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Forum -> Parenting our children -> School age children
Is this normal?!
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amother
OP


 

Post Thu, Dec 07 2023, 7:55 pm
My husband is a very good parent. My daughter, age 8, loves him and looks forward to him coming home. With that said he has this thing where if she tries talking over him or anyone he’ll say “leah, Tatty’s talking” and just in general very rigid always telling her to “relax, take it slow, one thing at a time”. I feel like she’s just being a normal kid, it makes me so nervous and tense when he does this because I see her frustration. Lately she’s been telling me “tatty is always telling me to relax, he doesn’t let me talk but he gets to talk, I don’t even know what I’m doing wrong”
We just got into a fight because he was putting on a “dreidel show” and my daughter wanted to get involved and he said “leah relax wait your turn” Usually I keep quiet but I couldn’t handle it this time I said “she’s just being a child!!” And he said “if you don’t let me run the situation I’m leaving” so I said no don’t leave and I went up stairs.
He says there has been times when he’s done this and it’s gotten her to be relaxed and calm so he justifies doing this. Having family time together is so stressful, he’s also barely home pretty much only for 24 hours on shabbos so the whole family dynamic is thrown off.
Sorry for the run on paragraph I really need some advice if this is normal and if not what I should do about it.
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amother
Azure


 

Post Thu, Dec 07 2023, 8:16 pm
I don't understand why it's such a big deal for him to tell her to relax. I would tell her that he gets overwhelmed and when he says she should relax it just means he needs her to wait a minute.
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amother
Begonia


 

Post Thu, Dec 07 2023, 8:59 pm
I can so relate, similar dynamic here unfortunately.
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amother
OP


 

Post Thu, Dec 07 2023, 9:07 pm
amother Azure wrote:
I don't understand why it's such a big deal for him to tell her to relax. I would tell her that he gets overwhelmed and when he says she should relax it just means he needs her to wait a minute.


isn’t that a him problem if he gets overwhelmed? She’s just acting her age
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amother
OP


 

Post Thu, Dec 07 2023, 9:08 pm
amother Begonia wrote:
I can so relate, similar dynamic here unfortunately.


Wow, surprised to hear that. What do you do? Just ignore?
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amother
Azure


 

Post Thu, Dec 07 2023, 9:21 pm
amother OP wrote:
isn’t that a him problem if he gets overwhelmed? She’s just acting her age


Both can work on it, but I think she's having an over reaction. Why is him saying relax making her flip out? The statement in and of itself isn't a huge deal. Why are you getting so upset at him for it? I don't think you should get involved, they should work their relationship out themselves.
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amother
Jade


 

Post Thu, Dec 07 2023, 9:34 pm
amother Azure wrote:
Both can work on it, but I think she's having an over reaction. Why is him saying relax making her flip out? The statement in and of itself isn't a huge deal. Why are you getting so upset at him for it? I don't think you should get involved, they should work their relationship out themselves.


Does anyone like being told to relax when they’re trying to participate, talk, or getting upset?
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amother
OP


 

Post Thu, Dec 07 2023, 9:36 pm
amother Azure wrote:
Both can work on it, but I think she's having an over reaction. Why is him saying relax making her flip out? The statement in and of itself isn't a huge deal. Why are you getting so upset at him for it? I don't think you should get involved, they should work their relationship out themselves.


She doesn’t flip out, I see frustration on her face when it’s excessive. He could be telling her to “relax, calm down, one thing at a time” 10 times within the span of a few minutes.
When she tells me how she feels I’ll tell her “tell tatty, he wants to know how you feel” but I think she’s scared to.

The reason I get upset is because I see how much it frustrates her, and she’s been telling me more and more “tatty doesn’t let me say anything, he’s always telling me to calm down and relax, I don’t know what I’m doing wrong”
Really breaks my heart
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seeker




 
 
    
 

Post Thu, Dec 07 2023, 10:05 pm
Do you have other kids? How is he with them?
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naomi2




 
 
    
 

Post Thu, Dec 07 2023, 11:02 pm
Can he change the wording up a bit to be more specific. Here are some examples:
Leah, can you wait until I'm finished talking to tell me something? Leah, I'll get to you in a minute, x is having a turn first. It's hard to wait I know but you are a good wait-er. I'm really excited to play/talk/see you and I just need to do x first before. I'll be right with you. Leah, can you lower your voice just a bit, it helps me hear what you are saying better

These all tell your daughter in a positive way what behaviors need to change and why. They also show that your dh does want to interact with her, just in a slightly different way.
See if he is interested in some of these suggestions. Explain to him that the wording he's using is confusing to your daughter and she s getting the wrong message that he doesn't enjoy her company or whatever
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amother
OP


 

Post Fri, Dec 08 2023, 6:18 am
seeker wrote:
Do you have other kids? How is he with them?


