don't want to hear DD saying them to me or DH. But I would win no 'mum of the year' awards, and I'm fully aware of that - I certainly have a temper and am rather more shouty than I want to be, but I have managed to hold back on saying those things.

That's all.

MichonnesSamuraiSword Tue 18-Feb-14 11:21:15

Yes I think it's unnacceptable, and no I don't think you're wrong OP.

My friend does this to her DCs constantly. When she's on the phone for the 100th time that day, and her DC wants her attention and she screams "What is this in my hand? Yes it's the phone. SO SHUT UP and go and watch TV" it sets my teeth on edge.

But I don't have DCs, so when I complain about it I'm told I don't know what it's like. But I just feel instinctively that it's wrong.

MrsKCastle Tue 18-Feb-14 11:28:32

I would never say it to my DDs. I find it incredibly rude. It doesn't mean I don't discipline them or let them get away with things. I might say 'That's enough!' Or 'No talking now, I'm on the phone' but never 'Shut Up'.

BarbarianMum Tue 18-Feb-14 11:34:12


'Please stop arguing'

'Please stop arguing'

'STOP arguing you two'

'Are you listening to me? STOP'

have failed, I will resort to

'Will you SHUT UP!'

About once a day, on average.

SpookedMackerel Tue 18-Feb-14 11:37:51

I hate shut up.

I have said it before to my children, when i have totally lost my rag with them but I have always felt terrible immediately and apologised afterwards. It was awful of me and I wish I could say I have never done it.

I have never said it to dh, nor him to me, and I would be extremely upset if he did, I think it is akin to swearing at someone, really rude and aggessive.

Artandco Tue 18-Feb-14 11:43:32

Never said to child or adult. I discipline my children as needed but see no reason to ever say ' shut up'. Surely ' can you just give me a moment', ' please quiet down a minute' etc etc is just as effective with an explanation of why if needed ie ' I'm on phone', ' need 5 mins quiet time'

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 11:43:44

Listen, stop, stop speaking and shut up are allt hinges I have said to my DS. I've posted elsewhere about him not listening or acknowledging then doing whatever anyway.

I think contex is everything.

I listen to my DS I ask hi, questions about his day, what he makes with Lego. We are working hard on how to have better conversations.

So while I dont think it is bad parenting to use the phrase, it depends on context if it is balanced out with other efforts.

I think when I read the thread title like these and other I would be mob lynched if MN heard me getting DS ready in am for school. I'm struggling at the moment with him and I sometime think I don't want to be a parent anymore. I'm consoling myself that he is healthy, we'll fed and clothed and doing well at school. Otherwise I'd go bonkers.

Burma Tue 18-Feb-14 11:51:24

Artandco did you see my post re 3 boys aged 9 and 11? Noise levels are phenomenal - they wouldn't even notice me if I was hovering around asking nicely if they wouldn't mind piping down a bit.

thinking101 I totally get what you are saying. Mine absolutely do not listen when they are all together, I feel utterly invisible some days.

MammaTJ Tue 18-Feb-14 11:54:21

I have said it in desperation! I defy anyone to have 8 year old DD off more than an hour, where they are unable to give her their undivided attention, and not want to say it! I control the urge for a lot longer than that, saying 'please let mummy make this 5 minute phone call, then I will listen' or things like that, but to no avail! She has to get those words out of her head and in to my ears, no matter what! So, yes, I do resort to shut up on occasion!

Artandco Tue 18-Feb-14 11:54:47

Burma - they should notice someone standing next to them saying it, shouting anything seems unnecessary unless they are about to be run over. Surely no one should be playing/ screaming so loudly they can't hear another person near them ask them something. It's disrespectful.

Burma Tue 18-Feb-14 11:56:32

Artandco you are having a laugh! 3 boys?? They make enough noise esp if they have friends around to lift the roof off! I assume you don't have multiples of boys then grin!

WandaDoff Tue 18-Feb-14 12:01:51

I have been known to tell my children to shut up.

Its usually after a long period of shushing & polite requests to be quiet though. Certainly not my first response, it'll take a bit of provocation.

