need some advice - parenting — The Bump

need some advice - parenting

so my H tends to freak out when the kids make a mess or something gets broken and while I don't love them making messes or breaking things I understand its a part of having kids. He screams at them and lately I've been telling him to calm down its only water or calm down we can fix it and he is saying that I'm disagreeing with him in front of the kids and that is sending them the wrong message. Do you think that by me telling him to calm down that I'm showing that I'm not united with him or whatever? I just don't want them to think any time they spill something or accidentally break something they will get screamed at....

thanks for you input!

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Re: need some advice - parenting

  • I think you're both a little bit wrong and a little bit right, actually!

    The solution is probably pretty simple: a bit of compromise.  Without the kids around, talk about what each of you are comfortable with.  What do each of you consider a "no big deal" mess vs. a "big deal" mess.  Come up with ways you can work with the kids to prevent or reduce messes/spills ahead of time, as opposed to scolding after it's already happened.  Then agree that when a mess happens, you'll handle it firmly but without yelling and anger.  That way he feels comfortable that you're both sending a message that messes are to be avoided, and you feel comfortable that he's not yelling and scolding over something that's normal kid behavior.

    My H and I had a similar dilemma.  His dad is a yeller and if you spilled something, you got yelled at about it because you were being careless.  My parents looked at spills as accidents; they happen, and if you take responsibility for them, it's no big deal. I felt that my H was being unreasonable in his angry reactions to accidents and causing the kids to resent him. By listening, I discovered that my H wasn't bothered by the spill itself, as the careless behavior that causes messes and spills.  He feels that not all messes ARE accidents, and that kids need to learn to be more responsible and aware of their surroundings.  He felt that my "as long as you clean it up it's no big deal" response was inadvertently saying that the kids didn't have to try to prevent accidents.  We discovered that we actually agreed about the most important thing: teaching the kids to be more responsible for their actions.  From this point of agreement it was pretty easy to come up with a more unified way of dealing with the problem.

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
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