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wife rants and shouts at daughter

(84 Posts)
Grammyka Wed 23-Sep-15 08:57:46

hi, i've got an awful situation that keeps coming up and i'd like some other views please.
basically it's like this.

My daughter - 7, who is, to be fair, a bit slack at the homework and room tidying, keeps falling foul of her mum for things like leaving her uniform in a heap. sneaking minutes on the iPad without permission, that kind of thing. all, from my perspective, normal for a 7 year old.

my mrs, is, for the most part a lovely patient kind caring woman but something about her dealings with my Daughter trigger the worst in her. This especially happens during her period. In the interests of balance i have to say that i am not criticising my wife for the why.just the how she deals with it.

This has been happening for the last several months. the mrs does not do this with our son, although he is a bit younger and maybe hasn't got to this stage yet.

So, it goes like this - the child does something like leaving her school gear in a heap my wife starts by asking her to pick it up - the kid is a bit slow on the move and will moan ( all normal, right?) so my wife raises her voice. This does not get the quick response she wants so she starts raising it some more. The Girl starts getting upset. The mrs starts properly shouting cos she is not getting the results she wants. The kid gets more upset. The wife smacks the kid - not abusive, not battering, just a tap really. the kid gets hysterical. the 'thing' that started it is still not done. The wife then starts ranting, shouting about other things that she now notices fall foul of her expectations. the kid is a wreck at this point, heavy sobs, tears streaming. The mrs makes threats about various sanctions she will impose if the 'things' are not done right now. This just makes the child's anguish worse.

Right about here i intervene. I do this because i think that beyond a certain point it is damaging to the kids wellbeing. I intervene by asking my wife to remove herself from the situation and let me deal with it. She resents this enormously and will often turn on me for undermining her - teaching the kid that it's ok to defy mum. I do believe that generally we should present a united front but this keeps happening and i've tried talking to the mrs to explain why i think she needs to adjust her methods. she is utterly unrelenting and unreasonable about this, so i don't know what else i can do, i'm trying to protect the kid.

My reasons are these :

Shouting at a kid is useful, for impact only, it should not be sustained or continuous, ranting at a kid is damaging and will not resolve the situation, it also teaches the kid that ranting is a way to achieve things, it is not. moving the goalposts to rant about other things is not fair and again damaging.

Once a child is crying you are not going to achieve anything through angry words. Continuing to shout at a crying child is pointless and indeed counter productive. Further, For me every time you smack a kid you fail as a parent, there are other ways to get things done.

This is having a seriously debilitating effect on my marriage and the 'D' word has been mentioned - never by me, by the mrs when she turns on me because oft this. She does have, and i hesitate to write it, awful hormonal anger and becomes completely irrational, aggressive and frankly impossible to talk to. she'll rant at me the same way, she'll do the same' finding fault with other things' she does with the child. for me at this point i tell her to eff off. loudly. she hates that of course. thinks its crude and not appropriate. i have to say i am always slow to anger, i always try reason, i always try to calm her down , but i might as well start by telling her to eff off for all the good it does, anything i say, do or don't do just makes her worse.

so what do you think. am i out of order?

what can i do to change this?

your thoughts and advice please.

peggyundercrackers Wed 23-Sep-15 09:10:51

I think you are out of order because you wait too long before you intervene. I wouldn't have someone shouting at my child to the stage where they are sobbing before saying enough is enough. if this was a continuous pattern then the person would be shown the door if they didn't change - I wouldn't allow that to happen under my roof.

SummerMonths Wed 23-Sep-15 09:16:57

I certainly rant and shout at my children more than my husband and more than I would like. I think I shout more than my husband because I am around the children a lot more so things build up that he does not see and by the time he gets home I am often exhausted.

Also I tidy the house more than he does so children making a mess has a much bigger impact on me than him. If he helped tidy more, or even noticed mess, then it would not feel like such a huge burden on me and I could be more relaxed when the children dump their uniforms in a pile etc. Could these be contributing factors for your wife?

