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Is it ever acceptable to shout at a child?

(52 Posts)
RosaLuxembourg Thu 15-Feb-07 21:36:52

DD3, aged four, has been a complete nightmare to get to bed tonight - still bouncing off the walls at 9pm and finally DH just had enough and put her back into bed, stood over her and yelled at her to stay where she was. She screamed and sobbed until finally she fell asleep a couple of minutes ago. I felt really bad and told DH he shouldn't have shouted and now he is sulking with me. He says in his defence that he doesn't shout at them that often (true) and that most parents would have lost it with her long before. I just hate it though - I really hate hearing anyone being shouted at. DH isn't a very shouty person at all - am I being unreasonable in expecting him NEVER to shout?

jampot Thu 15-Feb-07 21:38:10

yes its fine to shout at a child especially one who isnt doing as she's told. You will be thankful in the long run as long as he doesnt mkae a habit of it

GhostOfMumsnet Thu 15-Feb-07 21:38:36

I think that sometimes the little darlings wind you up so much that you have to release someway. I love my kids sooooo much but when I'm tired, stressed etc sometimes shouting is the only way I can get rid of the tension.

VeniVidiVickiQV Thu 15-Feb-07 21:39:20

i have shouted at mine lots. Especially this week

I dont think its okay though.

moondog Thu 15-Feb-07 21:39:47

I shout at my kids.
Not always but when needed.
It works and no,I don't feel guilty.

Sheraz Thu 15-Feb-07 21:40:43

I shout sometimes, because if i didn't I would probably relly loose it.Trouble is when I shout complete gobblidigookcomes out of my mouth wwhich makes DS1 laugh..not really the reaction I want. Does break the tension though.

beansprout Thu 15-Feb-07 21:40:49

I shout at ds sometimes. I hate myself for it when it happens, but it does happen. Usually spells the end of the episode though - he gets very upset and I feel awful and it all then resolves itself.

Horrible, but there we have it.

eidsvold Thu 15-Feb-07 21:40:59

sometimes the power of a shouted word is what is needed to stop children doing something that they should not do - eg. touching something that could hurt them, running away. Whilst she was a little shocked that daddy shouted - she obviously got the message that enough was enough. Dh isn't a shouter but sometimes even just to get the dds' attention he will shout a word and they stop - you are then able to speak with them reasonably.

As jampot said - as long as it isn't all the time as the power of the shout will be lost.

Dinosaur Thu 15-Feb-07 21:41:24

Oohhhh, same here VVQ. And then I hate myself .

I tried really hard to be patient tonight but

DS1's bed was covered with little plastic animals which he knows he's meant to tidy up

DS2 wouldn't stop playing his toy keyboard and come and get his teeth cleaned, even though I asked him nicely several times

DS3 made a huge fuss about having his sleeping bag on

and I wasn't feeling very well myself.

And I did lose it, a bit .

fireflyfairy2 Thu 15-Feb-07 21:42:36

MY dd told me this morning that yesterday at circle time, their teacher asked them if they had any fears or worries. dd said

"I worry when my daddy shouts at me & it scares me"

Now, Dh is the most gentle being you could ever wish to meet.. so easy going, relaxed, nothing even worries him or winds him up.

One night last week dd was up & down about 6 times, I was trying to do course work, dh was sorting washing... finally he yelled at her "I will count to three... & if you are not in bed there will be no treat tomorrow!"

That was the time dd was talking about!! Now I bet the teachers are watching her,.... & us!!

pinkchampagne Thu 15-Feb-07 21:43:58

I've been shouting too much recently & hate myself for it.

Donbean Thu 15-Feb-07 21:44:03

This has back fired on us BIG TIME!
We shouted at ds simply because we were at the end of our tether with him.
Now...he is shouting back and in between as well when he has no cause to shout.
It is horrible.
SO, some one told me that in response to him shouting...i should whisper "we dont shout, do we?"
So i did this and he answered me by whispering back..."but im angry"!!!

Its working well up to now.

I dont think that it is a good way of dealing with kids but if it works and you have no alternative then it needs to be done.

I wonder what my neighbours think some times.

