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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...

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 04-Dec-12 11:56:10

I agree with Kalisi about the passive-aggressiveness.

And I'm still shock at his being embarrassed in front of his mate. That's the behaviour of an adolescent, not an adult.

dreamingbohemian Tue 04-Dec-12 12:02:24

How much time does your DH spend with your daughter? In the evenings, on weekends, does he work long hours?

You say you didn't want to be stuck at home alone with the 2 DC (again) -- is he not around much on the weekend?

It sounds like he just has no clue what he's doing and instead of doing something about that he's lashing out and blaming you and your daughter.

You really need to sort this out, before your DD gets much older and starts learning some very damaging lessons.

I also think the bit about dinner is quite odd. Does he often misinterpret things unusually?

Oblomov Tue 04-Dec-12 12:09:34

I don't think it's such a crime to be embarrassed by your child.
Dh and I were embarrassed by our children last sunday when we took them to look at settees/sofa's.
We told them, that we appreciated it wasn't exciting, but it had to be done and we expected them to behave. They didn't. We had to leave. They were so bad, jumping around , despite being repeatedly told not to. We drove home in silence.
And yes, I have been on parenting courses before.
But sometimes children just don't behave and it is embarassing.
THAT is normal.

Oblomov Tue 04-Dec-12 12:14:21

Re Molotov's Fireman lift, dh does a great one, which normally results in peals of laughter. And even I can do it. But it too normally just results in laughing.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 04-Dec-12 12:54:28

It's not the being embarrassed so much as the fact that he 'dealt' with it by walking away and leaving the OP to struggle, and the fact that he said he was embarrassed because one of his mates was there. The first is irresponsible and the second is childish.

BatCave Tue 04-Dec-12 13:00:01

Actually, yes, Oblomov you're right, I should really have worded my AIBU better in retrospect. It IS embarrassing, but it's the way he reacted that is the issue.

Goldmandra thank you, alas I don't think I'm that patient really. I want to be a bit more accepting of him really.

dreaming he's gone to work in the morning and home after she's in bed monday to Friday. That's why he wants to spend time as a family at the weekends. He will actively participate, including in discipline but I'd have to explain how to, generally he just moans at her. When she was a lot younger he would blame the fact that I was breastfeeding on him being able to care for her and in some respects he's doing the same with the baby now.

Writing all this makes me think perhaps we need to have a full and frank discussion about laying down rules for discipline. Most rules are unspoken but obvious to me. I guess he just doesn't get it. There is a selfish streak, watching football does take priority for him EVERY weekend over most things, but he will at least watch it at home with us.

kalisi & lady I just can't see it, but maybe I'm blinkered. I do know that something isn't right though, Sounds to me like he is having control issues with your daughter. He doesn't want to put in the graft but then gets shitty when she doesn't respect his authority. yes I think you're right here but I don't think he blames me. I think it's more if a case in that he is completely lacking in confidence to make his own decisions, but at the same time he won't put othe effort required to research toddlers and discipline or ask someone for help.

My mind is spinning really, so many thoughts and they don't always agree.

Goldmandra Tue 04-Dec-12 14:01:58

I think thread has probably given you a fair bit of food for thought, BatCave. It certainly has me!

I can't tell from reading whether this is a case of no understanding or no will to understand. A little bit of me can see something in your DH's behaviour which reflects a level of jealousy or resentment of your children which doesn't make me feel comfortable.

I guess you need to look at other aspects of your DH's life and see if he has problems working out how other people maybe thinking too. If he doesn't and this is restricted to your family relationships you probably need to get some lines of communication open before this goes any further.

If understanding the thoughts and feelings of others is genuinely difficult for him you still need to be frank with him and find ways to make sure he does understand a little bit more. There is even more need for him to attend a parenting course. Otherwise his future relationship with his children is could be quite dysfunctional.

