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Husband says I'm not sophisticated

(92 Posts)
BumpkinMe Mon 05-Aug-13 11:27:10

He was helping DD take a shower yesterday. He is usually quite rough, splashing water on her face when she clearly doesn't like it, and repeatedly soaping her face. He does seem to have a "thing" about being clean.

Yesterday, I could clearly see DD being in distress. She can sometimes exaggerate and moan like a typical 6 year old, but this wasn't one of those times. After me warning him to stop and him not listening, I grab the shower head. He resists. I say "Stand there and I'll show you how to wash her face without her screaming the place down". He says NO and walks away. I see red and grab on to his shirt and don't let go. This tussle goes on for a few seconds. Shit, even writing it down makes me embarrassed.

I shout at him and say "Don't do that to a child. Stop if she doesn't like it. You are wrong to do that" He shouts, "Its only soap and water. And you are unsophisticated." Presumably because I grabbed his shirt. Yes, it wasn't my finest hour.

But next morning, when I try to put the fight behind us, he says he doesn't want to talk to an "unsophisticated low-life" His words exactly.
Is this what he really thinks of me? Haven't spoken to him since. Shell-shocked. And very sad.

How did he make it so personal? About me? I talked about his behaviour. He, on the other hand, is talking about ME. I am so sad.

Sorry for the epic. Just needed an outlet.

AnyFucker Mon 05-Aug-13 11:30:19

Poor kid sad

ImperialBlether Mon 05-Aug-13 11:32:11

I don't understand what he's on about, saying you're not sophisticated.

He sounds very strange himself. If he was rough with my daughter, I wouldn't let him near her in those situations.

Feckssake Mon 05-Aug-13 11:33:05

Erm, how is it about you? This is a man who is choosing to make your daughter scream because of some cleanliness issues. Who's the lowlife?

He's angry with you and you need to apologise for grabbing, for being aggressive, and for being patronising in trying to 'teach' him how to wash dd's face.

I suggest you not get involved when he's washing her - she's 6, she's going to let him know if she doesn't like it.

Or wash her entirely yourself.

If you're suggesting he is abusing her then I retract my thoughts and suggest you leave/move out etc.

But I don't think you are suggesting that so leave him to wash his daughter as he sees fit.

CoffeeandScones Mon 05-Aug-13 11:34:13

Have either of you spoken to DD?

ITCouldBeWorse Mon 05-Aug-13 11:34:16

This does sound very weird - surely soap on one's face is irritating? Repeatedly? Don't most 6yo manage to wash pretty well independently?

How is intervening unsophisticated?

All very weird. Is he usually peculiar?

ArtexMonkey Mon 05-Aug-13 11:34:52

How is your dd today?

You have a choice whether you put up with this; she doesn't. I'd be thinking more about that than whether I was a bumpkin or not quite frankly.

Elsiequadrille Mon 05-Aug-13 11:34:57

Unsophisticated was clearly misused here. I wouldn't take that to heart. What an idiot, though. Why can't he wash her in a way which doesn't cause her distress.

ImperialBlether Mon 05-Aug-13 11:35:35

Laurie, would you really let him wash your daughter again?

Mochachocalatte Mon 05-Aug-13 11:35:48

Is this an isolated incident with your DD? Have you ever had any concerns before about the way he deals with her?

Imperial - yes of course he can wash his / our daughter.

Unless she is being abused. Whole different kettle of fish then.

People don't always do it the way the other partner wants then too.

So if not abuse then let people get on with it

BumpkinMe Mon 05-Aug-13 11:38:12

Yes, AF, I felt very sorry for DD. I'm concerned, if he keeps this up, he is just going to alienate her. He is very "old-school", with things like finishing food on your plate, getting "wholesome exercise" outdoors. But it quickly escalates into finger-pointing arguments about how I haven't encouraged her in these things.

Imperial that's exactly what I said. "You're not giving DD a bath anymore". Actually, I shouted "Don't come near her anymore!!"


maleview70 Mon 05-Aug-13 11:40:51

He is just pissed off with you that's all. My wife has a tendency to think she is the font of all knowledge when it comes to child related issues and always buts in for no reason which pisses me off so maybe he just feels the same.

