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not ok to shake our son...

(135 Posts)
DippyDoohdah Mon 15-Oct-12 22:42:36

my estranged Dh and I have been trying to have some family time before divorce finalised, to make sure w are doing right thing/see if can come back together.long story but includes me feeling very strongly that is too heavy handed with 2 and 4 year old ds..4 year old showing some autistic tendencies.anyway...
yesterday, 2 year old (soon 3) did something minor and Dh told him to say sorry..ds refused a couple of times..Dh got very angry that he was being defied and grabbed ds, raised him in the air in front of him and shook him two or three times, shouting, until ds burst into tears.Dh thinks they need a firm hand.he came to pick them up for nursery this morning and eldest was playing up about not wanting to go out..Dh frog matched him to door, shouting and ds was cowering and trekking me did not want to go..Dh pulled them both out and they both left in tears.
they can be challenging, extremely bright and loving.
I just need a bit if affirmation that this is not ok, no matter how many nice bits can come unbeaten..

MardyArsedMidlander Tue 16-Oct-12 12:13:02

Dorothy Rowe once said that if you have a parent who abuses you, and another parent who does not protect you- you do not have one Bad parent and one Good parent, you actually have two Bad parents.
I sometimes think people forget who LONELY and powerless it is to be a child.

Your two year old is learning that Daddy can terrify him, and Mummy will do nothing. How do you think that feels like for him?
For G-ds sake, if you can't protect your children, let SS or the police do it.

DippyDoohdah Tue 16-Oct-12 12:17:37

why have you decided that I cannot protect my children.I have not said this is ok, I am not ignoring and I intervened when it happened..albeit calmly to stop him from escalating.
yes I am struggling to say"supervised only contact" as I know he will step away from the boys and that yoyo parenting is not much good either. but I am not saying I will just ignore this,I am saying will speak to health visitor.
resent being judged as a bad parent, mardy....that's not really fair

Lueji Tue 16-Oct-12 12:32:19

Just think of this:

He's already shaken your boys and behaved this way in front of you and everyone else.

What will he be capable of doing when he's not supervised?

Are you still that worried about him not seeing them?

I'd think it would be the least of two evils.

Lueji Tue 16-Oct-12 12:33:55

And yes, if I had seen my ex lift and shake my son, hell would break lose.

If after this you consent to unsupervised contact, you are just as bad as him.

MardyArsedMidlander Tue 16-Oct-12 12:39:15

You are saying you'll speak to your health visitor- but 'resent' her because she has alrady warned you about 'heavy/ turbulent' parenting? Does that not give you a clue that the situation is out of control?

And you had to step in 'calmly' in case the situation 'escalated'? So you don't believe that your husband can control himself with the children? If he does this in front of you, what will he do if you're not there to intervene?

DippyDoohdah Tue 16-Oct-12 12:47:18

Mardy..I appreciate everyone's input but I was saying directly to you that I resent you judging me as a bad parent.do not resent my health visitor at all, she has given me very balanced support and I have been very honest with her, as I intend to be now

DippyDoohdah Tue 16-Oct-12 12:49:56

and I meant escalated with him becoming angry with me and shouting at me in front of boys for .undermining' him.and no I would not rather him do that to them than me, I want them to have a happy and safe home...

MardyArsedMidlander Tue 16-Oct-12 12:51:29

What your husband did was a terrible thing- so I'm afraid I am going to judge. The fact that you don't really see it as such- or need some validation of this worries me.

