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to feel upset with DH?

(20 Posts)
FruitCakey Tue 11-Nov-14 18:50:43

DS (6yo) is a very keen learner when it comes to History. He really enjoys it and we talk a lot about history at home, watch programmes and buy childrens history books. DH and I also love all history topics.

At the moment we are talking a lot about WW1 and WW2 because they're currently talking about it at school too. We get a lot of questions from DS so answer as many as we can and show him a lot of (age appropriate) pictures and videos. DS even enjoys watching 'The Chronicles Of Narnia - The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe' for the war scenes at the beginning, so you are probably beginning to see how much he enjoys it all. Not only that, but DH is a soldier. He is in the Infantry.

So rewind to why I am pissed off!
DH tonight decided to talk to DS about shell shock, to my dismay!
I was washing dishes after dinner and over heard DH tell DS that he will look for a video on the internet of shell shocked men to show him what it was like. I immediately went through to DH and said no! DS isn't old enough to understand it and I truly believed it would scare him. I have seen videos in the past while watching documentaries and they have scared me too. Not because of the men, of course but because it's such a sad reality coming to life. (IMO)

DH didn't listen and proceeded any way and DS is now petrified. I feel so upset with DH. He went against me and doesn't think there's any problem with showing him! DS apparently needs to see the realities of war? Perhaps he is right? I just feel that there's certain things DS doesn't need to know until he is old enough to fully understand. AIBU to feel so upset? Should I give DH more credit?

Sorry for the huge post! Perhaps the back story wasn't necessary? I didn't want to drip feed. smile

FruitCakey Tue 11-Nov-14 18:51:22

I do apologise for any grammar mistakes in advance! I am using my phone and it's not what I am used to. grin

Yarp Tue 11-Nov-14 18:54:03

Are these film of ww1 soldiers with extreme tics etc?


There is a world of difference between mentioning the trauma that can be caused by experiencing warfare, and showing small children very distressing images?

Yarp Tue 11-Nov-14 18:54:32

Sorry, random question mark there!

Yarp Tue 11-Nov-14 18:56:02

Is your DH experiencing stress at the moment? It sounds as if he is imposing his own philosphy on his child, forgetting how young he is

Georgethesecond Tue 11-Nov-14 18:56:46

If your DH is in the army then he really has the right to tell his son what he thinks he needs to know. If it weren't for that then I would agree with you. But really - this is for him to deal with however he feels right.

HansieLove Tue 11-Nov-14 18:57:29

Your DS is still so young. Why would a parent purposefully traumatize a child like that. I have twin grandchildren who are almost six. I would not want them to see horrible images. Shame on him.

Hassled Tue 11-Nov-14 18:57:36

I'm sort of on the fence - it does sound like whatever he showed your DS was not age appropriate and that he didn't give it enough thought. But then there is a tendency for small boys to sort of glorify war (or at least, mine did) without having any understanding of the realities/horrors, which your DH will of course find painfully real. So I can sort of see where your DH is coming from, however cack-handedly he went about it.

googoodolly Tue 11-Nov-14 19:02:35

It's difficult. I think, at a young age, you don't really understand the impact of war and it's so easy to glorify it. Your DH obviously knows the reality and doesn't want your DS to have the wrong idea about it.

BUT I do think six is too young to see shell shock and things like that. You can learn about war at a young age but it needs to be age appropriate. Would he show DS all the bodies in the concentration camps and talk about the Holocaust?

Things need to be suitable for his age and maturity above anything else. I can see his side as well, though.

<picks splinters out of arse>

DoJo Tue 11-Nov-14 19:12:47

I can understand your husband wanting your son to understand that war is not something to be 'enjoyed' in the way that he is currently relishing it, but I think he needs a little perspective when it comes to what is appropriate for your son's age. Perhaps your husband is a little too close to be objective about the way your son's fascination is playing out, and maybe he needs to consider the likely long-term impact of this kind of this on how your son feels about his father being in the forces.
Perhaps you can meet in the middle - that your son should be proud of the people who are protecting our country, but that it is a difficult job and that it isn't much fun for the people who actually have to do it. After all, you don't want your son to be terrified every time his father is deployed - that won't do any of you any good.

Yarp Tue 11-Nov-14 19:17:54

I think DoJo makes and excellent point. How does your DH want his son to feel about what his father is doing?

Topseyt Tue 11-Nov-14 19:26:09

I'm a bit 50/50 on this one. I tend to agree with Hassled actually.

Probably your husband, as a soldier himself, felt the need to ensure your son understood the realities of war and was not in danger of seeing it through rose-tinted spectacles. Very likely he did select something which was not age-appropriate, but was he perhaps trying to demonstrate (albeit rather too graphically) the effects that active service can have?

I am supposing that active service in areas such as Iraq and Afghanistan provides traumatic experiences that the rest of us can hardly begin to imagine. So maybe his definition of what might be too traumatic for a child could be affected by that??

Yarp Tue 11-Nov-14 19:29:08


You have a point. But that in iteself is worrying, I think. If his perspective is skewed such that he can't put his son's need first, maybe he needs psychological support

ThisMortalCoil Tue 11-Nov-14 19:31:37

I think he's too young to see that, why couldn't he wait to show him at, say, 12? Did his son want to go to war tomorrow??

addictedtobass Tue 11-Nov-14 20:09:35

I agree with the others. Maybe he wanted to be honest and open and either put your son off or make sure he knew the truth so could always make an informed decision. I do think he was too young for something so traumatic, he does need to know the realities of war but you wouldn't show someone his age certain things. You wouldn't show him a hard hitting child abuse or sex trafficking video for example, not until he was older and could understand and process what he's seeing.

museumum Tue 11-Nov-14 20:14:44

I think your son sounds like he was maybe sentimentalising war and glorifying it a bit (understandable I think right now with so much talk of heroism and remembering the soldiers) and this obviously made your dh uncomfortable, as your dh is actually a serving soldier and particularly infantry I can see his point.

I'm really sorry your ds is horified and I wouldn't have shown it on video myself, but I think you can treat this as a conversation opener perhaps about the horror of war but also you can tell him how much better we understand ptsd and can support people coming home from conflict (presumably your dh has been away? or some of your ds's friends' fathers?)

Notmeagain1 Tue 11-Nov-14 20:25:53

Im on the fence on this as well. You said your son is very interested in history and unfortunately history has its ugly parts. War is not glamorous and your husband is part of it being military. He obviously thought your ds was capable of handling it, but unfortunately was wrong.

Maybe your DH will listen when you think things are not age appropriate in the future.

Hope your DS is ok.

FruitCakey Tue 11-Nov-14 20:26:49

Thank you everyone.

Museumum I think you have an excellent point. Thank you for sharing it with me. smile

Yarp Tue 11-Nov-14 22:13:18

Sorry. This is a 6 yearold. They don't sentimentalise, they fantasise. They use fighting to feel excited and powerful. That is what 6 year olds do. Ayou cannot put adult perspectives onto children.

Andro Tue 11-Nov-14 22:31:54

Should I give DH more credit?

You should give him sole responsibility for managing any nightmares which result from his (frankly irresponsible) actions.

There is a time and a place for putting the atrocities of war and the MH issues combat causes into a realistic perspective, this was not it.

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