Was he really hurting her or did you just not like the way he was doing it.

If it was the former then surely he has done this at other times in the last 6 years and you need to evaluate your relationship of that is the case.

Of it is the latter the you need to look at how you handled it and ask yourself if you could perhaps have handled it better.

ImperialBlether Mon 05-Aug-13 11:41:17

Laurie, this would be enough for me to stop him doing it again, when he clearly wasn't accepting he would have to change:

He is usually quite rough, splashing water on her face when she clearly doesn't like it, and repeatedly soaping her face.

I could clearly see DD being in distress.

ColinButterfly Mon 05-Aug-13 11:44:08

Hmm, 'unsophisticated low life' is exactly the kind of thing my abusive ex would say to me (I was a 'chav' if I dared to stand up to him). Alarm bells ringing here, sorry.

BumpkinMe Mon 05-Aug-13 11:44:34

Laurie I usually don't get involved. DD has made her feelings quite clear, she says DH is rough. I've seen it as well- soap up the nose, all over her closed eyelids. She hasn't been on a building site all day, so need for that level of thoroughness.

I've mentioned this many times, but every time he helps out during bathtime, its the same old story. I'm more irritated by the fact that he never listens and thinks his way is the right way.

I've made mistakes as well, but try to adapt the getting dressed/bathing/cleaning room routine, so there is minimal fuss on both sides.

TurnipCake Mon 05-Aug-13 11:44:46

What ImperialBlether and AnyFucker said sad

rockybalboa Mon 05-Aug-13 11:46:00

I don't see the correlation between showering your daughter and not being sophisticated. Does he even know what the word means? However, if my DH treated any of my DC in that way and called me a low life I would kick the fucker out. There's something not right there and it's got naff all to do with sophistication.

TurnipCake Mon 05-Aug-13 11:46:24

I've seen it as well- soap up the nose, all over her closed eyelids.

And how would this brute feel if someone was to do that to him, repeatedly, in the face of him being distressed by this angry

lonelywife Mon 05-Aug-13 11:47:33

I don't think that was really the right time to be 'tussling'; in front of your daughter while she's standing there in the shower, upset. It shouldn't have happened at anytime but that was a really bad time. He should definitely be more caring with her so you were right in what you were saying but you handled the situation badly, but you know that, right. Was she ok after? Did you talk to her about it?

I'd just laugh if my H called me 'unsophisticated' I mean, what sort of an insult is that? It's a bit of a strange thing to say. Saying you are a low-life on the other hand, that's really nasty.

What else has been going on in the lead up to this?

ClassyAsALannister Mon 05-Aug-13 11:47:53

Surely you should be more concerned that he thinks it's ok to do that to a child. Hid child. I'm guessing that's not how he washed his face is it hmm

ClassyAsALannister Mon 05-Aug-13 11:48:03


NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 05-Aug-13 11:50:06

And tell him HE is the unsophisticated one for using SOAP on a child's face.

BumpkinMe Mon 05-Aug-13 11:50:38

maleview I do try very, very hard not to butt in when it comes to childcare. Especially seeing, DH works long hours and gets to spend time with DD only during weekends.

But I try telling him "its easier if you do it this way". Not because I think I'm the fount of all knowledge, but because I've spent more time with my daughter and I know just a tiny bit more about what makes her tick. Simple as that.

If he was the main carer, I'm sure I'll defer to him on certain issues, especially during shouty bathtimes.

SignoraStronza Mon 05-Aug-13 11:50:40

That sounds horrible for your poor dd. My six year old usually showers herself (I may occasionally bark orders at her to do it properly while I'm pottering around) perfectly adequately without me needing to soap her up - how odd!

Good behaviour sound horrid tbh - the sort of thing that could leave her with lasting issues.

I suggest when you're calm (and I still think at some point you need to apologise for grabbing him) you talk
About the fact she doesn't like it.

Then offer to do bath time all the time and trade it for something else.

Only when you're both calm mind.

Not sure you sound compatible though - you seem to disagree quite strongly with the way he parents.

BumpkinMe Mon 05-Aug-13 11:56:12

Laurie But I HAVE talked to him. Many, many times about how she doesn't like it. Everything goes over his head. Or he just chooses to ignore it.