My husband has on occasion talked to me about my temper and actually I appreciated him pulling me up on it. The difference is that he has never, ever undermined me in front of the kids. He talked to me after they were in bed. It meant I had space to listen and reflect on what he said and I didn't feel betrayed. I would try having a proper, calm conversation with your wife about parenting styles. Don't talk on the back of one incident though. Maybe take her out to dinner and chat.

Re hormonal rage: Has your wife talked to the GP? There may be ways of levelling her hormones. I have the Mirena coil and don't get periods anymore. Heaven! Is she only bad tempered once a month? Could you plan to be more hands on with the kids on those days?

I expect lots of posters will make a huge deal about the hitting. I won't. I can't comment without having seen exactly what happens. Obviously it's not great to use any physical violence and I would make that part of what you address in a calm, private conversation.

VenusRising Wed 23-Sep-15 09:17:28

Keeps falling foul of her mum, eh?

Where are you in this equation...... watching from the sidelines with a clipboard?

Time for you to start talking to your dd about your expectations of her, and installing in her a sense of responsibility and discipline.
You are the child's other parent I presume- time to get your bad cop hat on, and parent your daughter and give your Dw a well deserved parenting break.

Make the dinner a few times a month when your Dw would prefer to do her own thing, especially if she has PMT.

You may find with your increased involvement in the family, everyone gets along better.

SeekEveryEveryKnownHidingPlace Wed 23-Sep-15 09:21:47

1. Stop calling her 'the mrs'.
2. Have a talk about how you're not going to be smacking your daughter.
3. (And actually, do this first) Support your wife. It sounds like you stand there disapproving and being the 'nice' parent, and let your wife take all the responsibility. You need to be involved, and you need to be on the same team as your wife in bringing up your daughter.

PeaceOfWildThings Wed 23-Sep-15 09:26:40

Not to take anything from the other sage advice given, but I've found fluoxitine helps me deal with managing emotions, especially around that time of the month. It can be prescribed long term for such hormonal imbalance and is safe long term, and non addictive. I do wish I'd tried it when our children were little.

You are right to intervene, as has bern said, intervene much sooner. Talk to your dd up front and say you are going to be watching to see if she does what mummy asks first time. If she doesnt, you deal with it. Talk to your wife and say that too..but agree that if dd does pick anything up etc, your DW gives her praise and a thank you, a hug, smiles. That's how to get it done.

Grammyka Wed 23-Sep-15 09:27:48

thanks for the replies

I assure you i'm a hands on parent. I take a full equal part in everything, cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing, school runs, homework, bedtime, and discipline. for example this morning i was dressing my son then fixing breakfast when the trouble started.

I do things differently, I encourage the kid to reflect and to think about their behaviour and consequences. I was brought up with too much stick and not enough carrot and i won't make that mistake with my kids, perhaps this is why i react so badly. i'm not saying i don't shout. i do, but only as a short sharp shock, and always, always i keep control of my anger. I have only ever raised my hand to my kids when their behaviour has put their, or someone elses life in danger. perhaps thats wrong of me. i do at least reflect on it.

i've asked the mrs to see a doctor about the rage, she dismisses it. We can't afford nights out unfortunately.

Keeptrudging Wed 23-Sep-15 09:30:07

Back your wife up at the start. It's not ok for your daughter to be moaning about being asked to do something she knows she should have done. Am wondering if you are also a 'moaner'/procrastinator if you're asked to do something? If my husband asked DD to do something and she started a carry on, I would be backing him up with a 'do what you're told!', not wading in defending her once it's escalated.

Your wife sounds stressed/worn out. It's not unreasonable of her to ask your daughter (or you) to pull their weight. It is unreasonable that she's always having to repeatedly ask. Given the age of your daughter, try a star chart for the main chores she has to do, with a little reward for doing them all in a day e.g. Make bed/pick up clothes/do homework. Put a password on the ipad, she shouldn't be 'sneaking time'. It sounds like a 'us v mum' situation, and will end in tears if you let it carry on. You and your wife are supposed to be a team.

