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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 4:52 pm
Unfortunately it’s become very clear how incapable my husband is at handling the kids.

We have a very difficult toddler right now and I can barely keep my wits about me when she’s having a tantrum. Husband’s plan is “stop crying or I’ll throw you in the pool!” (Which he never would but he thinks for some reason this will make a 2 year old listen 🙄) or “stop crying or I’ll lock you outside!” He did this also with our first child. I’ll never forget my horror when I saw he had actually locked our 2 year old on the back porch (it was closed in so she couldn’t have gone anywhere but that’s not the point) I find it abusive and unacceptable and no matter how much I tell him to stop saying that, he ignores me.

Just now the toddler was having a tantrum, lasted maybe all of 5 minutes. But he couldn’t handle hearing it. So he marched in the room, took her outside to the backyard and shut the door. My oldest (10) gets very affected by this and becomes really upset, understandably. She opened the door and let the toddler inside. The even more frustrating thing is my husband will come back while she’s still crying and say “can I put her outside? No? Ok then it’s on you, don’t tell me anything” as if he really thinks his idea is better. It boggles my mind because he’s a great husband and father. He just cannot handle the kids when they’re out of control. It truly makes me wonder if he was abused physically or emotionally as a kid. His father was very intense and actually scared me while he was alive. He has a bad habit of biting his knuckles and his mom used to poke him with a pin as a child when he did it.

I just don’t know how to explain to my husband that this is horrible and ineffective and will traumatize our kids, the one he’s trying to put outside and the kids watching. What do I do?
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amother




Wheat
 

Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 4:56 pm
Wow Im so sorry youre going through this.

It sounds so hard.
My husband does little things to the kids and it eats me up sometimes.

The part that made me goggle was about his mother poking him with a pin.
Thats really not ok.
Def sounds like he has trauma from his childhood.

Doesnt make it ok what hes doing now.
Do you think hed ever be open to therapy?

Any way you can honestly express your feelings to him?
Is he the type to sit and take it in?
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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 5:05 pm
Yes I think I could get him to sit and listen to how I feel, but I’m not sure how it’ll play out next time the toddler has another big tantrum.
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ora_43




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 5:10 pm
Sounds like maybe the main thing he needs are better tools. Could you two come up with a plan together for what you will do? Eg time-outs (in an appropriate environment...), counting to 3 then giving consequences, whatever.

If there's a plan to follow that might help him not get overwhelmed and jump to "exert my dominance as the father by scaring kids into obedience." (a horrible approach, but it's the one he grew up with, so it makes sense that that's his go-to pattern even if he's generally a good father)
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amother




Crimson
 

Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 5:14 pm
He must have seen this at home

Ask not to do it-even if he doesn’t understand why-just to make you happy

And tell him you will handle tantrums and he has permission to lock himself in the opposite side of house until it’s over

Something’s he’s good at and something you’re better at
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BrisketBoss




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 5:15 pm
ora_43 wrote:
Sounds like maybe the main thing he needs are better tools. Could you two come up with a plan together for what you will do? Eg time-outs (in an appropriate environment...), counting to 3 then giving consequences, whatever.

If there's a plan to follow that might help him not get overwhelmed and jump to "exert my dominance as the father by scaring kids into obedience." (a horrible approach, but it's the one he grew up with, so it makes sense that that's his go-to pattern even if he's generally a good father)


It sounds like the problem OP is talking about is that her husband is triggered by tantrums. Why would anyone punish a tantrum? A time out for the husband himself might be good, however.

It would be good if he could talk to someone and explore his triggers.
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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 5:17 pm
I really appreciate your thoughtful responses. I was scared to post this but I’m glad I did. Thank you
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Goldie613




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 5:24 pm
amother Crimson wrote:
He must have seen this at home

Ask not to do it-even if he doesn’t understand why-just to make you happy

And tell him you will handle tantrums and he has permission to lock himself in the opposite side of house until it’s over

Something’s he’s good at and something you’re better at


This. Not every parent can handle every situation. Clearly this situation is massively hard for him in some way, as you said OP, it may be trauma related. The best thing is if the kid is tantruming, mom will have to deal with it and dad doesn't. Let your husband know, though, that it would probably be a good idea to talk with someone (can even say both of you will go) about other ways of dealing with screaming toddlers.

