DH losing his temper...how to handle?(13 Posts)
We are on holiday with our two kids DSS12 and DD7 for three weeks. DSS is a difficult child and often refuses to do all sorts of things but as we only have him EOW there hasn't been much that we have tried to sort it out that has been very successful. DH normally has the patience of a saint with DSS but today when we got to an activity that DSS chose he refused to put on sunscreen on his face without a mirror nor would he let DH put it on his face. After reasoning etc DH starts shouting at DSS and then loses the plot completely and smashes the suncream into DSSs face and smears it all over. I start shouting to stop that he's rubbing it straight in his eyes. DH stops. DSS in floods of tears. DD crying. DH is enraged and proceeds to pound one fist into the palm of his other hand threateningly. I insist DH goes and takes a walk while trying to sort out two completely flipped out kids. He comes back and takes DSS for a walk and they chat come back and all seems better but it's NOT OKAY with me! DH has never been in the slightest bit violent or aggressive toward any of us. If anything I have more of a temper and can be more shouty. I tried to talk to DH but he maintains that DSS has to learn not to be such a pain and that he did apologise to DSS. I just can't let it go but I don't know what to do with it either.
I remember getting slapped across face at the age of twelve by my father for something very minor, I remember it and so will your DSS with this incident. He might not bring it up but he will never forget it.
It's just not acceptable behaviour, he hasn't even truly accepted full responsibility because he's blaming DSS for being a pain. Maybe not to this extreme but does your DH often lose his temper?
No, he really doesn't. He usually is very patient and kind. It's why I'm struggling so much with this one. I don't feel like letting it go is the right thing to do but DH is just stone walling. We don't usually have his son for this length of time and I think DH is feeling overwhelmed but it's no excuse. What he did to DSS was really quite violent.
Why couldn't he have a mirror to put suncream on? I bloody hate it when people refer to their children as a difficult child. My mum did this to me and I think I was about 30 before the lightbulb hit and I realised it wasn't me it was her.
Hopefully he will tell his mum ASAP. Your dh sounds vicious.
If my child came back from their dads telling me this had happened there would be no more contact. It's abuse. I have a nearly 13 year old and they can be incredibly trying but that's what preteens are like! No excuse for what your dh did.
Have to agree with Fairylea if my DS came back from his Dad's and told me this I'd probably get him arrested! We're on holiday and our kids (DS9 has autism, DS2 I'm convinced has autism, and DD3 is a live wire) and we're all struggling with the crap weather, change in routine etc. If my man did this to one of the kids I'd leave him, no matter how irritating they were being. You're right, you can't just let it go.
If my DP did this to our DSS, I would take the poor boy back to his Mum (if possible), or at the very least tell her, and keep DP away from the poor boy! There would be no question about leaving him.
You're H obviously doesn't know how serious this is.
If his ex finds out there will be huge reprocussions.
You need to ask him what he thinks will happen when his ex finds out. This might make him face up to his actions.
This is a difficult one, on the one hand, to do this to his child is totally unacceptable, on the other it's not normal behaviour for the dad. Yes you should talk to him about the inevitable repercussions and he should explain to his EW, exactly how it happened with profuse apologies! But, if the boy is OK, perhaps wait till after the holiday, but make sure that the your DSS has the best time possible for the rest of the time.....and before anyone shoots me down for appearing to condone this, I certainly don't, but who will it help if the holiday is ruined for everyone?
The Ex is of no help here. She and DH have never had a co-parenting relationship. They do not speak hardly at all. In their divorce it was DH who raised concerns because Ex was smacking a then 2 year old DSS. I think it's unlikely that DSS will mention to his mum and if he does that's perfectly fine and DH will need to deal with any fallout.
This the first time DH has ever laid a hand on DSS. DSS has an iPhone and could call/FaceTime his mum anytime he wants although she has form for ignoring his calls when he's with us which use to upset him when he was younger. VWe are in California so popping DSS back to his mum isn't going to happen nor would I have any right to do so. I think DSS would be very upset to go home early even if that was an option. He and DH have a close relationship and we all usually get along fine. I suppose I'm trying to sort out how to handle it within our family. DH sat on the sofa all evening looking withdrawn and sad. He just keeps saying he feels like the worst parent but won't actually talk about what on earth happened. I just feel baffled and upset. I told him he had to talk to DD as well because she witnessed it and it terrified her.
Oh dear, it looks like he's in the depths of remorse and denial all at the same time! I can understand (but definitely not condone) him snapping if his DS was being so difficult about sun cream! My DSGD (5) is a terror for it, and if I insist she can't come into the garden without it, she'll stay indoors....and I know it should be her grandad doing the insisting, but there you go, he's a total pushover, which is another story!!
Anyway, perhaps the best thing is for your DH to spend some one on one time with his DS whilst your on hols, but he has to own the fact that he lost control this once, and tell his DS how sorry he is about it. Perhaps you could also have a word with the child about not being silly about things as important as suncream!
I don't think that you should do or say anything else at all right now. You intervened and stopped the incident at the time, thank goodness and well done. Now your H needs to do some serious thinking but it sounds like he is doing that. Give him some space to do that and then talk, maybe once you are home.
Your DH does have to own up to losing control, for being aggressive and for scaring his DS. His DS needs to hear this a few times from him, and believe his father is genuinely sorry.
But you do say that this is completely out of character, and I presume you've known DH for several years. In that case I would agree with some recent posters and say that your DH needs time to let his behaviour sink in, reflect on it. It could be even more scary for DS if he was taken off somewhere else away from his father, he needs to see and know that he is really sorry and to rebuild a little trust.
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