Grammyka Wed 23-Sep-15 09:30:40

1. Stop calling her 'the mrs'. - I don't - but i'm not going to name her on here am i? sorry, i'm new i don't know your protocols.

2. Have a talk about how you're not going to be smacking your daughter.
done that, repeatedly - i'm desperate, that's why I'm asking strangers.

3. (And actually, do this first) Support your wife. It sounds like you stand there disapproving and being the 'nice' parent, and let your wife take all the responsibility. You need to be involved, and you need to be on the same team as your wife in bringing up your daughter.

As i made clear, i have done the supporting her in front of and then having a chat, nicely in private, time and again. it has made not a jot of difference.

TheUrbaneFox Wed 23-Sep-15 09:32:21

Sit down with your daughter and discuss the rules together, the three of you.

Then if she doesn't keep to the rules, you too can feel free to back up your wife when she has to try and impose order.

You say you do things differently. This is the problem imo. Your wife must be furious that she's always undermined by a less authoritarian parent, that makes her look bad, makes it seem like two against one (her)
You and your wife need to compromise and find the 'line' that the two of you can agree on, then back each other up.

I can understand her anger (that doesn't justify expressing it)

DriverSurpriseMe Wed 23-Sep-15 09:33:15

You need to stand united with your wife when it comes to disciplinary issues. Yes, these small issues may all be normal for a seven year old, but what would happen if your wife didn't enforce them and your daughter started ignoring everything she said?

I'm not condoning her losing her temper, but everyone loses their rag when provoked, and if you're the parent who ends up doing the nagging (and it's pretty much always the mum in charge of house tidying chores) it grinds you down.

You need to intervene sooner. Try bring the disciplinarian so your wife doesn't have to lose her rag in the first place. Stop telling her to fuck off.

TheUrbaneFox Wed 23-Sep-15 09:36:43

I agree with the back your wife up comments

When the disciplining is still at the request stage, eg, "go and do it now please".. back up your wife don't under mine her by saying something like "ah leave her"

Obviously that's not the same as standing by while your daughter gets a slap. You can intervene long before that. But the situations won't escalate if you present a united force earlier on in the 'negotiations'.

Your dd will figure out, ok, turns out, I can't use their antipathy against one another to myy advantage after all. (translate that in to 7 year old speak)

ThatsNotMyRabbit Wed 23-Sep-15 09:37:37

"My husband rants and shouts at my dd to the point that she sobs"

"Support your husband"


Funny, never seen that.

Keeptrudging Wed 23-Sep-15 09:37:50

Sorry, I type really slowly so missed your previous posts. I know where you're coming from re shouting/upbringing and preferring to negotiate/talk things through etc BUT not everything is something that needs a lot of talk. Moaning about a simple task doesn't need a long explanation about why she should do it etc, it needs a calm, clear instruction, using the 'broken record' technique, with a consequence for not getting it done e.g. no star/I pad.

PeaceOfWildThings Wed 23-Sep-15 09:39:18

Grammyka, stick in there.

Take your DW a cup of tea and say you'll sort the children. Insist on it. Smile and speak softly, say loving things to her without touching her. Offer to fetch her pain killers and a glass of water. Set the atmosphere back on track as home being a safe haven for all.

Shutthatdoor Wed 23-Sep-15 09:40:20

I have to agree with thatsNotMyRabbit

PeaceOfWildThings Wed 23-Sep-15 09:41:58

Take the children off to your parents for the weekend?

