DH shouts at preschooler and baby

(61 Posts)
Softywife Thu 29-Nov-12 18:43:22

I think DH is too harsh with our DDs (13 months and 4 years). He thinks I'm too soft.

DD1 has started being rude to me and DH thinks I need to take a firmer hand. Whereas I think she's copying his sometimes aggressive approach. If DD1 is being naughty I give her a few warnings, explain why she shouldn't be doing whatever it is and then I make her do a naughty step if she does it again. She's a bright girl and generally understands the implications of things but most toddlers/preschoolers do like to test the boundaries. If she's obviously upset about something though I'll give her hugs and try to get to the bottom of the problem rather than launching into discipline. I think that's a sensible approach, rather than being too soft. Whereas DH will give a few warnings and then shout at her regardless of what the underlying cause is. I think I'm showing her a good example. He thinks she's walking all over me.

After he's shouted at them I'll tell him that I don't like it but he won't accept that as a reason to stop. His reaction is that they need discipline, it's better than smacking them and that we shouldn't 'wrap them up in cotton wool' but prepare them for the real world. I think they've got plenty of time for that during their school years.

He also says that it's the only thing that gets a result. e.g. If DD1 is distracted by something else and won't listen he'll give a couple of warnings (fair enough) and then shout at her to get her attention. The other day she was sitting on my lap when he did this and I felt her physically start - I think that's going too far. We asked her recently if she was frightened of DH. She said she wasn't, which is reassuring, but that still doesn't make it right. Or am I being too sensitive?

I suppose I'm more worried about DD2 who's still so young. Although DH is firmer with DD1 as she's older, he DOES shout at DD2 too. She's not sleeping well at the moment, and a few times when I've worked nights he's told me that he eventually snapped and shouted "shut up" at her. She went quiet so he thought it worked. Whereas I think he's teaching her to not ask for what she needs and that she might become insecure. He did this to her the other day whilst I was trying, unsuccessfully, to settle her in the middle of the night; half an hour later it turned out that all she wanted was a bottle of milk and she settled quite happily after that. I felt so bad for her. sad

I think it could emotionally damage them in the long run, particularly DD2 who's still so young. DH however says that there's no such thing as maternal instinct and that my gut feeling doesn't mean a thing. He values logic and common sense over emotion. He also says I'm telling him we should bring up the children the way I think is right with no regard to what he might think is best. It's difficult to know what to say to that. I feel like we should be a team deciding together what's best for the whole family but I do worry when he shouts.

Am I misinformed about child development? I don't want my children to grow up spoilt but I do want them to be confident and happy.

So, after a long-winded explanation,

He needs scientific evidence that shouting is wrong. He won't accept my opinion or something that I might have read on-line or in a book, he needs verifiable proof!

Does anyone have any links to a scientific study proving that children are happier, more confident, well-adapted, etc with positive reinforcement rather than shouting? I'm struggling to find any studies that prove this beyond reasonable doubt.

stitchNting Thu 29-Nov-12 19:00:47
Softywife Thu 29-Nov-12 21:03:40

Perfect, thanks stitchNting, I'll show him those links and see what he thinks of them.

Softywife Thu 29-Nov-12 21:04:32

Just to be sure I get a balanced view, does anyone on here think I'm being too lenient with the kids?

loveroflife Thu 29-Nov-12 22:11:48


This post made me feel very sad. Your dd2 has been in this world for just over year and is having to suffer her father screaming shut up at her. How else is she meant to communicate what she needs apart from through crying? I wonder how he would feel if is boss or friends screamed shut up at him. I'm appalled that he would treat his darling innocent daughter this way. He sounds like a complete wanker, who wants discipline and control - tell him to fuck off and go and shout at someone his own size.

If your dd2 jumped when he shouted, then of course she is scared. She is probably saying no she isn't scared of him when you ask her because she is afraid of being shouted at again.

I wouldn't leave the children with him alone if he is admitting to shouting at them when you are not there, things could escalate and you would never forgive yourself. Stick to your guns and get him some anger management.