He is a brilliant parent, not denying that. But he should also remember DD is only 6 and he should pick his battles.

HotBurrito1 Mon 05-Aug-13 11:56:38

Like Signora said, surely she can wash herself?

AnyFucker Mon 05-Aug-13 12:06:22

He doesn't sound like a brilliant parent. What you have described sounds horrible, but what is worse is that the situation has escalated to the point where you are having physical tussles while she stands there in the shower. She wasn't a "child" in either of your eyes then, she was a piece of meat to argue and prove a point over.

If things have got this bad, it is time to re evaluate both of your approaches to how you make good and consistent co parents.

MadBusLady Mon 05-Aug-13 12:11:50

This all sounds very strange and nasty - both how he is with DD and what he said to you. I wouldn't use soap on a child's face at any time, you might as well squirt neat washing up liquid into their eyes. It's a bit troubling that he doesn't listen/care about your opinion (or hers).

diddl Mon 05-Aug-13 12:13:22

Could I suggest that you don't have to be the main carer to know that repeatedly washing a kid's face with soap is just unnecessary!

As is splashing when the face when they don't like it.

I would say that's bullying-especially if they have made it known that they don't want it to happen.

I would have thought at this stage she should be washing herself with just supervision & minimal help anyway.

BumpkinMe Mon 05-Aug-13 12:13:37

I know, I know AF. That physical tussle, I still cringe when I think back to why I did that {groan}. I guess I was so frustrated at him not listening to me and walking away, that I physically had to restrain him.

I know if the situation was reversed, people would be horrified. And rightly so.

I don't know how to re-evaluate our approaches though., Any suggestions, welcome. I can be hands-off when he is parenting, but shouldn't he be taking my suggestions on board as well?

BumpkinMe Mon 05-Aug-13 12:16:00

She does wash herself, but many times she is away with the fairies. So a lot of reminding, going over missed spots, washing off the shampoo at the front, adjusting the bit of shower to complaints of "its too hot, its too cold" etc... Which in effect, means one of us, is actually giving her a proper bath.

ouryve Mon 05-Aug-13 12:20:41

He doesn't sound lke a brilliant parent, Bumpkin. He sounds like a bullying arsehole.

TurnipCake Mon 05-Aug-13 12:21:47

The world won't stop spinning on its axis if she misses a few spots or leaves some suds on her forehead. But she will remember being roughly washed and the distress that it caused her.

ClassyAsALannister Mon 05-Aug-13 12:22:11

yes but there is no reason at all for rubbing soap in her face, whether she can wash herself or not...

Agree with af

You seem more concerned that he's not listening to you than that he's treating your child like that. Sorry but that's how it's coming across.

This isn't about parenting or listening...he's mistreating her during bath time and it would seem he knows it & no amount of talking or trying to get him to 'hear you' will change that.

LaRegina Mon 05-Aug-13 12:26:15

What AF says sad

Do you make a habit of getting violent and abusive with each other in front of your DD?

BumpkinMe Mon 05-Aug-13 12:26:27

Classy that's right. That's why I've decided he won't be doing bath times anymore. I thought I would treat him as an adult and I did talk to him about this. But to no avail- its usually "My way is the right way and everyone else can sod off".

Even when he can see plainly his way is not appreciated by his daughter.

AnyFucker Mon 05-Aug-13 12:26:38

It seems you have tried to help him moderate his rough approach to parenting, OP and he isn't listening.

I know where I would go from here, but it doesn't look like you are anywhere near that point if you are still hopeful he will change and getting into physical tussles with him < shrug >

LaRegina Mon 05-Aug-13 12:28:00

X-posted you you OP.

Seriously - how dirty can a six year old get?

Just turn the shower on and leave her to it. Does it matter if she misses a bit? Or let her have a bath.

Why let such a non-issue escalate into such a horrible drama?

eurochick Mon 05-Aug-13 12:32:07

Poor kid. Bathtime should be fun. Like you say, she won't be that dirty. She doesn't need disinfecting, just freshening up.

He sounds awful, really controlling.

If he doesn`t change it could cause your dd to have real issues in the future.

