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DH and DC

(21 Posts)
everlastinggreen Thu 11-Aug-11 21:38:25

My DH and I have different parenting styles, I tend to favour the unconditional approach. I am stern with my children but I wont not speak to them if they have been 'misbehaving.' I say 'misbehaving' because they are both so little, not even talking yet. My DH favours a 'i have told you what to do so you must obey me' approach. My ds threw a bit of a tantrum tonight because a book was taken away from him, he wanted to come to me but was immediately taken to anothet room by his father. The way he looks at the boy with utter disgust is odd and I might add he doesnt look like this with anyone else in RL! Well, naturally, the boy just sobbed and wailed even more, even though I had requested he sit on the couch with him so he could see me because I was with his other sibling. This is a huge issue for me. I hate my DH for this type of behaviour, for escalating my DS tantrums/ tears whatever you want to call it. For being so rigid. I find it ridiculous what an adult thinks he can expect from someone who is 2 years old. DH said he was disgusted with ds behaviour WTF!!!!! so annoyed I am. It seems no children behave this way in his family. So children cannot show any emotion, however extreme or raise their voice!!! When this happens I question my marriage in its totality. This depresses me so much and turns me off this man. Does anyone have any thoughts/ same problem? I do not believe children should be seen and not heard like little soldiers!!!

pranma Thu 11-Aug-11 21:42:22

Is your dh the father of your dc?To me his behaviour sounds outrageous-the children are babies-not even verbal and need loving guidance not severity.You dh doesnt sound very pleasant at all-his behaviour borders on abusive.

everlastinggreen Thu 11-Aug-11 21:45:51

yes we are married, and yes it disgusts me the level he expects them to be at that age. he even said that i am spoiling them and they will grow up to go out and loot like those we are seeing on sky news. so ridiculous putting this into print

Ivortheengine8 Thu 11-Aug-11 21:47:41

I can understand how you feel. Sometimes my DH is the same with our nearly 2 year old. I think they do need consistancy though and they also need to know that you both agree,otherwise they get confused.
TBH I think many men find young ones very hard to understand and I don't think they have the patience or the empathy that mothers have at this age.
I know my DH says he thinks he will prefer it when they are older when he can speak to them and have a conversation with them.
Your DH does sound similar to mine but then remember that this might change (hopefully) I am also aware that even at 2 years dd can be quite manipulative in how she gets things and in getting what she wants and I do need to be careful to keep a routine and stick to how I deal with her when this happens.

everlastinggreen Thu 11-Aug-11 21:55:53

I dont see this as a lack of patience at all, I see it as a total different value set of how we see our children. I dont see my children as small people I must control and who must obey me. Of course I understand what you are saying about child manipulation but in this instance DH escalated a situation just because ds didnt 'do what he wanted.' DH doesnt 'get' that children do not know everything at this age. His mantra is 'parents are to be obeyed.' Sick and tired of it.

letsgetloud Thu 11-Aug-11 22:09:05

I agree with Ivor, in I think men are harder on children this age. My dh expected much better behaviour from my kids at that age than I did. He was harder on them.

Like you I disliked it, mostly because it stopped us being consistent and upset me that he could upset the kids like that.

He never had the patience for there particular likes and dislikes. ie. only brush their teeth with specific tooth pastes, only drink out 'their' cup. Just typical toddler behaviour.

Not sure if it is only applicable to me, think it may also be because I do the bulk of child care. Thereby I am more use to them and their particular ways and much more willing to do things to prevent tantrums etc. I think if Dh had them as much as me he maybe more sensitive to their emotional abilities.

I think my Dh is a very good father but he never had the patience I did/do have with our kids when they were/are toddlers/pre schoolers.

Ivortheengine8 Thu 11-Aug-11 22:15:34

That is true too letsgetloud, if you are the main carer you inevitably get to know their little ways, habits and tone of voice. In all, DH works long hours so actually doesnt spend much time with dd, so I just don't think the same bond is there somehow, although they do have some kind of bond it's not the same somehow.
Although we don't always agree and I have been very upset before with things he has said, I am still glad I have him there behind me, I would find it much harder doing it by myself.

Ivortheengine8 Thu 11-Aug-11 22:17:03

We were actually having thi discussion the other day and he reckons it will be much easier when they are teenagers!! I laughed at him because I am scared stiff of having to deal with teenagers!

honeyandsalt Thu 11-Aug-11 23:17:13

If someone took a book away I was reading I'd be pretty upset too. Wee toddlers like that need plenty of warning that something they're enjoying is going to finish soon, than some distraction straight away. It sounds like his expectations of your DCs ability to regulate their own emotions are way too high.

Obviously you recognise this infighting is damaging, it must be very stressful for the whole family that you are not on the same parenting page. I think you both should read this then book some time together to try and talk this out without blame and namecalling. Focus what strategies you want to use, try and find common ground and work from there. And try and get away from this good parent/bad parent dichotomy or you'll never get anywhere with him. You're a parenting team, no-one is perfect, and you need to acknowledge that or he'll just feel like you're trying to undermine him more. Just to be clear on this I think you're probably broadly right, but pulling on your judging pants is not going to get you places. Saying you want to be on the same page might.

