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Why would someone say stuff like this?

(57 Posts)
Fantacolasprite Sat 15-Jun-13 17:41:35

I am after a sanity check here. My eldest Dd was dilly dallying this morning not brushing her teeth- lying on the ground basically chewing her toothbrush instead of at least making a start on them. I normally help her a bit but I was rushing about this morning getting myself ready to take them out to a party and my husband was getting them ready. She is 5. My husband was getting more and more irate with her, and then said something along the lines of ' well if you don't want to brush your teeth I'll take you to the dentist and have them all taken out' . I thought this was a horrendous thing to say to a child and I can barely look him in the eye now. He said it was heat of the moment and has apologised. I am struggling to let this go because I just wonder where this sort of unpleasant stuff even comes from. I don't think it would occur to me to say something like that to anyone let alone a 5 year old. Am I overreacting? He has apologised.... I almost feel like I don't know him. Ugh, I don't know. Be gentle please. :-(

BeckAndCall Sat 15-Jun-13 17:44:27

Ridiculous thing to say, but I think I've heard myself saying ridiculous things in my time too. He doesn't mean it. You know he doesn't mean it. He's not being evil, just plain fed up with your DD not doing what she should be doing. Let it go and move on.

meditrina Sat 15-Jun-13 17:46:47

His tone and DD's reaction is everything here, and hard to convey when typing. If it wasment, and she took it, on the same level as "I'm going to rip off your arm and beat you round the head with the soggy end', then that's fine. If it was a usually patient/kind parent who misjudged effect of words (for we all make mistakes from time to time, including big ones), then apology is in order, then you move on.

But if you think he's got a set pattern of speech and behaviour which is threatening, then yes this is a big problem.

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 15-Jun-13 17:47:28

I really don't think it was that bad a comment, quite funny actually IMO. You have vastly over reacted with not being able to look at him and having him apologise jheeze.

tumbletumble Sat 15-Jun-13 17:49:19

I've heard my friend say to her DS "if you're naughty the police will come and take you away". I think it's an awful thing to say, but my guess is that she, and your DH, heard it from their own parents.

Agree with BeckAndCall. He's apologised, you've made it clear it's not acceptable. Unless it happens again you need to forgive him and move on.

thepixiefrog Sat 15-Jun-13 17:50:40

Hi op, I personally don't think it is a horrendous thing to say. It's definitely not a nice thing to say, however, and the stress of the situation got the better of your dh. He realises this, has apologised and I think you need to move on. At 5 your dd won't associate dentists with pain and anxiety the way adults do so there really won't be any emotional damage there.

Also, you need to remember that dh has a really good track record (so it seems to me as you are so suprised by this current outburst) and this is highly unusual for him. Think of it as a minor lapse and something to learn from, not the sudden revelation of a potential abusive personality.

Fantacolasprite Sat 15-Jun-13 17:52:35

Thanks all. It's interesting. Seems like I may be over sensitive.

DawnOfTheDee Sat 15-Jun-13 17:54:48

Not the best thing to say but I could imagine your DD posting about on mn in 20-30 years time on the thread 'Things your parents told you that you believed (but were in face complete bollocks)'.

rainbowfeet Sat 15-Jun-13 17:55:32

Wait til she is s teenager & pushing all your buttons I'm sure you will not always be so gentle with your words then!!!
Kids test you & as long as it isn't physical or constant harsh words then its normal & fine!

Corygal Sat 15-Jun-13 17:57:19

I think you've overreacted, we all do sometimes.

DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Sat 15-Jun-13 17:57:51

My SIL has told my niece, in the heat of the moment when she's playing up and refusing to have her hair brushed and plaited, that she'll take her to the hairdressers and ask them to cut it all off.

He's apologised. To say you can barely look him in the eye and feel like you don't know him is a huge overreaction.

Lweji Sat 15-Jun-13 18:00:00

Does he ever say something like this?
Has he apologised to DD or just you?
Has he reassured her he was kidding?

I have told DS I'd throw him out of the window, and even playfully and not in anger, I could see he wasn't sure, so went out of my way to reassure him and he now jokes about it too.

I'd never threaten as punishment anything I wouldn't be prepared to carry on.

I understand he might have said it without thinking, but I'd make sure this was the last time he said something like this.
Has he truly understood why this was wrong?

babadabadoo Sat 15-Jun-13 18:00:50

yeah dont see the big deal myself but I am not you. I guess he was just trying to get her to brush her teeth properly and not waste any time. Perhaps he is not as patient as you but I doubt she has been damaged by the remark.

Whatwouldyousay Sat 15-Jun-13 18:01:23

From this perspective it sounds obvious that he was exaggerating for effect - misjudged probably but also probably effective. Hindsight is wonderful - and he's apologised. I think your reaction to him since (not being able to look him in the eye) is an over-reaction.

Lweji Sat 15-Jun-13 18:05:45

Fwiw, I think HE overreacted, not you.
He needs to know you found this totally unacceptable, as would I.

If all else is good, I'd forgive and move on, but not forget.

Lweji Sat 15-Jun-13 18:10:39

Your DD will either be frightened or dismissive. Neither is good.

And why didn't he help her Or coax her, instead of being irate?

Both of you need to find better discipline and encouraging tactics, it seems.

Fantacolasprite Sat 15-Jun-13 18:10:46

Hi lweji. Part of the reason I feel jarred is because I had to explain to him why it was wrong and I don't feel he gets it. I would not like someone to say this stuff to me that's for sure in the context of a heated discussion. But I am sensitive I accept that.

Lweji Sat 15-Jun-13 18:26:21

I don't think you are sensitive. smile

Perhaps I'm more alert to red flags, but this and the not realising it's wrong, are one for me.

He could have said that if she didn't brush her teeth they would go rotten and she'd have to go to the dentist to remove them all.
Are you sure he didn't say this? Because it is different.

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 15-Jun-13 18:31:43

It just sounds like a joke to me!

I guess it depends on their relationship, how it was said and how she took it.

If anyone said this to my DC's I'm sure we've said much worse they'd just laugh and take it as a jokey way to hurry them along.

Fantacolasprite Sat 15-Jun-13 18:35:04

Hi Lweji, No that isn't what was said. Absolutely not. It was as I described.

There is a context to this also- he has smacked her, I have heard it. Gone into the room and have said ' did you smack her?' And he has denied it. Then later admitted it.

BalloonSlayer Sat 15-Jun-13 18:37:58

There's a frequent threat by parents to DDs with long hair who don't look after it - "if you won't brush it, we'll have to get it all cut off."

I suspect his brain went a-looking for a teeth-related version and it came up with this, not realising it actually sounds quite awful.

Or he could have heard of people saying about other people's DCs "oh well they never made sure the kids brushed their teeth so they had to have them all taken out" and not really made the connection about that happening because they were all decayed.

rainbowfeet Sat 15-Jun-13 18:39:55

I'm always on the phone to Father Christmas telling him to take dc's off his list!!!!

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 15-Jun-13 18:47:55

I'm a bit confused why the smacking has been allowed to go on, but you're really furious about this?!

Lweji Sat 15-Jun-13 18:50:57

How many times has he smacked her and in what context?

How was his response to your challenge, once he admitted it? Has he done it again?

Indeed you both (him?) seem to need improved parenting skills.
You can show him how alternative methods work better, with less stress for everyone (nasty threats or smacks).
See how he responds.

You do need boundaries and to show him you cannot stand by to this treatment of DD.

How is he with you?
Does he get angry like this?

Fantacolasprite Sat 15-Jun-13 18:51:38

I haven't 'allowed it to go on' Outraged.

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