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DH seems to hate our 4.5yo DS1 and I am afraid this will have a long-term impact

(3 Posts)
confusedperson Mon 01-Oct-12 11:32:35

Admittedly, DS1 is very “spirited”: lots of defiant behavior, temper tantrums, constant demands, possibly some ADHD symptoms – but I do believe he is at the higher end of a “normal” range. DS2 (2yo) is, on the other hand, a happy and amusing angel.

I hear of many happy families where fathers love spending time with their children, but unfortunately this is not the case in our family. DH is very self-centered, spends hours with his laptop and does not enjoy doing stuff with the kids. In fact, he gets annoyed when I ask him to do something with the kids, and he replies “I will do when I want to”, and normally he never wants to do anything. His best “doing” is sitting on his laptop with DS2 on his lap, ha ha. Well you get the view.

After the angelic DS2 was born, I find DH very harsh on DS1. He does not spend any time with him, yet he wants to insert his “authority” by punishing when he gets annoyed with him. The harsher DH is, the worse DS1 behaves. DS1 IS hard work and he needs the right tactics to handle him, but I can handle, our childminder can handle, my friends can handle and the school can handle, and DH just blindly repeats “you don’t allow me to smack him, so he is spoilt to a devil”. Well, he is not spoilt. This is his temper. And you have to show him an example and teach him rather than smacking him or shouting when you please. I guess DS1 does not see DH as authority. He always clings to me, and in all honesty, he does not want to do anything with DH. DH will not deal with him unless he is “well behaved” but does not input any time or effort for him to behave. He doesn’t pay attention when DS1 talks to him, or rather starts talking with DS2 instead. Likewise, DS1 ignores when DH asks him something. I feel sorry for DS1. It seems like daddy has written him off. In my opinion DH has to broaden his attitude and learn to handle DS1 behaviour, but he will not listen to me and will not agree to any counseling.

At this point I am still able to “shelter” DS1 from DH, so he thinks daddy is being very busy, but I don’t know what I will do long term. I used to have mixed feelings regarding DS1 due to the same temper issues, but as an adult I took responsibility and learnt to deal with it.
Any mums in a similar situation? Please don’t reply that you don’t have an advice because your DH is perfect and loves his children – I do not need to hear that at this point!

Bigwheel Mon 01-Oct-12 12:43:37

Have you sat down and talked to your dh about this? Does your dh take an active part in family days out, to the park etc? Is there any activity / shared interest that could be your dh and ds1 thing, dh teaching him football, golf, tennis, bike riding or similar? Would it be possible for you to push that for them both? My ds sounds quite similar to yours, likewise my 2 year old dd is very easy and laid back compared to him. Ds grandparents find him very hard work and don't seem to be able to relate to him like they do dd. ds is now 5.5 and it's startling to be obvious, even to him. I'm searching for a way to increase their bond, but it's not easy.

HansieMom Mon 01-Oct-12 23:47:49

How about having your DH read your message? then maybe he will get off his butt and put himself out a little so he interacts positively with his son.

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