Schmoozer Thu 29-Nov-12 23:23:43

No you are not too lenient
He sounds like an arse. A bully.
He needs to develop his repertoire of parenting,skills.
Sounds like he has a fairly limited toolbox of skills and short fuses through to shouting to frighten small kids / babies into desired action.

naturalbaby Thu 29-Nov-12 23:35:03

He wants scientific proof that shouting is wrong?!? How about you shout at him and ask him how it sounds/feels to be on the receiving end!

I have struggled over the past year or so and ended up shouting a lot at my dc's. I feel like a fool having to explain to ds2 that it is not nice to shout at his siblings/it's wrong/we don't shout when he is resorting to copying me when his siblings don't listen to him.
If your DH shouts then your dd's will copy. What will he do then?

Who the hell shouts at a 13-month old???

Don't get too sucked into his need for scientific studies. You know it's wrong, anyone with a functioning sense of empathy and reason knows it's wrong.

Do you really think showing him a few studies will change his mind?

Caroline2103 Thu 29-Nov-12 23:35:40

no your not being too lenient! and to say that there is no such thing as maternal instinct is just ridiculous and sounds almost like petulant jealousy because u have something he doesnt. I dont want to sound off about your DH and my opinion on his actions but I will say that reading your post saddened me and I hope from maybe showing him this thread he might look to change his ways. Good luck smile

Softywife Thu 29-Nov-12 23:47:10

I think I WILL show him yr replies thanks, once he's had a chance to look at those links.

JassyRadlett Fri 30-Nov-12 14:29:23

He is confusing discipline with shouting. You can have great discipline without ever once shouting.

My own DS is only 14 months so we're only a few months into actual discipline - and still at the point where a stern voice warning him away from 'danger' spots does the trick. But I used to be a nanny and anyone who says you can't disipline without shouting or smacking is misguided and isn't going to get the best results in the long term - kids who behave because they understand exactly where the boundaries are, and why those boundaries are there. The idea that there's quasi-angry behaviour (shouting/smacking - things done either in anger or simulating anger) or nothing is just plain wrong.

What are you supposed to be preparing your kids for? Do you want them to be in a classroom or workplace where those in more powerful positions shout to get their way? A teacher or a boss who does that is bullying, and a four-year-old shouldn't be getting the message that bullying is OK and it's her role to put up with it.

diyqueen Fri 30-Nov-12 23:09:02

Jasseyradlett, I agree and was going to say something similar. Turn it back on him - when he is shouting, he is showing that he has lost control, otherwise he wouldn't want to shout, would he? There are other ways of getting attention (eye contact, getting down to the same level etc) and definitely better ways of discipline. Getting a child to do something by shouting at them isn't teaching them how to work things out for themselves or learn from previous experiences. Teachers these days often use something called 'assertive discipline' - using rules, expectations and consequences and an assertive rather than aggressive approach - maybe googling that would help, as it's a proven way of managing school age children effectively without yelling at them.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 30-Nov-12 23:17:19

Shouting is loss of self-control. Ask him why he has no internal discipline and what he's going to do about that.

He want scientific evidence to back up his ideas about parenting, he looks it up. Simple. You are not his assistant.

Startail Fri 30-Nov-12 23:24:04

Can't I have two very well adapted DDs who are entirely used to being shouted at.

Although shouting at children under two is probably pretty pointless as they haven't a clue what they've done wrong.

pictish Fri 30-Nov-12 23:31:25

13 months is just a baby. This man shouts at babies. How awful.

I'm no pushover and my kids tow my line on the whole, but I don't shout at them often.
Shouting at babies is just skin crawly. He's a bully, and the worst sort.

thezoobmeister Sat 01-Dec-12 07:54:52

Margot Sunderland's book 'the science of parenting' is excellent for this sort of thing and well worth a look.

Softywife Mon 03-Dec-12 14:34:08

Ok. So he read the links and we talked.