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 12:03:01

burma thank you. I'm at a particularly low point today.

There was an occasion recently I was giving him an instruction related to safety, he was inches away. I ended up yanking him into place as he just didn't listen then act.

I am currently not speaking to him and leaving DH to it.

Artandco Tue 18-Feb-14 12:03:34

I do actually, only boys. Even at the weekend when there was 6 of them playing when friends over they managed perfectly well to hear cake was ready and answered any questions thrown their way. I'm probably the big old meany then, but even in woods in the middle of no where I wouldn't expect anyone to run around screaming heads off beyond being heard. If dhs playing his guitar I wouldn't just shout at him, I would go up to him, And say something nicely.

Different strokes for different folks and all that I suppose

eightandthreequarters Tue 18-Feb-14 12:03:38

I've said it when I really, really need them to be quiet (important phone call) and they WILL NOT despite repeated polite requests. Doesn't happen often - two or three times/year? - and never happened before they hit the tweens, but does ever happen.

stooshe Tue 18-Feb-14 12:05:07

I've said it and not in desperation. No qualms or crying in the dark about it from me. Furthermore, if somebody is stupid and assertive with it, I will call that behaviour out in the clearest way possible....AFTER I have explained time and again and listened to moaning about a certain consistent behaviour reaping certain consistent unwanted results. I'll say without guilt "you're stupid" or the better one "you're a fool".
Some people need to be told for their own sakes, especially if they are dependant on you for instruction.
I haven't sent anybody to the Maudsley because of it.

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 12:05:33

No one should be play so loudly....mind boggle what sort of DC's do you have? Sounds oppressive

EatShitDerek Tue 18-Feb-14 12:06:35

I was told to shut up and my son gets told to shut up. No harm done.

You can say "be quiet" scarier and worse than you can say shut up. It all means the same thing, its how it is said that matters.

Burma Tue 18-Feb-14 12:08:52

Oh well yes of course they will hear if there is cake in the offing Artandco! It's all the other requests that are met with complete indifference.

I often think that the phone acts as some kind of accelerator for crap behaviour, they know you are trapped on it the little toads.

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 12:11:55

stooshe yep I shk or from the hip too! I will tell my ds if he sounds!looks or behaves stupidly or makes a stupid decision.

I separate the action from the person. He is told plenty enough when he makes us proud/achieves etc too and is rewarded with praise or on some occasions a gift.

Balance and fairness. Tbh I can't stand pussy putting around a problem, some people are too scared to upset there kids and thus let them run around the coffee shop like wild loons. Then they wonder why their children never sit nice like that other families.

However the OP would intimates a picture that is repeated and maybe the ex does not listen have time for his kids is different, like I said context. But whatever went down her dd rang didn't she as she wasn't happy.

DavidHarewoodsFloozy Tue 18-Feb-14 12:48:56

Yanbu it does sound aggresive when said to a child.Especially very little ones.

I go with please be quiet/or that is enough.
none of which work

My dd thinks calling someone stupid is swearinggrin
but happily asked me what twat meant in a packed cafe.
-- from school or she,s a secret MNetter--

One of my cousins had a horribly verbally abuse 'stepdad' when he was a young kid(9-11), who constantly told him to shut-up utterwanker, he stopped talking for a year sad until my Aunt LTB.

It,s just really dismissive, SHUT UP, I,d rather have a full on.hooley than be told to shutup.
But I will watch with interest, on how you all achieve a bit of quiet lifeis one long running commentry with dd nothing works for me.

wonderingsoul Tue 18-Feb-14 13:33:25

i wonder what you think of "im ignoring you now"
that just as dismissive ?

when ds2 whines or is throwing a strop i try to clam him/distract but if hes really on one. i clamly say.. "thats it, im ignoring you now. when you can talk to me nicely/stop jumping up and d own" we can talk..

then really just ignore him. it normally works. snaps him out of it.

is that classed the same as shut up?

TheGirlFromIpanema Tue 18-Feb-14 13:45:54

I remember my mum turning the radio off at that song shuddupayaface in the 70/80's as it was considered swearing by her hmm

She has many strange thoughts like this though, and my own dc enjoy a far less straight-laced childhood than I did.