I feel like the key to this situation is eye-to-eye honest conversation, it might be a long process. Hell, it is a long process, a lifetime's worth!! In the shorter term I have a feeling that your DH may have unresolved issues from his childhood that he needs to think through too. If you just carry on as you are - sitting on the sofa and giving him evils as he misguidedly carries on doing what he feels is best - you're setting the whole family up for years of misery, you need to work with him to resolve this for all your sakes.

Lucyinthepie Thu 11-Aug-11 23:20:49

I think this sounds a bit much for such a young child to be honest. I think if it is worrying you then you should listen to that inner voice. Discipline should be emotionless, you describe him looking at a two year old child with utter disgust. It's not right is it?
"...in this instance DH escalated a situation just because ds didnt 'do what he wanted.' DH doesnt 'get' that children do not know everything at this age. His mantra is 'parents are to be obeyed.'" That's goes beyond being a strong parent I think.
It would bother me, but I'm not sure what I'd do about it.

pictish Thu 11-Aug-11 23:26:30

Mmm.....I think it's all a bit much for a 2 year old, and would upset me as well.

My husband, while not being as severe as yours, has also had unrealistic expectations from our ds1.
In fact, now that I think about it, he has been far less of that persuasion with the younger two....I suppose he has wised up a bit now.

BertieBotts Thu 11-Aug-11 23:33:52

You say you are questioning your marriage over this - I think that's actually illustrating how serious this is (and it is that serious) - how does he respond if you try to talk things through together? I see that both of your styles are at polar opposites, but if you genuinely think that his methods could cause harm (and I'd argue that encouraging children to suppress emotion is harmful)

And sorry, if a man doesn't have at least a little patience or empathy in dealing with a toddler, that isn't typical male behaviour. If he can't cope with children maybe he should have thought about that before having them.

I don't think you can just hang around hoping things will change when they get older unless he's willing to admit that he finds it hard to deal with them right now. From your post it sounds like he feels totally justified in this, and that, to me, is not right.

babyhammock Fri 12-Aug-11 07:30:39

I couldn't bear someone carrying on like that around DS.. Even when they're too young to 'technically' understand, I believe children very much pick up on basic respect. If you don't show them respect and understanding you're gonna have a hard time getting it back.

Is he like that around you with other stuff... sounds like he might be :-/

ScarlettIsWalking Fri 12-Aug-11 07:40:03

He is expecting far too much. I feel for your little boy. Itcwas reasonable of him to get upsecifcas you say something was just taken away from him.

Not all men are like this at all. DH is a real softie. Does he not realise they are very little and learning so much. He sounds quite unintelligent actually. I am not surprised you are questioning your marriage.

exoticfruits Fri 12-Aug-11 07:48:53

I would suggest that you both went to parenting classes. They are very helpful.

Ivortheengine8 Fri 12-Aug-11 07:59:53

No, not all men are like this, (I get slightly envious when I see a lovely dad really understanding and engaging with young children) but you also need to pick out the good points. No one is perfect as said above and I know I hve lost it sometimes too with our dc, I am pretty sure most mums have at some point and have dealt with things in ways our DP's don't like either.
There have been times I have wanted to leave the situation too but you need to assess the alternatives. I know how much it would hurt my dd if I left to bring her up by myself for example and frankly I think that would affect her a lot more.
To say it is abusive as the first reply said is a bit OTT for me, sorry.
Ok, if you DH was smacking or hitting your child, that would be different but the dad took a book away from a child and gave him some kind of 'look'.
I have taken away books from my dc too and sent her to her room if it has been her bedtime and if she throws a tantrum sometimes DH will put her in her room.

exoticfruits Fri 12-Aug-11 08:37:32

People tend to look at parenting classes as something that 'failures'go to. I found that it was full of caring, very good parents, who wanted to be even better. It was great for talking over things with other parents as well as the content. I'm sure that it would help DH -who just has no idea how to handle DCs.

solidgoldbrass Fri 12-Aug-11 08:56:35

Tell your H that his behaviour is bordering on abusive and if he doesn't improve it you will consider throwing him out of the family home. THis man has got to learn that he is NOT the ruler of the house and that he needs to treat everyone else in the home with respect and kindness or he can be made to leave.

Does the thought of standing up to this inadequate fucking tosser like that scare you? If so the relationship is definitely abusive all round.

Lifeissweet Fri 12-Aug-11 09:05:45

I think he just needs a bit of education about the psychology of a small child. Have you tried calmly and rationally explaining to him that 2 year old children have no ability to reason and that they are entirely ego-centric. That is not something that needs to be forced out of them, it is something that will change over time with some guidance. Your child is not 'spoilt' and will develop the ability to empathise and reason if shown how.

To show them how, you need to give them love and kindness, not shouting or contempt. They will, therefore, learn that to get what they want and need they need to be calm, thoughtful and reasonable. If you show them that you get what you want by bullying and unpleasantness, guess what they will do when they want something? It's not rocket science, but it sounds as though he's expecting an older head on a tiny child.

exoticfruits Fri 12-Aug-11 11:31:53

It just sounds as if he has no understanding of children and no experience of children and had quite an authoritarian upbringing himself. No problem if he is open minded and willing to learn and change. (obviously a problem if isn't).

gotolder Fri 12-Aug-11 13:02:09

My XH was like this and nothing I ever said made any difference. It wasn't that he didn't love them, it was that he wanted them to be perfecthmm.
It got worse as the DC got older and he started beating themangry.
That is why he is XH; I think I could have coped better if he had beaten mesad.

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