He acknowledges that he shouldn't have shouted at DD2 no matter what whilst she's still so little. That's a big step forward. I'm not sure what he'll do differently next time she's ill/teething and he's tired/frustrated though. Perhaps just shout at me more instead!

loveroflife, DH looks after the kids at night when I'm working overnight or if I have a very early shift start. If he's on 'night duty' whilst I'm there and he seems stressed then I try to help him. However then I'm apparently interfering and "don't trust him" and therefore I should do all the night duties on my own! He can seem so childish sometimes.

With DD1 he thinks he's got the right approach to discipline. He reckons he raises his voice just to get her attention and then talks calmly to her once she's listening. I still think he expects too much from a 4 year old - he often seems to expect her to act like an adult. How many pre-schoolers notice what their parents are saying if there's something more interesting going on?! I still think he needs to be more patient and get down to her level.

It's difficult for us to agree on the issue as we've got different ideas about how to define 'yelling' and 'shouting' so whilst I think he needs to tone it down a bit he thinks he's being quite reasonable and that I'm being oversensitive. I obviously DO raise my voice with DD1, just not as much, as quickly or as frequently as DH does. The first article refers to 'constant' yelling and 'if overused', so he reckons it doesn't apply to him. Even if that's so, I think there's useful stuff in there and the second article talks about 'overreacting' which I think's very relevant to him.

Thanks for the 'assertive discipline' suggestion diyqueen and the Margot Sunderland recommendation thezoobmeister, I'll take a look at those.

Softywife Mon 03-Dec-12 14:41:49

That book sounds spot on thezoobmeister. And the author seems to have enough credentials to hopefully keep my high maintenance wink high-standards-DH happy!!

schobe Mon 03-Dec-12 14:46:48

So he's teaching your DD1 that you only have to start listening once the voice is raised.

Her teachers are going to be just delighted with that one.

Sorry but he's a bully and, to be honest, not the sharpest tool in the box if he can't see the illogical nature of his own reasoning.

Softywife Mon 03-Dec-12 14:54:22

Although, as one of the reviews points out, 'it is is an attachment parenting book, with occasional footnotes, backing up these perspectives only. It does not, as it claims in the title and introduction, present the science to you and let you make up your own mind.'

So DH will no doubt say it's not neutral or scientific. Whilst I'm keen on attachment parenting myself, if I'm to convince DH then I think I need a stronger scientific footing.

Does anyone know of a child development book which is backed up by scientific research/statistics?

Softywife Mon 03-Dec-12 14:55:56

schobe, I know!

Softywife Mon 03-Dec-12 14:58:56

not the sharpest tool in the box

He's one of the most intelligent people I've ever met. It's a double edged sword though and I wish he had more emotional intelligence to go along with the high IQ.

Softywife Mon 03-Dec-12 15:04:22

diyqueen I think DH will like the assertive discipline technique. The key would be to establish what the 'rules' are, keeping them simple and sticking to them. I think DH has too many in his head!

SmeggingAroundTheChristmasTree Mon 03-Dec-12 15:11:43

He's not thinking about how to actually communicate with his children, just about training them hmm. He's teaching them that daddy shouts, mummy listens. That's going to come back and bite him on the bum.

A great book about effective communication with children is How To Talk So Kids Will Listen And Listen So Kids Will Talk. It does cite studies etc, but is very readable too.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 03-Dec-12 15:15:09

He is bullying your children.

Beware if his "intelligence" means he sees it as a given that he is always right... And beware of going along with this personal myth ("He's one of the most intelligent people I've ever met. "). His demand for "scientific proof" smacks of real arrogance. Another hallmark of bullies.

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

This 'the most intelligent man......' thing just rings bells with me.

Some people are the most intelligent people anyone has ever met, are 'never wrong', insist on scientific data even with their loved ones, and so on.

However, some of these people (note some and not all) are not well-equipped to deal with small children and the general illogicality of all that entails. They can start shouting and doing other things designed to bend the will of the children to their own.

They have no idea they are like this - someone coined a phrase on here - they are 'arrogant deniers'.

There's loads of behaviourist literature about why positive reinforcement is hugely more effective and better for the child's development than negative reinforcement or aversives/punishment. Tell him to do a bit of research if he's so clever.