BumpkinMe Mon 05-Aug-13 12:41:55

Yep, controlling seems to describe him sad

Is he like this in other aspects of your life together? Are you and your daughter relaxed around him?

BumpkinMe Mon 05-Aug-13 12:47:57

Yes, he is Damn. As I mentioned before, he thinks he is always right. I don't know if he is just breath-takingly arrogant or if it is bravado that stems from low self-esteem.

Sorry to go all pop-psychology...

ClassyAsALannister Mon 05-Aug-13 12:49:07

This can't be a one off though.

Ever feel like you're concerned about how he'll react to things? Is it always his way?

This sounds like the tip of a horrible ice burg...

TurnipCake Mon 05-Aug-13 12:50:04

You mentioned something about mealtimes upthread. What happens if your daughter doesn't finish something to his liking? Are you walking on eggshells?

Sorry but he sounds emotionally abusive.

If the relationship isn`t positive then you need to think about making changes. It`s no way to live sweetheart and a terrible example for your daughter.

BumpkinMe Mon 05-Aug-13 12:57:16

Mealtimes are alright Turnip. He DOES expect her to not waste food and finish her plate, but doesn't throw a hissy fit about it, IYSWIM. smile

But he does moan at ME - he thinks I encourage this behaviour. Which, for the record, I don't. I mean who does that? Plop food on a child's plate and ask her to leave some over? hmm

But nor do I make a big fuss if DD actually leaves behind some food.

What do you get out of this relationship now?.

How would you feel if your DD ended up with someone like this man for a H?, you sure currently teaching her that his abusive treatment of you both is on some level acceptable to you.

This is no way for either she or you to live actually. Both of you are teaching her damaging lessons on relationships currently.

Such men do not change, he will always think that he is right and that you are his low life to order about as he sees fit.

To be honest eating everything on your plate is awful, surely she can decide how much she wants to eat?

I agree with encouraging kids not to be wasteful but if a plate is finished then surely there was either a) to much but she has stuffed it down or b) to little on the plate.

If he criticizes the way you parent then then that is disrespectful.

If you found out tomorrow that he was going away for a month, say on a business trip, what would your first emotion be on hearing this news? Would you be sad or relieved?

BitOutOfPractice Mon 05-Aug-13 13:06:35

I don't think I need to tell you that you didn't cover yourself in glory here OP. The physical tussle is bad. So is the arguing aout her in front of her sad

But at least you are big enough to admit mistakes and try and make amends. He sounds like an utter nightmare. Controlling and angry and a terrible parent, not a brilliant one as you contend.

This goes deeper than this incident and needs to be addressed. A fact which I suspect will be lost on him

Wuldric Mon 05-Aug-13 13:10:59

There's a balance to be had. I personally deplore fussiness in children and I don't like adapting to it or catering for it. Children (and adults) should eat proper meals, they should sit at the table politely, they should use their cutlery properly, they should not turn their noses up at their nicely cooked vegetables and they should say please and thank you. To allow them to behave badly is creating not just a rod for your own back, but a rod for everyone else's in later years. I suspect this is where your DH is coming from.

But he's being a bit too rough with it all, and when you lost your temper you lost the argument IYSWIM. You two just need to talk, I reckon.

BitOutOfPractice Mon 05-Aug-13 13:12:57

And as an aside, I think "you're not sophisticated" is the oddest insult I've ever heard!!

OP has tried to talk to him Wuldric but he doesn`t listen and he is always right.

You cannot reason with unreasonable people. I agree she shouldn`t have grabbed him but she clearly flipped when she saw her child distressed because of his actions.

MadBusLady Mon 05-Aug-13 13:17:24

Have a careful think about your post about her being "away with the fairies" at bathtime. Is that something your DH encouraged you to think? Because as Turnip says, it's not a disaster if she misses the odd bit in the shower. Any more than it's a disaster if she regulates her own appetite and doesn't need all her dinner. These are just natural steps on the path to being an independent person. They're not "tendencies" to be "discouraged".

That poor child is cultivating some magnificent anxiety issues.