DippyDoohdah Tue 16-Oct-12 12:56:24

Mardy..I appreciate everyone's input but I was saying directly to you that I resent you judging me as a bad parent.do not resent my health visitor at all, she has given me very balanced support and I have been very honest with her, as I intend to be now

DippyDoohdah Tue 16-Oct-12 12:58:46

I do not think it is ok but it does not make me a bad parent for checking it out and asking for support, does it? its taking me longer to get my head round it as I know all the other bits in between, so its personal and more complex for me.I do know the bottom line is protecting them

Dahlen Tue 16-Oct-12 13:16:49

Please don't get bogged down by the worry about your children suffering from yo-yo parenting from their father. The studies out now show that a completely absent father is far better than an inconsistent one and far preferable to a sometimes abusive one. It is NOT the case that being deprived of a father leads to poor outcomes in all cases. The best thing you can do for your children is to set clear, firm boundaries with your H and stick to them. If that means giving him supervised contact only which he abuses and leaves you no choice but to suspend completely, your strong, protective and decisive behaviour will be a GOOD thing for your DC to witness.

Offred Tue 16-Oct-12 14:17:02

Please stop trying to be in control of everything, this is not going to help you. I know you are aware it is not ok but people are worried you don't see how bad it is because you are still trying to manage it and him on your own and simultaneously you are constantly choosing the path of least resistance. This won't protect the children all this "I can't do x because he will do y". You need to expect a very basic level of parenting from him and if he can't or won't do that then your children will be better off if he does bugger off.

DippyDoohdah Tue 16-Oct-12 14:17:08

thanks for your support Dahlen..feeling sick at it all

SirBoobAlot Tue 16-Oct-12 14:44:52

An absent father is better than an abusive one.

You need to stop minimizing what he's done. I know you're concerned about him exploding (and remember this very well from past experience) but right now you need to disregard that and do what is best for your children. You cannot control this man.

When are you seeing the health visitor?

Dippy, your love and committment to your children is apparent from your posts, but I cannot disagree with those posters who suggest you need to be very obviously on your kids side and not spent time and effort justiying their dad's behaviour.

What worries me most about the scene you describes is, as you said yourself, his 'loss of control' - that's the issue: if he loses control to the point were he shakes a 3 year old, he might do worse the next time. Chances are were will be a next times. And believe you me, children do not get less challenging as they get older (mother of 4 boys here - 9years to 2 1/2 year old DS4 who quite ofted drives us all to the brink of.... something, I personally I have perfevted the art of Stepping Away from the Unreasonable Toddler).

You mentioned parenting classes which may not be a bad idea, but really he needs to look at anger management. HE needs to look at this; you cannot do it for him. If he does not see a problem with how he reacts to frustration, then no amount of you reasoning with him will help.

Has have you ever felt intimidated by him?

Sorry about typos - I swear my typing is getting worse and I am getting less and less patient enough to proofread. Apologies.

Oh and yes, I totally agree with Dahlen: it's inconsistent parenting that harms children, not not an absent father.
Your boys will of course benefit from male role models, good role models, but that can be an uncle/football trainer/scout leader. There are good men out there, honest.

Fairylea Tue 16-Oct-12 15:48:41

If another man picked up your son and shook him like that would you leave him alone with him again ?

Why should his dad have a second chance?