PoirotsMoustache Tue 18-Feb-14 14:15:59

I've only ever said that a total of 4 times in my DS's 7.5 years, and one of those times was completely accidental. Each time I've apologised because it's a horrible thing to say and because I said it out of anger.

To say it regularly and deliberately is just not right.

wonderingsoul Your example is completely different and not dismissive. It's a technique more than anything.

wonderingsoul 'im ignoring you now. when you can talk to me nicely/stop jumping up and d own" we can talk..'

I think that's fine, you've given a consequence of ds2's whiney strop and an explanation that you'll talk when he behaves in an appropriate manner.

DomesticSlobbess Tue 18-Feb-14 14:21:28

YANBU. We have neighbours with a 3yr old. When the child is crying all I can hear is the dad shouting "STOP! STOP!" which then turns to "SHUT UP! SHUT UP!" repeatedly. The 3yr old continues crying so it obviously doesn't work! It's horrible to hear.

Wishyouwould Tue 18-Feb-14 16:32:32

Thanks for the replies. Sorry didn't realise there had been a recent similar thread.

I think I have a particular hatred to it because it was something that made me feel so belittled by my EX. If I said something he didn't like he would say it very aggressively to me, often in front of our DC and even in front of his own Mum.

It's something that I brought up at our Relate counselling so he knows how much it has affected me. It is also included in my divorce petition for unreasonable behaviour, my solicitor has citied it as verbal abuse and not an acceptable way to speak to anyone.

I am so disappointed that he is continuing to tell our DC to shut up, this is not something I want them to think of as a normal thing to say to people but what can I do?

HoratiaDrelincourt Tue 18-Feb-14 17:24:33

My 5yo thinks it's swearing. I also have an aversion to the word "stupid" as it used to be shrieked at me by (otherwise very mild-mannered) DM.

STBXH sounds like a twat. Doesn't he care that he's upsetting his child?

MistressDeeCee Tue 18-Feb-14 17:57:51

Its horrible to keep telling a child to shut up. Its cutting off their voice. Also teaching them that they, and what they have to say aren't important/are a nuisance. Always annoys me when adults treat children in a way theyd absolutely hate being treated themselves.

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 18:04:04

If you have a talker and don't tell the to stop/quiet/shut up then you are teaching by omission to sound like or even become one those self absorbed people people on here complain about.

I tell min to be stop and listen as sometimes shut up as he is a big talker" your response should be tailored to the individual child.

I don't allow him to interrupt. After I finish my convo with another parent say on way home from school I then say right NOW tell me all about your day...

MistressDeeCee Tue 18-Feb-14 18:07:21

I thought this thread was about a child and mother constantly being told to shut up, and she and children feeling dreadful about it?

thinking101 Tue 18-Feb-14 18:10:33

We'll yes the thread has discussed context and how shut up is actually said in wider sense in relation to posters experiences also.

It doesn't sound balanced the way the op's ex use the phrase.

MistressDeeCee Tue 18-Feb-14 18:15:51

thinking yes, that's what struck me, it doesn't sound balanced at all, ex sounds very aggressive.

MistressDeeCee Tue 18-Feb-14 18:19:34

I think I have a particular hatred to it because it was something that made me feel so belittled by my EX. If I said something he didn't like he would say it very aggressively to me, often in front of our DC and even in front of his own Mum

This is aggression, and its about far more than telling specific people to 'shut up'. This is whats hurting the OP and I don't see why there's a need to point out that children need to be told to shut up at times. The 2 situations do not correlate.

mathanxiety Tue 18-Feb-14 18:20:35

DomesticSlobess, I had upstairs neighbours like that last year. They had two boys, aged 4 and 3, and when they cried (which was a lot) all you could hear from the parents was shouts of 'Shut the fuck up', repeated over and over until the poor children stopped. One night about 1 am I heard the mother shouting at one of the children who was probably having a nightmare 'Shut the fuck up and get the fuck back into bed'.

mathanxiety Tue 18-Feb-14 18:21:23

More than the daily nightmare that is...

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