Just a toddler
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amother
OP


 

Post Fri, Dec 08 2023, 6:19 am
naomi2 wrote:
Can he change the wording up a bit to be more specific. Here are some examples:
Leah, can you wait until I'm finished talking to tell me something? Leah, I'll get to you in a minute, x is having a turn first. It's hard to wait I know but you are a good wait-er. I'm really excited to play/talk/see you and I just need to do x first before. I'll be right with you. Leah, can you lower your voice just a bit, it helps me hear what you are saying better

These all tell your daughter in a positive way what behaviors need to change and why. They also show that your dh does want to interact with her, just in a slightly different way.
See if he is interested in some of these suggestions. Explain to him that the wording he's using is confusing to your daughter and she s getting the wrong message that he doesn't enjoy her company or whatever


These are good suggestions, thank you
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amother
Alyssum


 

Post Fri, Dec 08 2023, 9:58 am
He’s teaching her not to interrupt. That’s not a bad thing.
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amother
Chartreuse


 

Post Fri, Dec 08 2023, 11:08 am
He's teaching her not to interrupt. Just because it's normal doesn't make it right. He may see that you let her interrupt you! Or you also unaware, interrupt . It bothers him and he's teaching her the opposite. He also has to model good behavior. Not only to criticize the negative behavior. Is he doing that too? It makes sense she's annoyed it's hard to change our old habits. Let him know he should go slower on her, when she's in a good mood and say it in a gentler way.
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seeker




 
 
    
 

Post Fri, Dec 08 2023, 11:41 am
I'm going to try avoiding comments, judgements, and advice because this is a little triggering for me and I don't know if I can be clear about it.

However I want to validate OP's concern, even if it does turn out to be fine. I think those saying it's a wonderful and positive teaching experience are oversimplifying and perhaps have never experienced being shut down.

The red flag went up for me when the husband said "if you interfere, I'm leaving." Again we don't know the full background so I'm not going to judge, but this is a type of line that can be used as manipulation and bullying. It can also be used by someone to recognizes a need to stop an unhealthy interaction so there's that. But I'm hearing him shut down op's right to have an opinion and it sounds threatening. Again this could be colored by my experiences but it could also be true.

Combining that with the kid self reporting that she feels it's too much, plus op saying it's happening several times within minutes, as well as saying that family time is stressful, sure it COULD be that op just needs to stress out less but I'm seeing a problem here

My guess is that when he says it works because sometimes it gets her calm, it's more likely that it gets her to shut up because she knows she's not being heard.

If Dad is indeed a nice person then he needs some serious skills help.
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michimochi




 
 
    
 

Post Fri, Dec 08 2023, 11:56 am
I had a family member like that when I was a kid. It was incredibly frustrating. You are right that your daughter is just being a kid, and it's probably not helpful for your husband to try to shut her down.

That being said, your husband's behavior IS normal, in that it's common and not a significant cause for concern. Your DH is just a person with flaws. Maybe he gets impatient when your DD interrupts, or maybe he feels a need to control every situation (which by his comment abour leaving sounds likely). Working on him may take more time and his adult head may be harder to penetrate; better to work with your daughter on dealing with DH's flaws. Explain to her that her dad isn't perfect, and some things are hard for him too, like maybe patience; that she is doing nothing wrong; and to try to go easy on her father because it is hard for him.

DD will be absolutely fine - while a slight hindrance to a deeper relationship with her father, this should really not cause any psychological damage.
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Chayalle




 
 
    
 

Post Fri, Dec 08 2023, 11:59 am
I can relate to the struggle when you and your spouse parent differently OP. But I have learned over the years that there is often a healthy balance to this, between what they get from me and what they get from DH.
And all the experts agree that except in cases of real abuse, it's best not to interrupt your spouses parenting or get involved directly in front of your kid. You can have discussions about better ways for him to interact with her, but NEVER when she is around.

Your daughter should learn not to talk over her father, even if she's acting like a kid, he is right to be correcting her. This will teach her to accept his authority. It's normal for her to act this way as an 8 year old, yes, and it's normal for him to correct her behavior. He's not responding in an overly abusive way (like ch'v a slap on the face) so it doesn't sound like his parenting is all that faulty here.
Honestly I don't understand why you are so insistent here that she be allowed to "act like a child" instead of learning to allow her father the authority to be a father.

If you feel he could be more patient with her at times, or allow her more involvement, that's for a discussion with him when she is not around, not in the moment of interaction.
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amother
OP


 

Post Fri, Dec 08 2023, 1:28 pm
Thank you all for your perspectives, very helpful to know it’s more normal than I thought and not a major concern. The threatening to leave was a one off thing, he hates when I interfere which is why 99 percent of the time I don’t. he is a very nice person and loving father. I think he just gets overstimulated and overwhelmed when kids are excited.
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giftedmom




 
 
    
 

Post Fri, Dec 08 2023, 1:33 pm
If I had to guess I would say that your daughter is picking up on your frustration and therefore reacting the way she does. You need to let go and allow your husband to parent. He’s not being abusive or damaging. Seeing you tense up every time will damage her more in the long run.
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seeker




 
 
    
 

Post Fri, Dec 08 2023, 1:33 pm
So then he needs to learn skills to 1. Cope with this, and 2. Communicate his needs to you and dd in a way that's more in tune with her and your needs.

Also he needs to know that the words "calm down" are possibly the least effective and often counterproductive phrase known to humankind.

And you need to try to bring this up when it's not in the moment in front of the kid.

I still don't like the threatening to leave but maybe that's my baggage. I hope you're right that it's a one off.
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