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Father saying children are a disappointment to him.

(114 Posts)
Goose15 Mon 29-Jun-20 16:52:28

Yesterday, before bed, my DH said that our children were a disappointment to him. We have 3, two teenagers and a 9 yr old. He gets frustrated because they leave towels screwed up, don't bring washing up down etc even though we tell them to. I think this is normal teenage behaviour (annoying, but normal), but he seems to think they're awful. These things are the worst things they ever do tbh. They are respectful, don't answer back or anything yet he seems to insist on seeing only the bad things they do. He also said it in earshot of one of them
AIBU to think this is an unforgivable thing for a father to say, or am I overreacting?

OP’s posts: |
LightenUpSummer Mon 29-Jun-20 16:55:32

Unforgivable. They’ll remember that forever. Do what you can to persuade him never to say it again.

Aquamarine1029 Mon 29-Jun-20 16:57:13

That's just shocking and incredibly sad. Your husband doesn't value or appreciate them at all, it seems. If those "bad" things they do are the worst of it, your husband is a very lucky man. I predict your children won't have very much to do with him when they are older. That may impact your relationship with them as well.

caramac04 Mon 29-Jun-20 16:57:59

Blimey your DH must have very high expectations and no YANBU.

FudgeBrownie2019 Mon 29-Jun-20 16:58:19

YANBU. It's an arsehole thing to say. Is he struggling with his emotions or under masses of stress (not wanting to excuse it, but perhaps he's having a really difficult time and is focussing his upset on the wrong thing)?

I would talk to the one who overheard and point out that your DH is out of order for how he spoke, and I would speak to your DH and advise him to either sort his shit out and parent appropriately or leave and let you take care of the DC he's so dissatisfied with.

And no, leaving towels on bedroom floors and forgetting to put laundry in the wash is hardly disappointing. Far more disappointing to end up being the parent who shits on his own DC.

QualityFeet Mon 29-Jun-20 17:01:37

It’s an awful thing to say and for them to overhear. I would speak to him and them and then think carefully about how I saw the future. His toxicity needs to be removed one way or another. The idea that they will grow up with the strength to tell him to FO as adults is less likely than they enter a life time of odd relationships where they expect contempt and censure. Great they have you. I hope your dh is struggling and has a reason to be so negative rather than this being him all the time.

hardboiledeggs Mon 29-Jun-20 17:20:57

Bet he's going to be a disappointment to them. Way too harsh on them.

Goose15 Mon 29-Jun-20 17:26:08

Thank you so much for commenting, I really appreciate it. I've noticed over the last couple of years that he seems to be getting tougher and tougher with them for no reason. I'm so proud of my children that I could burst and I can't understand why he's like that. We often argue about it tbh, but last night was like a light bulb moment where I thought i absolutely don't like this constant putting down of them. My eldest is at uni working hard to get a specific career and has worked really hard to get there, my middle one also works so hard and is so kind and caring. My youngest has special needs and, although can be challenging, just loves everybody and everybody loves her. I feel really hurt today on their behalf. It's been building up gradually and now I'm thinking piss off.
He never praises them either. If they get a B in a test he'll say 'why didn't you get an A?'
When he got in from work I asked him about it half expecting him to say he was tired and didn't mean it, but he said they were a disappointment because he says the same thing to them over and over again and they ignore him (towels, washing up etc) and I said that's just teenagers though. Bloody hell, he does nothing around the house himself!

OP’s posts: |
NellGwynsPenguin Mon 29-Jun-20 17:29:09

Mixing up behaviour which can be disappointing and the child themselves shouldn’t happen.

Your DH needs to mind that he actually says what he means.

“Disappointing behaviour” is acceptable to call out imo - children in general “being a disappointment” is a rather awful thing to say.

He needs to apologise, and I’d say you all need to sit down together for a family conference and to draw some boundaries for behaviour. Two teens and a 9 year old should be able to hang up a towel or three.