Schmoozer Mon 03-Dec-12 16:12:25

Ok, some books i'd reccomend for him (aka big bully sad)
Toddler taming
Talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk

HandbagCrab Mon 03-Dec-12 16:26:04

If he's that bloody clever he wouldn't need to shout in the first place as he'd know precisely what to do before he got to that point. And he'd be able to do his own research as well. Why are you scurrying round for him? Why is he going it shout at you if he isn't allowed to shout at your dc?

tiktok Mon 03-Dec-12 16:35:31

Softy, that amazon review is plain wrong. It is not 'an attachment parenting book' - that is the view of a reader who has not understood it.

The science is presented in an accessible way, but it does not tell you what to as a parent. It is not based on any parenting philosophy, except, perhaps, the idea that parenting and parenting strategies should take into account the development and needs of the child.

I think that reviewer must be getting mixed up with attachment theory which is a coherent and evidence-based understanding of relationships.

FWIW, children do learn by being shouted at - of course shouting can change behaviour. Done more than just rarely ('cos none of us are perfect) shouting is damaging, harmful to relationships, and to children's growing happiness and confidence. That's what they learn when a parent shouts at them and that's how it changes them.

pictish Mon 03-Dec-12 16:44:03

It doesn't matter if he's the most intelligent person you've ever met - when it comes to dealing with his children, he's as thick as mince. No amount of arrogance on his behalf will make his approach right.

People with real intelligence listen to others OP.

People who simply think they're they're cleverer than everyone else, don't.

Welovecouscous Mon 03-Dec-12 16:55:48

My DH was shouted at a lot as a child, albeit by a kind, loving and well meaning parent.

This has had life long consequences for him as an adult. Shouty parents can affect confidence, cause anxiety and provide a very bad role model for future interactions with others and future parenting.

loveroflife Mon 03-Dec-12 19:55:21

Hi again softywife,

Sadly you have a battle on your hands as your DH is convinced HE is right by shouting at DD2 to discipline her. Put this to him: How would he feel if dd2's teachers screamed and shouted at her? He must be the only parent I know that is happy for his dd to endure this at school, because if he can do it then surely her teachers can. Consistency is very important of course, so I presume he's more than happy to bellow at her in shops and at the park and just doesn't do it behind your closed front door.

I presume this must also be a man that enjoys others following his 'right' approach, so he must be more than happy to have his boss and workmates scream and shout at him? Because as he's told you his method is right, but let's just ignore the fact that he's bullying his daughter who is FOUR years old. I can tell you now, in fact promise, that shouting at her has no benefits whatsoever. It's verbal abuse, read this from the NSPCC - www.nspcc.org.uk/help-and-advice/for-parents-and-carers/parenting-advice/better-behaviour/better-behaviour_wda90753.html

Your daughter will be damaged by your husband's behaviour and approach. No one here has said he is right, no one has said yes, he's OK to keep shouting at your daughter. Aside from the research and proven methodology it's bloody basic common sense that you don't treat your offspring like this, but of course ' the most intelligent man you know' must already know this right?

ChippingInLovesAutumn Mon 03-Dec-12 20:50:17

He shouts at a 1 year old and a 4 year old and he believes this is good discipline? He needs to learn this isn't a good thing to do.

Pretty much all of us end up shouting at a 4 year old to hurry up or turn the taps OFF or whatever, but not proper shouting sad

He doesn't sound like a very nice bloke to be honest. If he can't shout at your 1 year old, he'll shout more at you??? Really? ... and you don't seem to think this is a problem sad ?!

I think you need to think about whether parenting your girls, in the same house as him, is good for any of you.

Why don't you turn this around on him?

Tell him you're convinced that YOU are right and you'd like him to produce some scientific research proving that shouting at children has no ill effects whatsoever.

If he refuses, it's because he's prejudged what is right without reading any research whatsoever. Which is not actually so bloody clever after all.

OP, he's not doing this based on any rational and reasoned approach. He simply believes he is smarter than you and therefore must be right. And worst of all, he's gotten you to go along with it, to the point where you think someone who yells at a baby is still an extremely intelligent man.

Please stop doing all this research for him. Your opinion is just as valid as his. You can show him all the studies in the world but until he believes that you are not going to get anywhere.