If this is the only stage that is hard for him, hopefully it will be short(-ish) lived, and in the meantime the kids seeing you handle things is probably better for them in the long run than what they are seeing now.

Hug
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amother




Cornsilk
 

Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 6:20 pm
amother OP wrote:
Unfortunately it’s become very clear how incapable my husband is at handling the kids.

It boggles my mind because he’s a great husband and father. He just cannot handle the kids when they’re out of control. It truly makes me wonder if he was abused physically or emotionally as a kid. His father was very intense and actually scared me while he was alive. He has a bad habit of biting his knuckles and his mom used to poke him with a pin as a child when he did it.


OP, you understand that you answered your own question. I'm sure the pin was just the tip of iceberg. Ask him if he's willing to go for therapy. He needs to deal with his past trauma. And then he may be able to implement some better parenting skills
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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 6:44 pm
There was a quiet moment just now when the kids all went their separate ways and we were sitting alone in the living room. I asked him what his parents did when he and his sister misbehaved. He said “they beat the sh*t out of us”. I said “so that explains a lot” but he said “well, it worked”. So I asked him did it really? Did it really work? Because now you’re threatening to throw a 2 year old into our pool for a tantrum, I think we need to figure out how to handle this. He’s very against therapy but maybe I can work on getting him to open up to me.
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amother




Bisque
 

Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 6:59 pm
amother OP wrote:
There was a quiet moment just now when the kids all went their separate ways and we were sitting alone in the living room. I asked him what his parents did when he and his sister misbehaved. He said “they beat the sh*t out of us”. I said “so that explains a lot” but he said “well, it worked”. So I asked him did it really? Did it really work? Because now you’re threatening to throw a 2 year old into our pool for a tantrum, I think we need to figure out how to handle this. He’s very against therapy but maybe I can work on getting him to open up to me.


Seems like he is opening up to you. I also think he doesn't have the tools to deal with tantruming kids. When he is calm, talk through different situations with him, how he would react & how you would, what would be more effective etc. Or get a parenting book to read together.
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amother




Lightyellow
 

Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 7:04 pm
As a child that was beaten I also can’t deal with tantrums. It sets off alarms in my head and I just desperately want it to stop now. I often go to my room and put headphones on. But the pull to just put the kid in a room and shut the door is strong. He’s having a fight or flight response. For the time being of there are tantrums you should be there to help deal with it.
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amother




IndianRed
 

Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 7:09 pm
Step one is for him to agree, in a calm moment, that his actions are not okay and he needs better tools to handle the children acting out.

Once he understands that this behavior cannot be done anymore you can work towards a better solution.

Now listen to this part: It's better for HIM to walk away and for HIM to go into time out for himself, than to do something damaging to the kids. So if he feels like the situation is getting to him and he cannot stay calm, he should remove himself from the scene and go to his room until he feels like he could handle the kids. If he needs you to take over, that's fine. But he has to stop acting repulsively and acknowledge when he is feeling too upset.

Parenting is hard and it may feel too hard for him to change overnight. All he has to know at this point is that you are not expecting him to become a super calm dad right now. You just need him to take a step back when he feels he can't handle the situation.
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amother




Aubergine
 

Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 7:14 pm
My DH can't handle the kids either when they get difficult. He's a totally hands-on, loving, involved, caring dad but the minute they get wild or uncooperative he has no clue what to do about it. He doesn't even try. I get called to deal with all situations. Which maybe is better than him locking my kids outside - but it's exhausting and unfair to always be the one to play policewoman while he gets to remain fun dad. I have tried talking to him about this so many times. Truthfully we should have done a parenting course together at some point. But now my kids are all older - a few more years and they'll all be out. Hardly seems worth it at this point but it might be a great idea for you guys.
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amother




Crocus
 

Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 8:33 pm
You can tell him I have a neighbor who’s kids were fighting and one kid locked the other onto the porch. Someone took a video (we don’t know who) and they had cps come down for multiple visits for a few months.
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amother




Amaryllis
 

Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 8:39 pm
amother OP wrote:
Unfortunately it’s become very clear how incapable my husband is at handling the kids.