NellGwynsPenguin Mon 29-Jun-20 17:30:10

X post with your last OP. New information sheds a different light.
Sounds like you know whet you need to do.

LouiseTrees Mon 29-Jun-20 17:33:50

Speak to his parents and find out any bad thing he did at that age and then lay it out each time he complains.

BeforeIPutOnMyMakeup Mon 29-Jun-20 17:34:43

What a horrible dad.

Does he like destroying their self esteem? Does he want them to ignore him when they do well or have other happy news to share? As he is on the right path.

Goose15 Mon 29-Jun-20 17:35:35

Thanks NellGwynspenguin (sorry, don't know how to tag people)
Funny how I've written it all down to a bunch of strangers and now feel utterly ridiculous for not seeing how awful this is before. It's just got worse gradually and now I' realising what an arse he is. I hate the thought my children will grow up undervalued.

OP’s posts: |
DDIJ Mon 29-Jun-20 17:36:07

Could he just be trying to encourage them to strive?

notheragain4 Mon 29-Jun-20 17:36:52

Bad thing to say. But I wouldn't accept that as "normal teenage behaviour" I would say their behaviour is disappointing.

SittingAround1 Mon 29-Jun-20 17:37:21

Your DC will distance themselves from him once they leave home.
He'll miss out on an adult relationship with them.
The comments he's making will affect them for the rest of their lives.

ImaginaryCat Mon 29-Jun-20 17:37:31

Oh god, he sounds just like my mother. She never praised me, only found fault with everything I did (95% in an exam, no 'well done', just "what did you lose the 5% on?"). Was such a negative presence in my life.

She recently died. I didn't care. Tell your DH that's what happens to arsehole parents.

Goose15 Mon 29-Jun-20 17:40:01

Could somebody tell me how I tag people please?

OP’s posts: |
PenCreed Mon 29-Jun-20 17:42:03

@Goose15
You can either @ and type their name, or bold their name by putting an * on either side of it.

ButteryPuffin Mon 29-Jun-20 17:42:36

You put an @ in front of their name. Type it in and names of people on the thread will pop up to make it easier.

I'd be telling him he's a disappointment as a husband and a father. Why does he get to moan about towels if he does nothing himself around the house?

Truzza Mon 29-Jun-20 17:43:52

I had almost the same convo with my ex today!! He literally does nothing! Pays hardly any maintenance no input from him unless it's at his house 🙄

I told him if you're disappointed I presume your talking about yourself? Because you haven't had much input have you? Apart from putting him down? Apparently he had an important work call so had to go

Honestly what a douche bag!

mbosnz Mon 29-Jun-20 17:45:40

I'd be telling my husband that he was such a disappointment to me as a father, and my partner in parenting. I'd be telling him everything he's doing wrong, and that his flaws far outweigh the very minor imperfections in his children that he is choosing to focus on, rather than looking for the good and to help them continue their journey to full adulthood.

And that if he carries on like this, he's likely to find that when he would like to enjoy his children's company and their children's company in years to come, he might find himself woefully lonely and he'll only have himself to blame. It's far too early in the piece to be setting himself up as a miserable git.

30daysoflight Mon 29-Jun-20 17:47:37

This happened to me and Dsis throughout our childhood. It affected us in so many ways. My mother last tried to do this on a holiday with me and dsis after dsis marriage had ended.
I laughed in her face and told her a few home truths, it has never happened again.
Not proud of it but a parent should never behave in that way.

FudgeBrownie2019 Mon 29-Jun-20 17:47:50

Could he just be trying to encourage them to strive?

Even if this were true (and OP's update makes it probably untrue) he's still going about it in an incredibly awful way.

Everyone wants their DC to do well, to work hard, to make great choices. You don't encourage them by shitting on them. If that's "encouraging them to strive" he needs to get some help because taking chunks from their self esteem will bring no good.

lemmathelemmin Mon 29-Jun-20 17:48:09

What culture is your DH from? This is a regular thing where I'm from.

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