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DH being unreasonable? Or am I expecting too much?

(122 Posts)
jambomum Tue 14-Jun-11 12:23:18

My DH announced last night that he doesn't want to spend all his free time with our 2 kids and doesn't see that there is a problem with them spending 2 hours on a Sunday morning watching TV whilst he reads the papers. DS is 6 and DD is 2.
DS has complained that DH ignores him - so he is feeling it.
I've suggested that DH have some time to himself by arrangment and that he plays with the kids instead of reading the paper - that didn't go down well.
I think this is all related to how he grew up (with split parents and a nasty SD) whereas my family was/is very close and supportive.
Help - what do I do about this?

GypsyMoth Tue 14-Jun-11 12:25:41

i think as an adult and parent its his choice....if he is spending time with the dc then fine,why cant he read the paper?

YABU - I dont see why he cant play with the kids but have 2 hours on a sunday reading his paper!! Whats he like the rest of the time?

Flisspaps Tue 14-Jun-11 12:28:43

Why can't his time to himself 'by arrangement' be 2 hours on a Sunday morning with the paper, whilst the kids watch TV? As long as he has interaction with them at other times, where's the issue? There's no harm in letting children get on with it by themselves sometimes.

Just because he's not colouring in/baking/reading stories/taking them out for that time doesn't mean that he's unsupportive or not close to his children!

JarethTheGoblinKing Tue 14-Jun-11 12:29:36

As long as he spends some of his time with the kids, then what's the harm with a couple of hours TV on a Sunday? DP gets up with DS early one day at the weekend and they usually watch a film while he has to do work, no problem with that..

Ineedacleaneriamalazyslattern Tue 14-Jun-11 12:30:36

YANBU My ex was like this. It's not a case or it wasn't in my situation that he couldn't read the paper it was that in general there was a massive lack of interaction with the dc. He would spend hours on his computer, reading the paper, watching telly or whatever at the expense of interaction with the dc. They would be accused of disturbing him and a huge amount of time could pass without him so much as grunting at them and the dc did feel ignored.

jambomum Tue 14-Jun-11 12:30:47

Because DS announced , during a bout of tears last night that Daddy doesn;t care about me. He just reads the paper and when I hurt myself he doesn';t believe me (DH is a believer in the stiff upper lip and being a man).
GIven that we both work full time and see our kids for 1 hour either end of the day during the week, so weekends are our time to engage with them fully and of course to relax ourselves.
I'm prepared to sacrifice me time for the sake of my young kids, he's not.
Is it me who is being unreasonable?

JarethTheGoblinKing Tue 14-Jun-11 12:32:26

Just because you spend all your free time with your children doesn't mean that this is the only way of doing things. I honestly don't see what's wrong with reading the paper while the kids watch TV. If he's totally ignoring them, and not seeing to their needs, or listening to them when they talk to him, then there is something wrong.
What is your DS doing to hurt himself while watching TV? confused

jambomum Tue 14-Jun-11 12:34:02

Sorry. Doesn't hurt himself whilst watching TV. It was just that the 2 things were DS examples of when Daddy ignores him.

fuzzpigFriday Tue 14-Jun-11 12:35:10

It depends what he's like with the rest of the time really.

Although if a 6yo is crying that daddy doesn't care about him... Well if that doesn't make your DH change I don't know what will sad

JarethTheGoblinKing Tue 14-Jun-11 12:35:54

Oh, Ok.. sorry. Well, the issue isn't that your DH is reading the paper then, it's that he's not available if needed. It's fine having time to youself, and 6yo's should be capable of entertaining themselves for a bit, but if your DS needs your DH then the paper just has to wait.. think that's the difference..

CoffeeDodger Tue 14-Jun-11 12:39:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jambomum Tue 14-Jun-11 12:39:48

My problem is that DH doesn;t think that he is wrong and thinks that DS is too baby in 'needing him' and wants him to 'grow up' .
How do I get the message across to DH that DS is asking for his father's time and attention and that if he doesn;t give it to him now, then in 12 years time he might just ignore him back.

GypsyMoth Tue 14-Jun-11 12:41:37

what,in a typical weekend,does your dh do with his ds??

GypsyMoth Tue 14-Jun-11 12:42:04

and was your dh the only adult around when ds hurt himself?