FairPhyllis Mon 03-Dec-12 21:05:16

He sounds horrible, bullying, and arrogant.

He is shutting down attempts at reasonable discussion by putting the onus on you to find "evidence" that will have to meet up to some arbitary standard he pulls out of his arse. Here's a tip - it's not just your children he is bullying.

FairPhyllis Mon 03-Dec-12 21:07:44

Did you ask your DD1 if she was frightened of him when he wasn't there?

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

well, first off, I suspect that nearly everyone shouts occasionally. I do. I hate myself for it, and would never seek to justify it in any way. As others have said, it is a loss of control and is a response to failed discipline, not a form of discipline. I was well and truly brought up short one time when my (then) 3 year old said through her tears and snot, 'don't shout at me, I'm only little'. It's exactly the same as a 4 year old losing control, but without the excuse of being 4.

Clear boundaries and rules (and you and he need to agree what you will and will not tolerate), reinforced verbally and, if necessary, by consequences (again, agree these) delivered calmly will do wonders. If you have a child prone to upset (I do) then sometimes a hug and a listening ear can avert all sorts of trouble.

rhetorician Mon 03-Dec-12 21:16:13

I'm not sure I would ask DD1 if she was frightened of her father though - you could put the question differently - it's a very leading question. How does it make you feel when he shouts at you?

Softywife Wed 05-Dec-12 15:53:12

Thanks tiktok, I'll take another look.

I'm sorry about your DH Welovecouscous. Has he come to terms with it/moved past it?

Thanks loveroflife I've copied the NSPCC info to DH.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Mon 03-Dec-12 20:50:17 If he can't shout at your 1 year old, he'll shout more at you??? Really? ... and you don't seem to think this is a problem?!

Yes, it is a problem - we're working on it.

HandbagCrab Mon 03-Dec-12 16:26:04 Why are you scurrying round for him?


dreamingbohemian Mon 03-Dec-12 20:55:34 Why don't you turn this around on him? Tell him you're convinced that YOU are right and you'd like him to produce some scientific research proving that shouting at children has no ill effects whatsoever.

DH already feels that the way we're raising our children is based too much on what I think is best and I'm the one questionning his approach here.

But I agree that my ^ opinion is just as valid as his..... until he believes that you are not going to get anywhere.^

Schobe, Thanks for the prompt about 'arrogant deniers', I think DH might have some form of aspergers so I'm reading up on it.

waterrat Wed 05-Dec-12 16:47:44

I think you have to put him in their shoes - ask him how he feels when people who have authority or power over him shout at him aggressively? Does he feel angry? How would he feel if you shouted at him loudly whenever you were unhappy about something?

Does he want your children to shout when they are annoyed? CHildren learn how to behave from their parents - he needs to behave as he would like them to behave.

I'm afraid he does not sound intelligent at all - if he needs to see research to know that being shouted at is unpleasant and likely to lead to fear and distress - also, it is not intelligent to treat a 1 and 4 year old like 'bad' children, when they do not have the cognitive development to behave as he would like them to.

He needs to understand their mental development levels more.

I think you need to be braver in believing that you are right - and that it is your duty as mother to protect your children from his behaviour.

strumpetpumpkin Wed 05-Dec-12 16:56:22

I think a lot of parents differ on discipline. My dp is stricter than me and always has been. He is also louder and shouts more, but he is consistent and fair.

I dont think shouting is ideal, but his way of parenting is his way, and deserves respect, just as yours does.


Welovecouscous Wed 05-Dec-12 17:50:48

Softly, in part, but he gets really upset when he hears an adult speaking harshly to a child

LaCiccolina Wed 05-Dec-12 18:03:09

Shouting is not discipline. What work place ever condones shouting at employees for results? How many bosses shout at him to get a task done? It's more likely assertiveness, tact, diplomacy and courtesy are used to gain better and consistent results.

There will always be studies, but get him to argue against the above. He can't. It's how civilised people behave.

I'm a natural shouter. An explosive temperament but I recognise that when I behave like that, or sarcastically, I'm not big or clever. I've lost it. Doesn't mean I still don't do it but I try hard not to and use other tactics.