BumpkinMe Mon 05-Aug-13 13:19:14

Wuldric you are right. I did say, he was "old school" when it comes to these things. And to a large extent, I do agree with him. But the being rough part grates on me. I would like him to tone it down, but that doesn't look like it will happen any time soon.

Bit I think its because I grabbed his shirt and wouldn't let go. It was so cartoonish and bizarre, me hanging on to his shirt tails and him pulling forward. Yep, that's me, the unsophisticated clown! grin

BumpkinMe Mon 05-Aug-13 13:24:27

No MadBus, it's not as dire as that smile. She is a typical 6 year old, very engrossed in her play and stories.

He is a brilliant parent, I stand by that. He is quite protective of DD, spends loads of time playing with her, and he is quite generous, in all senses of the word. Acknowledging her efforts, cheering her on and everything.

But yes, he has certain ideas in his head, that he feels are absolutely sacrosanct. And he will go on doing them again and again, even when he is requested not to. That bit of his behaviour is controlling. I just don't want that controlling behaviour to spill over to other major areas of life. Especially into DD's.

TurnipCake Mon 05-Aug-13 13:30:32

I just don't want that controlling behaviour to spill over to other major areas of life. Especially into DD's.

It is though, isn't it? What you describe at bath time isn't exactly a little blip in context. He won't take on board you talking to him about it, and it's at the point where you're having rows in front of your daughter. All the good things you mention fade into comparison against a man who rough handles her at bathtime - a time where she's vulnerable, naked and cannot physically defend herself.

As Attila said, do you want your daughter to end up with someone like her father treats her now?

Based on what you have told us he isn`t a brilliant parent at all. Where is he now? How long will he give you the silent treatment?

Will you be able to discuss his abusive language, or does that just get swept under the rug.

LEMisdisappointed Mon 05-Aug-13 13:39:49

you BOTH need to grow up here, your DD is stuck in the middle of this and she will be terrified, believe me, she will. If you can't resolve things, and being called a low-life is pretty unresolvable if you ask me, then you need to think about separate, your DD does not deserve to live in a war zone where she is used as ammunition!

LEMisdisappointed Mon 05-Aug-13 13:41:20


BumpkinMe Mon 05-Aug-13 13:43:38

DamnDe he is at work. I wanted to discuss the whole thing the next morning, to tell him why I intervened and that's when I got called a low-life.

I don't know what to do. As Wuldric said upthread, I lost any moral ground when I grabbed his shirt.

tanukiton Mon 05-Aug-13 13:45:51

he sounds very controlling but could it be that he hasn't realise your dd is growing up? That she can was her own face and clean herself with the flannel? That Your dd can decide for herself how much she wants to eat( within reason). Can,t you have a chat along the lines of I remember when dd couldn't put on her jacket And now she is choosing her own. When she could eat byherself but now She can put her own food on her plate (this might help reduce the 'eat everything on your plate' too.

LEMisdisappointed Mon 05-Aug-13 13:47:44

Its not about moral high ground - when you talk about him being rough, is it just at showertime? You say he acknowledges efforts and cheers her on - how does he behave if she doesn't do so well at something? Quite frankly, if i were six id be terrified of the man sad

This isn`t about moral high ground though. you need to evaluate if this is a healthy, balanced relationship. If it isn`t then it will be having a negative impact on both you and your daughter.

crazyhead Mon 05-Aug-13 13:55:22

I am 36 and am still pretty vague about how thoroughly I clean in the shower, and I daresay sometimes I don't finish my dinner. Astonishingly, I am a reasonably well rounded individual and fairly successful. Due to my own shortcomings, I can't imagine hassling my son about these things! I mean, if he goes through his whole life being vague in the shower, who cares?

You should never fight physically in front of your daughter, but all I'd say is that unless your husband holds himself up to the astonishingly high/spurious standards he seems set for your daughter, he is a bit of a hypocrite, and if he isn't prepared to change his ways, you've got a problem here.

Fairylea Mon 05-Aug-13 14:06:33

Your dd is distressed because her dad is putting soap all over her face and eyes and carrying on doing it despite knowing she is upset .... and your thread is about him calling your unsophisticated?! Really?

It's almost like the way he treats your dd is by and by. To me getting soap in her eyes and letting her cry about it and carrying on is abusive behaviour. It is cruel and unnecessary and you should be asking him to leave unless he can stop being such a bully.