We have a very difficult toddler right now and I can barely keep my wits about me when she’s having a tantrum. Husband’s plan is “stop crying or I’ll throw you in the pool!” (Which he never would but he thinks for some reason this will make a 2 year old listen 🙄) or “stop crying or I’ll lock you outside!” He did this also with our first child. I’ll never forget my horror when I saw he had actually locked our 2 year old on the back porch (it was closed in so she couldn’t have gone anywhere but that’s not the point) I find it abusive and unacceptable and no matter how much I tell him to stop saying that, he ignores me.

Just now the toddler was having a tantrum, lasted maybe all of 5 minutes. But he couldn’t handle hearing it. So he marched in the room, took her outside to the backyard and shut the door. My oldest (10) gets very affected by this and becomes really upset, understandably. She opened the door and let the toddler inside. The even more frustrating thing is my husband will come back while she’s still crying and say “can I put her outside? No? Ok then it’s on you, don’t tell me anything” as if he really thinks his idea is better. It boggles my mind because he’s a great husband and father. He just cannot handle the kids when they’re out of control. It truly makes me wonder if he was abused physically or emotionally as a kid. His father was very intense and actually scared me while he was alive. He has a bad habit of biting his knuckles and his mom used to poke him with a pin as a child when he did it.

I just don’t know how to explain to my husband that this is horrible and ineffective and will traumatize our kids, the one he’s trying to put outside and the kids watching. What do I do?

It sounds like he had a chaotic childhood and tantrums or other standard childhood chaos triggers him back to when he felt out of control. It's a trauma response. It's terrible. Your kids are suffering. But he is suffering too and the only way for him to do better for his kids is to deal with it in trauma therapy. I've seen huge progress made, with the whole body calming down and not being so uptight all the time.
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amother




Oxfordblue
 

Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 9:07 pm
amother Lightyellow wrote:
As a child that was beaten I also can’t deal with tantrums. It sets off alarms in my head and I just desperately want it to stop now. I often go to my room and put headphones on. But the pull to just put the kid in a room and shut the door is strong. He’s having a fight or flight response. For the time being of there are tantrums you should be there to help deal with it.


In my opinion better the child should go in time out (in his/her room) than the parent. I think children are afraid when the parent 'gives up' or 'cant handle the situation' and has to go to their room. Time out is short effective and has the message 'if you behave in a way that is unsafe or disturbing to others you cannot be around others'. Better if you can sit inside the room with the child but not always possible. Always talk out the situation once child is calm and before he/she leaves the room.
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BrisketBoss




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 9:08 pm
amother Oxfordblue wrote:
In my opinion better the child should go in time out (in his/her room) than the parent. I think children are afraid when the parent 'gives up' or 'cant handle the situation' and has to go to their room. Time out is short effective and has the message 'if you behave in a way that is unsafe or disturbing to others you cannot be around others'. Better if you can sit inside the room with the child but not always possible. Always talk out the situation once child is calm and before he/she leaves the room.


Should you put a baby in time out if they hurt themselves and cry?

If not, what's the difference, really?
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BrisketBoss




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 9:12 pm
Children aren't afraid when parents model self regulation. The parent can briefly and calmly announce what they are about to do and why, and then do it, including if that thing is leaving the room. Then the child has that in their toolbox.
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amother




Oxfordblue
 

Post Tue, Nov 08 2022, 9:18 pm
BrisketBoss wrote:
Should you put a baby in time out if they hurt themselves and cry?

If not, what's the difference, really?


Some older kids are especially kvetchy and whiney and carry on for literally hours. This is not appropriate behavior and unacceptable in our home. We talk to communicate and you can ask for attention too. Some kids when overtired in bad mood will overreact yell and destroy things when unhappy. Also unacceptable. These are the tantrums/behavior I am referring to.

I dont think this compares to a crying baby or older child crying because they hurt themselves.

The truth is when children feel heard there is much less 'tantruming' all around. So paying attention to your kids is really the best preventative measure.
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