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Hubby struggling with parenting kids

(18 Posts)
putri Wed 18-Oct-17 14:31:42

Hi all! I am having a bit of parenting struggle. Not so much with the kids but hubby.

A few years ago I went through depression and got help. From my therapist, reflection, and books I figured out why I got depressed and what caused it. Basically I went through childhood emotional neglect and my depression was due to it. This last year I have been growing mentally and emotionally stronger. If this was a weight loss program, I went from a 15 stone to 9 stone woman.

Since I started knowing more about mental health and emotional intelligence, I started noticing our not so awesome parenting skills. Hubby and I didn't have good models and even though we were much better than our parents, I parented wanted high standard performance and hubby discipline.

Since I changed my parenting style (I read a lot of books and posts by Gottman Institute, Daniel Goleman, Brene Brown, Amy Morin, teen neuroscience books etc and many TED Talks), the teen has been a lot better emotionally. She used to have breakdowns after I begged her to talk to doing it on her own and feeling so much better in the long run. Dd2 is quite emotional. We thought she may be a bit much but now I realise she's just normal.

Hubby though, everything I do is causing him anxiety. I have sent him parenting articles, we'd talk about it, he tries but he is so not comfortable with everything. Last night he kind of snapped. He made dinner and called dd2 when he was done. She said, "yeah!" And he yelled for her to come down stairs now. She did. And he scolded her for saying yeah -- yes is good, yeah is not. She pouted and started crying. And he said, "you need to know when you're wrong and not cry about it." I stepped in and said, "Hey, you were trying to finish up what you were doing right?" And she nodded. And I spent a few minutes listening, validating and empathising. All good again.

At dinner hubby told her that when he calls, he wants her to come straight down. I was on the side shaking no but he looked at me, crossed, and whispered no.

Hubby came from a home where he wasn't listened to, negative feelings were bad and obedience is golden. As a result, he has a hard time regulating his emotions and everything seems to be a trigger nowadays. He tried seeing a few therapists the last couple of years, just for short terms each, but they're not helping he said. He has good days but they don't last. Hubby is probably the sweetest guy deep inside but he was the result of unattuned parents -- and they most likely didn't have good parents to model either -- and really hurt inside but still struggling with change. But it's affecting our kids and he always say he doesn't want the girls to be like him but his parenting can make them like him.

Anybody else experiencing this?

2014newme Wed 18-Oct-17 14:34:03

It's bloody annoying when you call. Kids umpteen times for their dinner and they hear you and don't come. Down. It's disrespectful.

Well done you for the emotional progress you've made but I'm not sure you are right on this one tbh. I'm with dh on this.

2014newme Wed 18-Oct-17 14:35:18

And your dd crying over being told off is manipulative behaviour which you responded to undermining your dh.

53rdWay Wed 18-Oct-17 14:52:05

I disagree with 2014. We don’t know why she was crying but it seems unfair to decide she must have been manipulative, when there’s just as good a chance she was genuinely upset because her dad made a huge drama out of her saying “yeah” instead of “yes”. Hardly a hill worth dying on.

OP is there a chance he’d agree to read more about parenting approaches, or even go on a parenting course, to help him be more like the parent he wants to be? I understand that getting therapy yourself was your own way to make good changes, but it sounds like he isn’t as keen. But if it’s just “let’s learn to be better parents” rather jab “you should take a look at yourself and your past”, he might be?

Tilapia Wed 18-Oct-17 16:02:27

It’s great that you’ve done all this research and found a parenting style you are so happy - seriously, well done, especially if you didn’t have great role models as a child.

But I think you are being unreasonable (sorry, I realise this isn’t AIBU!) to think this means that your DH is always wrong. It’s hard to be sure without being there, but what he did really doesn’t sound bad to me. It is annoying when kids don’t come when they’re called, or start crying when you’ve told them off about something minor.

Don’t alienate your DH. Maybe talk to him about a compromise approach?

Wolfiefan Wed 18-Oct-17 16:07:46

I expect my kids to come for dinner when I call them. If they HAVE to finish something (saving HW on computer for example) I would expect them to tell me so.
Can't get worked up about yeah rather than yes. But if he found it a rude response or its not a word you usually use then I could understand it.
You should not stand there shaking your head at his parenting. Completely disrespectful.
You didn't need to "validate" her ignoring him. You needed to support your DH. Work together to be parents. Decide and enforce rules together. Kids won't be damaged by being told off for misbehaving. They will if you war with and undermine each other.

2014newme Wed 18-Oct-17 16:22:22


titchy Wed 18-Oct-17 16:23:19

Oh god it all seems rather navel gazey and over analytical.

If you've cooked and called them and they delay then tell them off - it's rude and disrespectful of the person who's made them dinner otherwise.

You don't need to jump in and rescue them or consciously validate their feelings.

putri Wed 18-Oct-17 16:27:42


Dd2 is not manipulative. Let me put it this way... let's say you and hubby had a talk. He dislike how you just kick your shoes off in the middle of the bedroom. You know it's a bad habit too and so you decided to change. All is good. But one day you had a really bad day at work and on top of that, a huge migraine. You came home, kicked off your shoes in the middle of the room and forgot about it. Hubby came home and when he saw the shoes he said, "You'll never learn!" You know you've tried hard and that criticism just hurt. You started crying. Instead of him saying, "Gosh, I am sorry, I should have asked you how your day was going first." He said,"You're so emotional! You need to know when you're wrong and not cry about it!"