Chrysanthemum5 Tue 14-Jun-11 12:43:24

Have you explained to him that in a few years time his DS might be too busy for him, so this time while they are young is really precious? And why does he need to read the paper for 2 hours during the day, what about once the kids are in bed can't he read then?

If he is doing this because of how he was raised has he considered how it made him feel as a child?

I think your suggestion of time on his own then playing with the DCs was very reasonable.

Depends if DH spends any time with the kids weekends....how much attention does your DS want?? If DH doesnt spend any time at all with them then of course he needs to. But if say on a saturday and sunday afternoon he interacts with them then he is perfectly entitled to have a couple of hours to read his paper!

My DS exagerates sometimes......just to get attention......

jambomum Tue 14-Jun-11 12:47:07

We all go out together to the park or to friends, or to the shops etc, so DH is present and participating, when we are out. It's more to do with not taking the initiative and not planning to do anything and not interacting when we are at home.

Example - We went to play tennis last week. DS tripped and skinned both knees. Tears ensued. DH sympathetic for first minute - rubbed it better and then told him to stop crying. DS clearly in pain and upset by trauma. DS said he wanted to go home - so game abandoned. DS cried all the way home about how sore his knees were - DH told him to stop crying as it couldn't still be sore. THat night we had another episode when he wouldn't put knees in the bath, DH told him he was being silly (as did I), but it turned into quite a conflict as DH totally lacked sympathy whilst I tried to explain that soaking in bath would make them better.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Tue 14-Jun-11 12:47:21

The issue isn't the two hours on a Sunday, then, is it? It's the rest of their dynamic. You keep not answering; is he present and playful and loving with them the rest of the weekend?

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Tue 14-Jun-11 12:48:38

Sorry cross-post. It sounds like he does loads with the kids, then, it's just that you don't like the way he parents. Which is entirely different from the two hours with the paper thing.

Dropdeadfred Tue 14-Jun-11 12:48:39

tell him to listen to this

Miggsie Tue 14-Jun-11 12:49:41

The paper reading thing is almost irrelevant as far as I can see. The real issue is that your DH doesn't seem to think his son has any emotional needs and that he, as a father, doesn't think his son needs him. This is very very bad for your son's emotional development and you need to talk to your DH and tell him DS is actually a child and wants/needs his dad. He needs support and, importantly attention and approval, otherwise he will grow up with a massive resentment towards his father and a desperate desire to get his father's attention which will result in quite dreadful teenage years as you all struggle with the fact that your DH can't ineract emotionally with his son.

I'm guessing your DD gets attention, because, as a girl, she is allowed to be emotionally needy, but your DH doesn't think boys should be?

This is really harsh on your DS and your husband needs to think about it. Just because he had a shit relationship with his step dad does not mean he should repeat this to his own son.

MIFLAW Tue 14-Jun-11 12:49:46

It's two different things, isn't it?

As a dad, I relish time with my children but also time alone - and I confess that, some Sunday mornings, when I REALLY don't want to get up early with my (3yo) elder daughter I will put on TV or DVD and "rest my eyes" on the sofa. The DVD is also my friend on weekday mornings because it means I can have a shower.

BUT - my daughter knows 100% that, if she needs me, I will drop everything - and that "no" and "wait" are two different things, not synonyms.

Can't imagine that ever changing to be honest.

Is this useful?

BsshBossh Tue 14-Jun-11 12:49:55

I don't understand what exactly your DH is doing wrong. I'm assuming he gives his DC a healthy amount of attention during the weekend, so what's wrong with him (or you) wanting 2 hours to do his own thing whilst the DC amuse themselves. My DD is 3 and can amuse herself while I read the newspaper (though admittedly not for 2 hours, yet!!). At 6 your DS should be able to potter; I used to potter around when my fulltime working parents read the paper on the weekends - from 4 yo as I recall. I have such fond memories of my parents and I pottering around alongside each other - my parents didn't play much with me but it never seemed to matter.

Ealingkate Tue 14-Jun-11 12:50:03

Does you DH have any activities that he does do with the kids at the weekend?? Swimming, taking them to the park?? I suppose it really depends on what sort of relationship he wants to have with the kids, is he looking to have the same kind of relationship with his kids as his dad did with him?? But, in isolation reading the paper on a Sunday morning is no biggie?

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