Tortington Mon 05-Aug-13 14:12:53

at 6 she should be able to shower herself. if she gets out and has missed something, tell her to do it again. she'll get it right eventually.

if you pander to this kind of behaviour with either of them
away with the fairies not an excuse to not be able to shower properly at 6.

the same way as trying to get him to talk to you repeatedly when he has clearly shown that he wishes to weild an emotional power through sulking and namecalling will only feed this.

BumpkinMe Mon 05-Aug-13 14:16:11

LEM he is quite laid-back when she doesn't do something right, or isn't top at school, but gets weirdly competitive about things like her not having lost a tooth. He frets about friends or classmates having already lost three milk teeth. That's why I'm wary of coming right out and saying he is a complete bastard.

Anyway, some very good points here. Will be talking to DH later and if the discussion keeps going round in loops, I know I have to face up to some harsh truths.

Thanks everyone. Very grateful for your kindness.

Potteresque97 Mon 05-Aug-13 14:20:47

Re the clearing plates at dinner, dh may want to research that, there's a daily fail article on links to eating disorders from that which certainly is related to my experience.

captainmummy Mon 05-Aug-13 14:49:36

He does sound like a bully. 'Old school'? Does that mean that as she gets older and starts defying him it'll be smacking? Or worse?

Forget about the 'moral high ground' - you were defending your dd.

You both need to set some rules - definitely about parenting, and also about how you settle differences.

unsophisticated? How weird.

daytoday Mon 05-Aug-13 14:53:47

No, main carer doesn't get the monopoly to dictate things their way every time. Its good for kids to do things differently with dad / gran etc. You might be giving clear signals for your daughter to dislike how dad does things. It would be very easy for me to give these signals to my kids - to undermine my husband. Especially at bath time and bedtime when everyone is tired.

daytoday Mon 05-Aug-13 14:56:29

Sorry, cut out too soon. I get the impression that there is a battle going on between you both about control in the family?

wordyBird Mon 05-Aug-13 15:10:56

He does sound more of a bully than 'old school' to be frank.

But this
he will go on doing them again and again, even when he is requested not to
rings major warning bells for me.

Because it indicates a very casual attitude to consent, and other people's boundaries.

It has to be confronted head on – do not give in for a quiet life.

Gubbins Mon 05-Aug-13 15:42:59

Good grief! He's washing her face, making sure she clears her plate and gets some fresh air. He's not abusing her. There is no soap in her eyes; OP specifically said her eyes were shut. She has also said he doesn't get angry with her at mealtimes. He parents differently from his partner but he is as much her parent as her mother and may, stupidly, have tried to prove that point when washing her.

My 8 year old is crap at washing her face, so when the crust and filth get too much I will do it. I use soap (when did soap become a prohibited substance?) and wipe all over her face. She scrunches up her face and would probably choose that I didn't do it, but if she's not going to do it herself then I will. When they hated teeth brushing I used to get them in a headlock and do it anyway and I'm afraid I also carried on with weekly hair washing despite the wails. Call social services on me now.

GreyWhites Mon 05-Aug-13 15:47:04

" DD is only 6 and he should pick his battles."

I think you should learn too. If there are ways you want him to do things with your daughter, you need to discuss this calmly, and later on. When you see him doing things that wind you up, just walk away. Make a note to discuss it with him calmly later.

I say this because my partner sounds a lot like yours, he does loads of things which annoy the hell out of me, but confronting him with it whilst he's doing it is never going to get the best response from him, he will just dig his heels in. Screaming and shouting, grabbing him and telling your partner "don't come near her anymore" in front of your daughter is far more liable to cause lasting damage to her than an overly rough wipe-down with a flannel. Get things in perspective. If you think your way is right, trust that if you convey this in a rational way, he will respond positively. Even if he refuses to listen you've managed to get your point across without demeaning yourself and traumatising your daughter.

BumpkinMe Mon 05-Aug-13 16:02:47

Thanks, Gubbins. That is why I didn't stray into the "abuse" territory. But I can see how people can be concerned and flag it up. I like it that MNers are coming at it from different angles and views.