Dozer Tue 04-Dec-12 14:14:39

His behaviour doesn't sound great tbh. If it isn't possible for him to see his DC in the week at all due to work he shouldn't be prioritising watching football / shopping at the weekend. It's sad that you feel you all have to watch it at home to get some time with him. And his attitude towards your toddler and you sounds poor.

Dozer Tue 04-Dec-12 14:17:31

I think the term is "manchild".

dreamingbohemian Tue 04-Dec-12 14:24:48

So he doesn't see her at all during the week, and on the weekend still prioritises football? I do think you need to have a frank discussion. He just doesn't sound like he has a clue at all.

How much time, in a given week, does he spend taking care of his daughter all by himself? Can you increase it? He needs to really understand how to take care of her properly and it sounds like he can only learn by doing.

MyLastDuchess Tue 04-Dec-12 14:29:01

It's also known fact that everyone else's child is uniquely well behaved at the time yours is throwing itself on the floor and shrieking like a banshee. Something well worth reminding your DH, OP.

Oh yes. My DS (now 2.4) was a very, very difficult baby who was always crying and was very hard to settle. We took him on a long-haul flight at one stage and he amazed us by sleeping beautifully. I was sitting next to a father with a child of similar age who was crying and unhappy, and the father was asking me what my secret was! I think DS just wanted to show the other baby up grin

I think your DH really needs to read a book about early childhood development, and/or have a chat to a childminder or similar, and/or go shopping more during times when there are lots of toddlers about. Or just get him to think about the stage of life that your DD is at - she can't express herself much verbally, she is only just at the stage when she is learning that she can't have everything she wants (having up to now had you jump to fulfil her every wish), and she's struggling with learning that lesson. It's quite logical if he thinks about it.

schobe Tue 04-Dec-12 14:29:40

He's out of the house Monday to Friday while the kids are awake, but he still insists on watching football as 1st priority at the weekend?

Can he not record games and watch them after the kids are asleep? Or he could just watch match of the day like most normal people who have had to compromise since having children.

Does he really think that because he's in the same house in front of a football match, that's spending time together?

And his idea of 'family time' is going shopping for himself but dragging you all along.

He doesn't sound like he knows one end of a child from the other tbh.

DingDongKethryverilyonHigh Tue 04-Dec-12 14:38:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BatCave Tue 04-Dec-12 15:13:39

Yes Goldmandra it really is. Is funny, I think about these issues a lot, but writing them down and hearing everyone's opinions here makes it sound very different indeed.

I suppose the way I think of him is that he is rather immature and a bit selfish, rather than nasty. Manchild - yes indeed.

*Does he really think that because he's in the same house in front of a football match, that's spending time together?

And his idea of 'family time' is going shopping for himself but dragging you all along.*

In essence, yes.

dreaming I would say he looks after her on his own for about 2 or 3 hours a week or so. Mostly in the morning when she wakes up early and he'll let me have another hour in bed if I've been up with the baby. He tends to take her out for an hour on Saturday mornings. That's not counting when he puts her to bed at the weekend, and I'm downstairs feeding baby. Actually, it used to be more, when I was working, but I've been on mat leave for the last couple months. Thing is if I pick him up on stuff like this, I am always made out to look like I'm nagging him or being unfair.

I guess you need to look at other aspects of your DH's life and see if he has problems working out how other people maybe thinking too. If he doesn't and this is restricted to your family relationships you probably need to get some lines of communication open before this goes any further

On the surface, I would have said no, he has lots of friends, but if I think back really carefully he has had issues with him thinking his mates don't want to spend time with him since DC, or similar, and he can't project other people's circumstance and takes it very personally.

Jaynerae Tue 04-Dec-12 15:31:59

All children are different - some might appear to be perfect - it's not always down to parenting - it's a combination of the child themselves as well.

My DS is an angel - always has been, never had a single temper tantrum, he's 13 so never likley too now either!