I see no manipulation there.

Dd has been working hard on her yes. It is tough when you're 8yrs old and surrounded with everybody that says yeah, myself AND sometimes hubby himself.

Being an emotionally intelligent adult is to be able to self regulate and parent from an adult point of view. To not shame and to do go for quick and temporary fixes. Yes it's annoying when they don't listen but dd2 isn't one to do this regularly and shaming her for crying is a no no. Emotions are never right or wrong. It just is. Emotions run in our body every second of the day. We don't feel all, just some of the strong ones. Shaming crying/emotions is never ok. We can teach her to be ok with being wrong but no shame. Dd2 is not manipulative. She is the sweetest being and slightly sensitive, like her daddy, and is his trigger unfortunately. She reminds him a lot of himself.

53rdway, he reads... or I think he does... the articles. He said he knows how to talk to the girls. But they always come out shaming and criticising. Just like his mum. And when I gently speak to him, using "l feel" and not "you are", he still gets offended and often sends at "I am never good enough".

We are in the middle of moving but I did kindly suggest that maybe he/we can try another person after we settle. Maybe on a good day I can suggest what you said.

titchy Wed 18-Oct-17 16:34:44

What's wrong with saying yeah instead of yes btw? It sounds like between you you're setting everyone up to fail.

2014newme Wed 18-Oct-17 16:47:09

I can see how dh feels he's never good enough. Have you ever considered family Therapy?

putri Wed 18-Oct-17 16:58:39

Tilapia, hubby has always been ok to discipline. But yesterday's example was not so much due to disciplining but a trigger on his end. It was because of the "yeah" which we all do (and I jokingly correct him sometimes when he does it and he just snort) and that she didn't come seconds after he called. It's ok for him to be cross and want to discipline but it's not ok to shame her for showing emotions and crying. This is what we have been working on. Negative emotions is a no no for him. He was not happy with the "yeah" and the not coming within seconds added to it. Because she got emotional... which is normal... it triggered him. So he went for the not cry about it.

Also, I wasn't standing there shaking my head in disapproval I was just trying to sign to him to talk about it later after we had a talk. I should have done the hand to neck gesture or something. But I wanted to talk about the method we talked about weeks ago. About boundaries and limits. One thing we both struggle when we were kids was freedom. And this is also one big point of emotional neglect. We thought when we call, respond, and be down within a minute's time. This is what I have been doing. This was what he has been too. All happy. So when this changed, dd2 got scolded and then at dinner got a different set of rules. It's frustrating.

I hope I clarified. I really am not an unreasonable person. It's just frustrating when things are going well and something small like a yeah triggers hubby.

putri Wed 18-Oct-17 17:00:00

Hubby thinks yeah is just not proper. But he says yeah. I have no issue with yeah. I say it myself.

gamerchick Wed 18-Oct-17 17:03:05

Hubby came from a home where he wasn't listened to

And has jumped straight into another one?

putri Wed 18-Oct-17 17:10:41

Mentioned somewhere above that we tried twice. But he quit after a few sessions. I have suggest going again.

Every relationship has issues. We got to talk it out. He can freely say whatever is wrong with me. I always listen to them. I admit wrong if it's so. I cannot say the same to him. I'd said, "I felt like I didn't matter when you didn't tell me you'd be in a different town after work to meet up with friends." Answer "I was busy and forgot." I am always wrong!" I always told him that he's free to do whatever as long as he tells me. It's for safety reasons, kids ask, meal plans, and as a spouse, I want to feel like I matter. Just like I try to make him feel like he matters.

putri Wed 18-Oct-17 17:18:57

Yes! Amazingly that's how relationships work. Your subconscious loves familiarity! If you Google Gottman and Stan Tatkin you'll get more info. He is an avoidant and I was an anxious avoidant. My therapist said I am more secure now but can get slightly anxious now and then. But it's getting less so. Google attachment style. It's interesting!! But that's also what a marriage is for. To help each break away from that past pain.

We both have been trying. I would sit down and listen to him talk about whatever. He can't listen well if not of interest to him but that's ok. I just learn to be short and he tries so hard with the girls. I know inside his mind is blowing up but he tries.

gamerchick Wed 18-Oct-17 17:47:47

But some people don't want to talk talk talk talk things out all the time. Honestly you sound tiring to be around. Like therapys equivalent of being an ex smoker.

Yes you'll listen to him on your own terms and he has to play the game you've learned or you won't listen at all. It's great you found something that worked for you but he isn't your pet project.

It's like you've found religion so therefore everyone must change.

Wolfiefan Wed 18-Oct-17 17:53:33

"I wanted to talk about the method we talked about weeks ago"
Bloody hell you sound like hard work. It is great that you want to be the best parent you can and that you've educated yourself. But that doesn't mean you get to dictate everything at home.
And marriage is to help you break away from past pain?! It's to laugh and live together. To have a shoulder to cry on and someone to support you. It's companionship and love and so many things. You're not his therapist. That's not your role.

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