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I don't know what to do! PLEASE HELP!

My husband can be so mean to our three almost four year old. My husband is very impatient with him, doesn't even try to understand what is going on emotionally with DS, and can be just plain mean. He will yell at DS to shut up, yells at him when he is crying and tells him to stop crying. He will call DS retarded for not understanding something he told him to do. He tells DS that he is a sissy for crying over small things. I don't know what to do. Divorce is the very last option, and that wouldn't even help since he would get joint custody and I wouldn't be around to protect DS. My husband is not abusive and hasn't even so much as spanked our son, but just being verbally mean is too much for me to take. When I have confronted him about this he says he doesn't want to raise a sissy boy and isn't afraid to be strict. He says his parents were much stricter and he turned out fine. He also gets mad at me for undermining him.

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:48 AM on Feb. 20, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (7)
  • He needs counseling. You say he isnt abusive but what you are describing is verbal abuse and the damages can run much deeper and do much more harm.You need to tell your husband that you want to see a family counselor and that his other option is a separation. Your son deserves better than that and if your husband refuses to get help its your job to protect your son. I wish you the best as I know this is going to be a long and hard journey for you.

    Answer by NightOwlMama at 3:28 AM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • I doubt your husband would go to counseling - his attitude is very common - what' was good enough for me is good for my son. First, I suggest YOU read "The Wonder of Boys" by Michael Gurian - this will help you understand some of the differences in HOW dad's/men relate differently to boys and WHY. Second, it will give you some ways of dealing with the situation by looking OUTSIDE your immediate family for role models/mentors for your son. Yes, what his father is doing is terrible, BUT if your son can have other role models/mentors besides his father, he can learn different ways of relating to men and a good mentor will help him find value in himself where his father may not be able to. Find other influences for your son - mentors, coaches, etc. that he can build a relationship with and go to when he needs help. Don't rely on your husband to teach him to be a man - rely on a group of men to give him the best options.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 9:37 AM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • Does your husband have any male friends that are also fathers?? Maybe if he sees how other fathers react and handle their children he will realize there are better ways to parent other than yelling at a 3 year old.

    Answer by lil_angel00 at 11:25 AM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • It sounds like the problem is much deeper than just verbally abusing your son. I only say that because you mention divorce and custody. I don't know the kind of relationship you have with you hubby, but you need to stick up for your son. Make a stand. Make him understand this is unacceptable and harmful to your son. He's only 3 years old, he needs you to have his back.

    Answer by chesiretuff at 11:48 AM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • A hit lasts for a minute compared to the scars of verbal abuse. Honestly, not okay. Maybe you can videotape him so he can see how mean he is. That is not being strict that's being a bully.

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 7:57 PM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • Children don't have to be hit or spanked to be abused. What you describe is verbal and emotional abuse! This type of interaction can and will leave emotional scars on a child that last a life time. My husband was never validated by his father when he was little because his father died when he was 5 years old. Today, as a 45 year old, he is in therapy and takes medication for clinical depression. His issues as a grown man are self esteem issues. Since his father never told him, your smart, your kind, your WORTHY, I AM GLAD YOUR HERE!, he questions himself and his abilities constantly! Talk with your husband and even share these posts. I am sure it is a tough situation, but your son depends on you to look out for him and to help him grow up to be a happy, self assured individual. Best Wishes!

    Answer by LovetoTeach247 at 4:17 AM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • I have this same problem, not only with my children verbally abusive to me as well. We do spend alot of time arguing about how the children should be talked to, treated. I cant give any advice, I'm in the same situation fortunatly I am not married, but we live together, and you know when they move out most of them move on without their kids. I've sacrificed just for them to have their father in their lives, but I am miserable. Verbal abuse sticks with you, and with children too, It can damage them for a long time, as soon as I get the stregnth I'm getting out of this situation, very soon. I have always stood up for my children, this is what causes the arguments, name calling, belittling me, making me feel even unworthy to be with him. Think about it, when your tired you will be tired.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:45 AM on Feb. 21, 2009

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