This is not to say ur way is perfect, it depends on the occasion. I would say ur way offers consistency and love where his is negative and likely just makes him feel bad. Does me....

LaCiccolina Wed 05-Dec-12 18:07:33

Incase ur curious I asked dd how she felt after I had shouted at her for spilling a drink before we were due to go out.

Sad was her response at 2.

He might not feel bad after but I kicked myself for a week. Still do weeks later as u see. U will sometimes shout, but it has to be balanced alongside other tactics. If its his default position that's not right.

strumpetpumpkin Wed 05-Dec-12 18:10:27

The children arent scared of him, which i would say means that its more of a difference of parenting than him being some sort of abusive bullying arsehole. I dont think that shouting at a baby is ever gonna be a good idea. You said he did it in the night? Is that the only time?

I think you have to be careful and make sure youre letting him parent the children too, and not getting told off when its not done your way. Hes not a childminder or a grandparent that needs to follow your routine. He has misgivings about your style too and thinks youre being walked over. It sounds like you need a big heart to heart and to either work out a style you can both agree on, or just agree to parent differently. Children will adapt to this perfectly well. Children throughout the ages have had one parent stricter than the other. The most important thing IMO, is that the parents are a united front. Its ok to not be as strict. I think its ok for him to raise his voice if hes already given her fair warnings. Thats the consequence. As long as hes not screaming and shouting at them, a shout is a fair consequence. Even if youd prefer it if he used something like the naughty step or whatever instead, maybe you could talk about it in his discussion, or talk about how the shouting makes YOU feel. If you go in and make out hes being abusive, the conversation isnt going to get anywhere and hes going to just feel like hes not an equal parent to the children

strumpetpumpkin Wed 05-Dec-12 18:11:59

children arent employees, theyre children. Plus if your employess consitently didnt do as they were asked, theyd get the sack. Im not sure you can give your children the sack

greenrabbits Thu 06-Dec-12 12:52:51

I think children learn by example and no good will come of routinely screaming at them. Right now, I'm thinking of my SIL who never shouts - just calmly and firmly says whatever she's saying.

I also agree that he is confusing discipline with shouting. Shouting is not "better than smacking". Both can damage in different ways.

"How many pre-schoolers notice what their parents are saying if there's something more interesting going on?!"

Shouting is not the answer. Getting down on her level is.

He sounds like a bully. If my husband behaved like this, I would not be pandering to him by providing scientific "evidence", I would be in couples counselling talking about why I was thinking of leaving.

strumpetpumpkin Thu 06-Dec-12 13:16:54

different children require differnt methods, and different parents do it differently.

schobe Thu 06-Dec-12 15:01:02

Yes softy, I didn't want to diagnose on the internet as I know that's ridiculous, but it doesn't surprise me that you have suspicions re AS.

I sometimes struggled with being a parent and now (1 child with severe ASD later) realise why I find some aspects of it so challenging.

I sometimes think as a female I have been conditioned to look for the fault in myself rather than in other people or the world. So it has been easier to avoid being an arrogant denier! Plus my difficulties are very very slight compared with others.

Jen547 Fri 07-Dec-12 00:34:46

My DD is only 3months so I don't have any advice on discipline but I find it incredibly ignorant of your DH to deny that there is maternal instinct. My DP and I had very similar personalities, routines, beliefs and ways of doing things until we had a child. Now, whenever I do anything with my daughter it is a calculated and considered response to what my head is telling me is best for her, and my brain seems to scan all possible outcomes in lightning quick time before telling me the safest and most logical course of action. My DP still thinks much as he used to (and I used to) and that is "what is the quickest and least disruptive way (to himself/his plans) of completing this task". Maternal instinct is without a doubt the strongest tool you have, trust it and believe in it and if it's telling you he is wrong then I assure you it's because he is wrong. I'd trust my instinct over any scientific study no matter what.

AmberLeaf Fri 07-Dec-12 00:55:45


Not another abusive dickhead being excused because someone thinks he might have aspergers.