DippyDoohdah Tue 16-Oct-12 18:55:36

Thank you all of you, including the ones that were a bit heavy! To update, I spent half an hour on phone to my HV this afternoon. I told her exactly what I have told you all, and your/my 2 friends concerns. She initially said that it was not serious enough to meet the threshold for ss to take it on as a case, knowing how snowed under they are (how bad is that?? what does that say about society now..). I kind of expected this as I work with ss and know, as I said, some truely horrible cases where children still not been removed. When health visitor said that, sadly, something more serious would have to happen for ss to get involved, I was amazed, and said so. I did express the concerns that all of you have reflected and she acknowledged them but suggested the best really is to speak to solicitor about mediation. I asked her about supervised contact and she said that was for me to decide and even suggested that perhaps stbxh is more stressed/tense when i am there and can parent better if he sees 2 ds alone..but agreed that how can we know that?
Anyway, when i said that i feel i am just being totally left alone in this with no0 support, she did listen and engage me further. i told her i do sometimes lose my rag and shout at boys, which she said is never ok. But i said their dad does so, really shouts, at some point, most/every time sees them. Recalled to her a horrible road rage incident, that ss have written to me twice after rows at home and that their dad has the opinion that the ds's should be scared of him for effective parenting. Also told her that he used to talk about 'breaking' ds 1 (in reference to his spirit, though english not his first language) and that I feel ds 1 has had the most hard time from his dad..but think that he has now almost decided that ds 2 is of age and will start/has started getting harder on him too.
At this point, hv started making noises about the more she hears, the more she is thinking there is the need for a child in need or even child protection referral. She is giving me time to think and wants tom meet next week to discuss further and find out more.
I truely feel sick. I love my sons so much but have struggled with this destructive relationship for the last 3 years. It has been emotionally abusive for me too, and yes i have felt initimidated before. the list is long and will not post it, have posted before.
I feel that i have hugely dropped my standards since i met this man. He is a hypocrite that undermines my attempts at discipline and believes his way is the only way. He is scared of noone. I have spent the last couple of years preoccupied with the crappy drama of him/us, masking it all, and letting him come in and out of our lives.
I have struggled with the responsibility, as he drifts in, takes over and goes again. I have forgotten my standards and values. I do still believe I am quite a good mum, but not good enough. DS with their lovely grandparents tonight (we are so so lucky to have them, and they know everything, including whats happened today). So know I know i will have to speak to him, lay down what is totally not acceptable and MY rules from now on. I do not think it will even get to the issue of where and how he sees them, as i think he will blow up before then. Sick to the pit of my stomach, ladies sad.
So sorry about ultra long post...

Oh, Dippy, you poor thing.
I don't know your backstory, but it does not sound happy.
I hope your face-to-face meeting with the HV will be more productive.

IME mediation is a great way forward when both parties want to reach an agreement on finances/access to children etc. NOT to rectify somebody's idea of parenting, particularly when he thinks he is in the right hmm. Do you have legal advice? Thought about phoning Childline for advice?

Children need to respect their parents, not fear them. Parents should be Safe, always. What is it with some men/people (usually men)??

Have you had a look around here on threads about emotionally abusive relationships? I don't know that that is what you are dealing with, but might be worth a gander.

SirBoobAlot Tue 16-Oct-12 19:32:42

You were very brave today, and I hope you are proud of yourself. You also did entirely the right thing.

I'm glad you've got tonight to talk to STBXH without worrying about the children being in the house too. Just be aware that, from everything you've said, there is a strong possibility that he will not listen or absorb a word you have to say about it. That doesn't make you wrong, it just furthers the point that he is an arse.

Big un-MN hugs.

MolotovBomb Tue 16-Oct-12 19:34:51

No. Not okay sad Your poor babies - he either needs to stop treating them this way, or he can't see his sons, for your boy's safety.

So sorry for you sad

DippyDoohdah Tue 16-Oct-12 19:35:02

pacific, thanks. Yes I have been on EA threads and read a very good book about EA (lundy Bancroft). You are right, but I have decided that I am putting to rest my issues with his treatment of me and them and just focusing on his impact on them. I need to get positive control back with my sons. When they have seen a dark eyed, irate man yelling in their face, even my 'shouting' ..raised voice, not rage..does nothing. Worried they are desensitised as he set the bar too high (low). don't get me wrong, it has not been a hell hole here and we have lived apart for approx 2 years so they have had lots of nice times with me and my family. Pacific, you are right, mediation will not address his parenting style and values

madda Tue 16-Oct-12 19:35:04

keep them safe op, and yourself

look at it this way, would he shake his boss or colleague at work? If not, why the heck is he allowed to shake his own flesh and blood?

who else have your kids got to protect them, apart from you?

you sound like you are doing all you can. Telling people in RL is a good step.

get yourself something to eat and light a candle. Then sleep.

You can get through this.

DippyDoohdah Tue 16-Oct-12 19:42:09

AAh. 4 yr old just called me from G parents to say night night..he got star of the day for being so cooperative and caring. So lovely, so proud. not trying to deflect the rubbish going on, just lovely to share smile
Not heard from stbxh, will maybe be tomorrow day that we speak (churning stomach)..

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