DD on the other hand - well she started the terrible two's at 9 months and continued them until 4! I treated them exaclty the same - both brought up the same, just totally different children. DD had almighty temper tantrums if sh could not get her own way, Tesco's one sticks in my mind the most, proper lying on the floor arms and legs kicking, screaming hissy fit - I just lent on the trolley and watched, till she had finished.

Thing is I don't care what other people think, I know I am a good mum and my children are different, I know I have enough confidence in my abilities to handle anything they throw at me.

DH on the other hand is not confident. He would take DS out anytime. He would not take DD out without me and would not take both children out together with out me either. He was too scared she would kick off and he wouldn't know how to handle it. And was too worried about other people watching.

He finally took them out together when DD was 6 and hadn't had a tantrum for a couple of years!

You just have to get on with it, DH and I are different as are DS and DD.

So Don't take any notice of people critising you or your DH, just talk about it and decide what your coping strategy is together and stick to it. Consistency and consequences.

IfNotNowThenWhen Tue 04-Dec-12 16:49:33

My child had tantrums in shops until five! By that point I would walk away and pretend I didn't know him grin

My Ex is a manchild like your DH OP.
He is really selfish, always puts himself first (and doesn't see that he does that).
To illustrate exactly what kind of person he is, last year I asked him if he could look after ds on NYE so I could go out for once, and he looked puzzled and said "well I'm not going to do that am I ? It's New Years Eve!" Fuckwit.

He can't deal with bad behaviour at all. He is totally ineffectual, and either just stands there, or shouts/gets into a row with ds.

I have tried to teach him strategies (and I do not have an easy kid, so I have learned a few!) and pointed him towards parenting books which have been reccomended to me on here, but he just can't be arsed learning, so ignores me.
I am fortunate in that I am not married to him, so when I have to tell him what to do it doesn't annoy me as much as if I were.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Tue 04-Dec-12 18:14:39

He won't learn how to deal better with his dc's behaviour by watching men run around in shorts or dragging them round the shops and running away when they have a tantrum, will he ? hmm

BatCave Tue 04-Dec-12 20:38:03

No, absolutely not. I'm just not sure how to go about changing this. Thing is, he's grown up with that attitude drummed into him his whole life and I think he's got to come to the realisation himself, me nagging him clearly doesn't work confused

Spero Tue 04-Dec-12 22:28:07

You talk to him. And if he can't talk with you about this without getting defensive or unpleasant, see if you can get help from professional counsellors or therapists. And if he cant or won't join in you have to be very honest with yourself about what kind of relationship this is and what you are prepared to do to stay in it.

After trying steps 1 and 2 - both failed to bring any change - I did an audit of my relationship and realised being a single mother would be easier and cause me less resentment and misery in the long term. Now I still do 90% of all child care and housework but I don't also have to seethe while he choses football over his child or gets angry if my daughter doesn't behave exactly as he wants her to.

willstanton Thu 06-Dec-12 08:53:35

I was extremely lucky with mine. I always took them shopping from the day we got out of hospital so they would become used to the experience. Yes little babies cry from time to time but not much to be done about that bar popping back to the car for a nappy or bottle then starting over. By the time they were toddlers they were pretty used to the whole experience. They would have the odd tantrum but I found just apologising to everyone around them and leaving them to it worked wonders - when they saw me walking off they knew I meant it (I was round the corner with them in view the whole time) and calmed down straight away. Good behaviour generated a treat such as a gingerbread or grapes. Bad behaviour did not. Mind you mine were generally easy and I know this might not have worked with other kids.

I loved going shopping with DH and the kids though - if one of them kicked off we would just threaten to put them in the car. One of us would finish the shopping with well behaved kids and the tantruming one would be sent to the car with the other parent, strapped in the chair and forced to listen to Radio 4.

lljkk Thu 06-Dec-12 10:24:06

DC & I mutually embarrass each other. It's part of being a family. Get over it. Just WAIT until DD has to put up with seeing how her dad can dance (or not, as it were).

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