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To think DH shouldn't be embarrassed by his own child?

(121 Posts)
BatCave Mon 03-Dec-12 10:04:59

DD is 2.4, and going through, well, a toddler stage of demanding stubbornness with a screaming fit if she's told "no".

Busy shop yesterday and we had foolishly foolishly decided to take her and the baby shopping. She was bored, tired etc and had a screaming fit in the middle of a busy shop. I mean ear splitting shrieking of epic proportions. DH was getting stressed with her, moaning and shouting at her - it wasn't working so I took over trying to calm her down and get her back in the pushchair. HE WALKED OFF!!! I had the baby in a sling was trying to wrestle a screaming toddler and he just walked away.

When I questioned him after he said he was really embarrassed and had seen one of his mates. He thinks we have the worst behaved child in the world, keeps asking me where we've gone wrong?!

I'm sure we have a normal toddler.... Don't we? Please tell me this is normal...

BatCave Mon 03-Dec-12 11:07:08

Goldmandra you're right, but I know he will not even consider doing something like that, he won't even go to a dads group. When I suggest stuff like this I get told I'm nagging or making him even more stressed out, and tbh it feels like that's what I'm doing too. He sees every suggestion I make as a criticism, perhaps it's my fault, I don't know.

I think it's important for children to learn that sometimes they have to do stuff that they don't want to, and that a tantrum is not acceptable. I'm still trying to work out the best way to teach her this. I also believe that it's possibly wise to avoid situations such as this if it can be helped, but you can't live your life avoiding doing stuff.

Spero Mon 03-Dec-12 11:11:15

'he won't even consider' ??? Then you have some very rocky roads ahead of you. The problem here is not your children's behaviour. Either you accept you have three children and act accordingly, or he grows up and becomes a dad. Otherwise it is going to be a lot of work for you. For me, the resentment got too much and the relationship ended.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Mon 03-Dec-12 11:13:04

My Dh didn't go to any "dad's groups" either. But if he had walked away from me when I was struggling with kids, he would not have me thinking it might be my fault. He would be forced to take full responsibility for his inadequacy.

He was embarassed because he saw his mate ? How juvenile.

rainrainandmorerain Mon 03-Dec-12 11:13:34

batcave - I know what you mean when you say children have to learn to do things they don't want to, and tantrums are not acceptable....

but there is a line to be walked, and I woudl be very careful your husband's attitude isn't influencing you in the wrong way here.

Yes, tantrums are to be discouraged. But for most children, they are a phase, and your daughter, at 2 (?) WILL have tantrums. It's about damage limitation, not 'fixing' her, I'm afraid.

And with small children, you have to be realistic about what you expect them to cope with. Most toddlers hate shopping. Esp of the 'just follow me around/don't touch anything' sort. If you keep putting very small children in situations where they are more LIKELY to behave badly, you aren't teaching them anything. You're just not really giving them a chance to behave well.

I'm not having a go at you, btw. I just think that your husband is at fault here, and taking on his unreasonable and uninformed expectations will not help.

BatCave Mon 03-Dec-12 11:21:05

rain that makes perfect sense and yes I understand. Damage limitation, yes that's a good way to look at it.

I know I have a man child, I often resent this fact and I always doubt myself. He takes every suggestion as a criticism and I then feel bad.

Goldmandra Mon 03-Dec-12 12:29:37

Can you engage him in thinking about this without offering suggestions? My DH is very poor at thinking about anything from our DDs' point of view. If I tell him he should have handled something differently he goes straight on the the defensive.

These days I ask him what the child was doing and why, what the child heard when he spoke and how she might have interpreted it and whether he can think of a better way to have handled the situation. I learned this as a method of conflict resolution to teach children but it works well on DH.

Can you take a quiet moment, possibly when the children are in bed and ask your DH to talk you through how he thinks you might have experienced the episode you have described? Ask him why he thinks your DD tantrums and what he thinks she needs to learn. follow it up by asking him to suggest how he thinks tantrums in public should be handled in the future. Try really hard not to tell him how you felt but lead him through working out what a s****y thing he did to you for himself.

Once you've got him to proposed a strategy for managing public tantrums that you both feel comfortable with remind him of that strategy every time you go out and expect him to keep to it.

If he resists, ask him if he plans of never being able to take his own children anywhere without you because if he can't handle tantrums that is what he will have to do.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Mon 03-Dec-12 12:33:00

Good Lord, I would hate to have to micro-manage my husband's behaviour, attitudes, thought process and strategies to that extent shock

Op isn't his therapist, she's his wife. If she wants an equal partnership wrt childcare and shit work, he needs to get a fucking grip, she needs to stop making excuses for his juvenile behaviour and not gently and carefully debrief him every evening.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 03-Dec-12 12:40:01

What AnyFucker said.

Goldmandra Mon 03-Dec-12 13:04:35

I hate having to do it too but sometimes that is what it takes. I'd rather work at solving the problem than walk away from a relationship because my DH couldn't understand the damage he was doing.
Obviously it would be better presented at a parenting course but the OP's DH won't go on one.
If your DH/DP already gets what is going on in his DC's heads you're lucky and I'm pleased for you. Mine doesn't get it and clearly neither does the OP's.

rainrainandmorerain Mon 03-Dec-12 14:52:19

goldmandra, I think you describe a counselling process well there.