Whatever he was doing, in your own words, distressed her, if someone is distressed you stop, you don't just carry on regardless.

Hope your chat goes well Bumpkin and you clear the air and get your point across.

BumpkinMe Mon 05-Aug-13 16:18:43

Thanks DamnDeDoubtance. I'm still not impressed with the "low-life" comment.

Even after he said he doesn't want to talk to me in the morning, I sat down anyway for a couple of minutes and stated calmly why I was upset and how DD is a person in her own right and how her wishes have to be taken into account. I didn't talk about his name-calling, because at that point I was also feeling guilty for having lost my rag.

He had a face like thunder, but I couldn't skulk away without saying my piece. I am not looking forward to another chat. But I'm sure I don't want his help at bathtime anymore. sad

cuillereasoupe Mon 05-Aug-13 16:28:58

^absolutely what gubbins said.

Twinklestein Mon 05-Aug-13 19:24:49

See I get the OP, because my dad used to be a bit aggressive with me & my sis - I don't mean anything abusive - just that play was sometimes a bit too rough & not knowing when to stop.

When he was cross he used to hook his hand at the back of our necks & push us around & my sis & I simply will not let him do that to our kids now.

It sounds like the OP's H is playing the way boys play, or like a big friendly dog, not understanding that it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming for small girls.

Big guys don't necessarily know that they can be intimidating.

Personally I would get a bit panicky if someone was spraying water in my face...

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 05-Aug-13 19:38:48

I know my DCs' tones of voice and, when they were younger, when tears were fake or real. I expect in this case both parents knew, too.

If you have had this conversation many times, I assume he was making a point of 'doing it his way', I think he was being deliberately rough because he knew you'd kick off so he wouldn't have to give DD a shower/bath any longer.

The sad thing is that DD was in the middle of this.

Phineyj Mon 05-Aug-13 20:22:56

I don't suppose by any chance he is one of several boys is he? If he's basically a decent bloke it may be as twinkle said, that he doesn't intend to be rough.

How did the chat go Bumpkin?

nkf Tue 06-Aug-13 08:01:11

A six year shouldn't be crying when she is showered. Or forced to finish food. Or have someone fretting over lost teeth. I think your feelings are correct. The unsophisticated lowlife comment is rude and stupid.

NotDead Tue 06-Aug-13 08:04:27

Here's how to win the sophisticated argument - tell him that whilst you appreciate his advice as to clearing the plate etc, this is a distinctly english custom and that you would like your daughter to appreciate that internationally it can give the message that your host has not given you enough food.

Ask him to stop referring to exaggerated english/english middle class methods (children are nuisances is one of these!) as 'sophisticated' when really they are 'outdated' whereas sophisticated children can move between customs and audiences flexibly and appropriately.

er he might hate this if one 'sophistication' of his is 'don't question the man - he is head of the household' hmmm

Wellwobbly Tue 06-Aug-13 08:53:52

Its a way of deflecting his bad behaviour on to you (perfect male strategy, because we fall for it!)

Ignore his pathetic diversion.

The issue is he was hurting his daughter and bullying her. You were right to, and will always protect someone small from being overpowered.

Keep THAT firmly in the room. Do NOT get sidetracked from this. Ask him to go away and think about why he was misusing power and not caring. Ask him what he was really angry about. Ask him if his mother did this to him. And whether he would like a shower spray with soap in his mouth eyes and ears.

What a wierd way to wash a child in the face! What about a gentle wipe with a face towel?

Wellwobbly Tue 06-Aug-13 08:57:54


"When they hated teeth brushing I used to get them in a headlock and do it anyway "

is what my dentist tells me ALL parents should do!! Up until the age of 10 'because children simply do not have the fine motor control necessary for proper dental hygiene'.
We should brush our children's teeth.

I didn't, and they all got hideous decay which took a LOT of money to sort out (see dentist comment above)

and I backed away from brushing hair. Result: my child had a bird's nest from hell and looked like a street kid.

So you are made of sterner stuff than me, Gubbins!! (I wish I had a bit more of your gumption)

I cleaned my daughters teeth until she could do them properly herself. I never had to put her in a head lock ditto hair brushing. hmm

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