So if he did have aspergers, would that mean its ok to treat his children like shit?

OP he shouts at your baby and has zero respect for your opinion.

Please don't look for an excuse for that. Deal with it as it is, even if he did have aspergers, it would still be inexcusable.

schobe Fri 07-Dec-12 08:23:10

Calm down Amber. It's not an excuse but maybe it is part of the reason, as you well know.

We can't censor our posts and not mention autism or any other issue just because we might be perpetuating other people's ignorance and prejudice.

If children need and deserve extra support because they find things more difficult than others for a genuine reason, then why not adults? You can't have it both ways.

It doesn't make the behaviour ok, but it might just help improve things. Although obviously just kicking him out would be quicker and threads like this would be pithier.

Empross76 Fri 07-Dec-12 08:45:34

My husband can be pretty shouty with our kids, too. From talking to friends it seems a lot of their husbands resort to shouting so maybe it is a male thing? Not all males, obviously, but maybe a default setting due to lack of maternal instinct - which definitely DOES exist!

waterrat Fri 07-Dec-12 09:53:34

I'm sorry but I cannot let that 'men are shouty' statement stand! My partner would never, ever shout at our children - or if he really lost his cool he would be mortified. My dad never shouted at me - it's got nothing to do with gender at all - and presumably everything to do with how you were treated by your own parents.

Men are just as able to emphasise and have an 'instinct ' of loving kindness for their children - some men don't use it well, some women don't.

AmberLeaf Fri 07-Dec-12 09:57:37

Schobe, firstly, don't tell me to calm down, its rude and patronising.

I get all of what you are saying, but that isn't the issue here.

Even if the OPs husband does have autism, he is not her prime responsibility.

Her children are.

He is being abusive to her, if she is happy to accept that, fine.

If she wants to go down the route of 'does he have aspergers' fine.

If she wants to stand by while he is abusive to her children. not fine

The other day she was sitting on my lap when he did this and I felt her physically start - I think that's going too far. We asked her recently if she was frightened of DH She said she wasn't, which is reassuring, but that still doesn't make it right. Or am I being too sensitive?

Ask her on your own. If she is scared of him, would she say that in font of him?

schobe Fri 07-Dec-12 11:10:35

We're in agreement really, I definitely don't and didn't advise her to stand by while his behaviour is abusive, either to her or her DC. My posts on the thread make that clear I think.

I'm sorry if the 'calm down' was rude and patronising. It honestly wasn't meant that way though I can see it really looks it when written down.

I just want people to able to talk about reasons for behaviour without it being seen as looking for excuses, even if this also happens to be related to having additional needs (which it may not in this case). I think HE should be investigating this and also child-rearing techniques, not her. But maybe she can point him in the right direction.

AmberLeaf Fri 07-Dec-12 11:28:08

Schobe, Thanks and sorry from me for being so abrupt.

I agree that there may well be reasons for his behavior, but I don't think its fair to the OPs children for her to investigate them while they are being damaged by the behavior.

Totally agree that it is his problem, but the OP must protect her children.

schobe Fri 07-Dec-12 11:32:03

S'ok Amber, I always seem to say the wrong thing. I wonder why wink

Agree no point her trying to 'fix' him, just set clear boundaries for her and DC.

AmberLeaf Fri 07-Dec-12 11:38:12

smile much easier in person, it can be hard to convey tone in the written form and so easy to get it wrong as the reader.

Softywife Thu 13-Dec-12 21:04:36

Just an update to you all as you were kind enough to offer advice. thanks And then I'll let this thread go.

It seems like DH DOES have a form of aspergers. Whilst this isn't an excuse for treating children harshly it does explain why he finds it almost impossible to see things from their perspective. It also means lots of puzzling past behaviour makes more sense too.

Of course I'll still do all I can for the kids but it's helpful for me to understand what AS is because it changes the way I explain things to DH and therefore the way he reacts.

And maybe this might also help others stumbling onto this thread in a similar situation.

AmberLeaf Thu 13-Dec-12 22:34:18

Ah he's has been diagnosed/seen a professional?

Good luck with everything OP.

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