SeekEveryEveryKnownHidingPlace Wed 23-Sep-15 09:42:27

Support her before it gets to the rant stage, I think is the key. Not, clearly, support her in the ranting.

plantsitter Wed 23-Sep-15 09:45:11

Hmm I am you in this scenario so I see where you are coming from (though smacking does not happen in our house). The trouble is that although I see the original behaviour is annoying I simply cannot back up such a ridiculously aggressive way of dealing with it. Things always seem to get into this situation when DH is stressed and in a bad mood, so clearly (imo) he is the problem - and I'm not suggesting my 7 year old should be misbehaving (actually though it's mostly my 4 year old who gets it because she is particularly, erm, wilful).

When we do manage to talk about it things do get better and I tend to approach it when the kids are not around and everyone is calm. I think it's a question of me wanting to back DH up with what he's saying but not feeling able to if he's an arse about it, so that is what I say to him - 'we need to find a way to nip this behaviour in the bud but when it escalates like that I just can't support your way of doing it'. Also I frame it as worrying about him and his relationship with the kids, not about how wrongly he is doing things. HE needs to do something about the stress so WE can work out a way to deal with misdemeanours together.

Frankly I can't deal with it in the morning. If DH brushed off my concerns I would be taking the D word seriously, and quite honestly I have thought about it more than once as a result of this behaviour. However as the mum (and a SAH one at that) I would get the kids so I don't need to worry on that score. And DH has always responded, at least until the next work deadline.

I'm not suggesting I never get irritated. In some ways it's annoying that I feel I never can get irritated because DH is the irritated one.

TillITookAnArrowToTheKnee Wed 23-Sep-15 09:47:19

Also agree with Rabbit. If a woman was saying this about her DH the thread would be littered with cries of LTB.

Completely unacceptable. I have a 7YO DD and I cannot imagine reducing her to sobs and then smacking her! Wtf?!

However YOU are also failing your DD by allowing this to happen. It will cause and probably already has caused untold emotional damaged to your DD.

I'd be telling DW in no uncertain terms that should she scream at DD again let alone raise a hand to her, that I'd be leaving WITH the DCs in row. Its abuse and you're enabling it.

ThatsNotMyRabbit Wed 23-Sep-15 09:49:13

PeaceOfWildThings - really? Wtf?

SeekEveryEveryKnownHidingPlace Wed 23-Sep-15 09:49:50

In your OP, you document quite carefully the progression that arguments take - it's the 'right about here I intervene bit' that I think could be altered. And don't intervene by 'asking your wife to remove herself from the situation' - I can imagine that really doesn't help. At the point at which your 7 year old is complaining about being asked to do something, that's when you offer the support. Not waiting until you think the situation is damaging to the child. Try 'dd, your mum has just asked you to do that, there's no need for the whingeing'. Yes, those things are 'normal behaviour', but that doesn't mean you just say 'ah, it's normal' and don't try to rectify it.

If you genuinely want to think about how you can work to stop the situation becoming so unpleasant, I think it's the timing and the framing of your 'intervention' that you could start with.

ThatsNotMyRabbit Wed 23-Sep-15 09:50:01

Absolutely, TillI.

Keeptrudging Wed 23-Sep-15 09:50:17

I would say the same if it was the husband ranting. Why is the other partner sitting back watching it happen and then 'rescuing' the child. It's a really unhealthy dynamic, and one that gives a lot of power to the 7 year - old, as they know they can ignore (whatever gender of) parent until they explode, knowing that the other (whatever gender of) parent will protect them from the bad,bossy, shouty other parent. United front, you both need to discuss then compromise on your parenting style because you're BOTH wrong. Wildly different styles are confusing and damaging to the child, children like nice, clear boundaries. Smacking is not on, neither is swearing at each other.

BoldFox Wed 23-Sep-15 09:56:56

I would say the same too.

But either we say ''divorce her now" or we say, ok, try this first, try supporting her the moment the 7 year old starts trying to push back the boundaries. there is a huge middle ground between ranting and slapping and standing back, passively and critically watching somebody else trying to deal with a defiant 7 year old.

That's worth a try and that would be the advice I'd give even if a woman was posting. Because even if this pair divorce, the child will be under their roof for a while longer yet.

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