But if I had to treat my husband like that, I would leave him.

Spero Mon 03-Dec-12 15:03:18

I agree, I would rather be single than be my partner's therapist on a daily basis. If you are ok with that, that is great, and he is incredibly lucky he met you. But you need to be honest with yourself and the situation you are in and what you are willing and able to do to fix it. I am a bit worried the op is in denial, in making the child part of the problem here. Childs behaviour very normal and time limited! husband however will be a selfish arse for ever, unless he is willing to change.

If he is not willing, op has to be very clear headed about what kind of relationship she is in and whether she can cope long term.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 03-Dec-12 15:06:49

I agree, a husband who has someone willing to be his counsellor, for free, in perpetuity as well as being his wife is very lucky indeed.

But I don't think anyone should have to live like that and I think men, not just women, should take responsibility for learning to understand how to deal with their young children.

Whocansay Mon 03-Dec-12 15:13:13

OP - apologies have not had time to read the thread, but just wanted to make a suggestion, as I also have an 'angel' who is sometimes a handful!

When we go to the shops, or anywhere where he could potentially kick off, I give him a job to do. For instance, in the supermarket, he will 'smell' the food (yes, even the stuff in tins!) to 'make sure it's nice', and put it in the basket. He then helps to unload and pack. I say help....grin

Anyway, this sort of thing makes him feel wanted / important / included and distracts him from the fact that we're on a boring errand.

Your toddler is perfectly normal. Your husband is being ridiculous though.

All the best.

MoreBeta Mon 03-Dec-12 15:14:16

I learned early on that taking DSs to shops was a bad idea. I still dont even now they are 10 and 12.

Internet shopping is the way to go. Tell DH that. Problem solved.

Goldmandra Mon 03-Dec-12 15:19:04

Maybe the OP's husband doesn't need someone to be a daily counsellor, just someone to help him see that the only solution to feeling unable to deal with his children is walking away. Once he realises that he can be in control he'll probably be able to transfer that skill to different future situations and life will be better for them all round.

rain I guess you wouldn't have married my husband in the first place but then again maybe he wouldn't have chosen to marry you. It takes all sorts.... smile

StuntGirl Mon 03-Dec-12 15:22:11

He's not a good dad. Just putting that out there. He might be good at some bits, but I bet they're the bits he chooses, and probably always the nice bits?

Not everyone needs parenting classes. But those who don't seek advice from elsewhere. Your husband is not only not doing that, he's actively removing himself from parenting situations when it gets a bit tough.

rhetorician Mon 03-Dec-12 15:29:35

"he's just shit when it all goes wrong" - given that this is about 75% of the time with under 5s (50% on a good day!) he probably needs to just get on with it. Sit down with him and agree a strategy - in this case he could at least have taken the baby while you dealt with toddler. I find my child's behaviour embarrassing at times, but she is 4 and doesn't care what other people need a united front, and he needs to support you, not abandon you!

PickledInAPearTree Mon 03-Dec-12 15:32:19

Totally normal op. ds nearly two a d goes into the dark zone if taken shopping.

Your husband was a total plonker I'd be fuming.

When ds does it dp gave him the firemans lift out the shop and we plonked him down outside to calm down.

Everyone's toddler is a nightmare at times he embarrassed himself more by going off in a strop!

Spero Mon 03-Dec-12 15:33:20

Someone who cant see a situation from a child's perspective and who can't or won't talk about it with his partner without being 'counselled' seems like an enormous drain on the energy of the counselling party. He would have to bring quite a lot to the relationship in other areas to make it worth while, in my view.

But as you say, each to their own. As long as you know what you are signing up for and don't let the resentment eat you alive a little further down the road.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 03-Dec-12 15:34:37

We haven't got children yet so can't really comment on how to deal with tantrums, but my husband swears blind that when we do and the little darling decides to have a tantrum in a shop, he will deal with it like the woman in the cold remedy advert - have a full on childish temper tantrum himself, throwing himself around the floor, screaming and crying! He hopes the child will be so shocked it will stop!

I guess this will only work once though, because after that the child may find it quite funny and then deliberately have a tantrum in the hope that Daddy will follow suit!

Common sense would have suggested he scooped her up, took the buggy and got her somewhere quiet to calm down. You and the baby could have carried on with the shopping.

I had something which stopped many a supermarket meltdown (and gave the shoppers and staff a smile)

Has he never been to the 7th circle of hell that is a large soft play place and seen multiple toddlers in action? shock

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Mon 03-Dec-12 15:37:14

I don't profess to know what is going on in a child's head (I suspect a great big whirl of me me me tbh smile ) but I didn't need any parenting classes to tell me that if you sign up to having children together you deal with the bad bits as well as the good bits together

taken the buggy

rogersmellyonthetelly Mon 03-Dec-12 15:38:50

Seriously? If your kids don't embarrass you regularly then you really aren't getting your money's worth! I can count at least twice this month where one or the other of mine has made me cringe inside with something they have said or done. When they were toddlers it was tantrums, now it's back chat or repeating something they have overheard (usually a swear word muttered under my breath) at an inopportune moment.
It's fine to be embarrassed by your kids, but it's not fine to walk away and leave you to it!

actually it might have been right first time around taken/took

<<throws self on floor and starts tantrumming over grammatical inexactitude>>

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