RosaLuxembourg Thu 15-Feb-07 21:54:39

Thanks guys. I guess I was being unreasonable. She really has been a little sod today. She had a hissy fit on the way home from school and actually ran away from me and across a road - something none of my children has ever done before - and then howled all the way home because I refused to let go of her hand for the rest of the journey. I was so frightened.
Will go and apologise to DH now!

estatebabe Thu 15-Feb-07 22:11:14

You probably feel worse coz she went to sleep crying. i hate it when that happens! You feel like you want to wake them up just to have a cuddle and tell them you love them! Sometimes there is just no other way but to shout - children need to know who's are in charge - have a happy day tomorrow.

pointydog Thu 15-Feb-07 22:13:08

sometimes it is acceptable, yes, but it's very rarely effective

KTeePee Thu 15-Feb-07 22:14:55

Being flippant I would say yes if you have PMT coinciding with half-term and builders working on your house.....

suejonez Thu 15-Feb-07 22:16:10

I don;t know about acceptable, but understandable, yes.

chocolatekimmy Thu 15-Feb-07 22:33:03

Yes, sometimes you have to (or just need to). Doesn't make it right but can get a point across (that behaviour is seriously not acceptable).

Also, danger situations when shouting is necessary - like safety issues by a road for example

Overrun Thu 15-Feb-07 22:38:21

I think that, shouting occasionally as a way of demarcating when you are really annoyed, is not a bad thing. I feel a bit sorry for your dh, I can understand your concerns, but he might need your support, to back him up

saadia Thu 15-Feb-07 22:38:39

for me it's a last resort and only when the dss are being truly obnoxious and is actually effective.

Overrun Thu 15-Feb-07 22:40:27

Oh, should have caught up with the thread before posting. Just have a big hug together (bossy aren't I?!) and chalk it up to one of those days.
I have to say, that I always feel relieved when dh doesn't get cross with me for shouting, which I do so much more than him

frances5 Thu 15-Feb-07 22:41:58

Children aren't perfect and neither are parents. It is just as unreasonable to expect parents to be perfect as children.

Shouting at children is not ideal, but there are WORSE things you can do to your children. My son has had even been smacked once or twice ... (In his life not this half term)

Provided there is plenty of positive interaction and love in the house I think children can cope with imperfect parents.

Your daughter is lucky to have a father who cares about her even if he isn't perfect.

edam Thu 15-Feb-07 22:48:01

Ds got shouted at and smacked today. When he tried to bite me. We were having a lovely but slightly stressful day out. Were standing in line for an aquarium when I checked my pockets and realised I'd lost part of my train ticket so we'd have to go home earlier than I'd thought. I explained to ds that it was very sad but we would have to go home. And he threw an almighty temper trantrum. Fine - well, not fine but understandable in the circs from a 3.5 year old. But then when I had to physically drag him out of the queue, he tried to bite me. First time I shouted, stopped him, got down to his level and told him off, then repeated the explanation for leaving. Second time, he got smacked.

I didn't like either shouting or smacking (onyly the second time ever I've smacked him) but don't feel like the worst parent in the world either - it was a bad situation and I dealt with it as I could at the time.

nulnulcat Thu 15-Feb-07 22:55:51

every day i wake up saying im not going to shout at dd today! on a good day we can get to mid morning but usually i have had to yell at her before breakfast is even over. at the moment she thinks it amusing to terrorise our elderly cat who is stressed at best of times. i lose count the amount of times i shout at her to leave the cat alone and it even gets the odd bloody in there to! she has recently started to pretend to tell dp off always starting with "im warning you" " i wont tell you again" or her favourite "youve been told" not that its all i ever say! think my sore throat is from shouting at her today not my cold!

RosaLuxembourg Thu 15-Feb-07 23:18:17

DH and I have made up and talked about how we are going to handle this bedtime thing in future - basically by threatening loss of privileges. She is very anxious to have her room decorated - we have chosen the paint and promised a mid-sleeper bed so we are now going to make doing it conditional on good bedtime behaviour for a couple of weeks. Hopefully this will work.
Fireflyfairy - you are absolutely right, it was the sobbing herself to sleep that really got to me - but when I went in to her she pushed me away.

Overrun - have done the hugging now! DH is a great Dad, btw, but by 9pm I think we have all had enough.

Nulnulcat - we have an elderly cat too, but I don't have to warn the DDs off her - she has VERY sharp claws. Maybe I should try scratching instead of shouting since they seem to have a healthy respect for her!

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