43 answers

Does Your Husband Enjoy Children's Events?

My 9 YO daughter had her school play last night and my husband met us there. In general, he dislikes most school-related activities. At the intermission of the performance he started getting antsy. He knew that my daughter's part was finished. For about 15 minutes he went on and on about how long the performance was and would it be wrong if he left early. I said that said that yes, I thought it would be wrong. After a while I told him to go home that I was tired of listening to him complain about being there. My daughter was disappointed to find out that he had left early. Today I find myself really angry at him for not being interested in this activity that happens once a year. I really find his behavior unusually self-centered. Does you and your partner enjoy attending school events that your child takes part in?

What can I do next?

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My hubby actually enjoys them more then me. I don't know why I am not as interested in them but he is always sad when he can't get off work to make events...

1 mom found this helpful

Depends on how busy my husband is with work. If he's swamped, he's in full countdown mode with school or sports events. When he went to a gym performance that wasn't as big of a deal as anticipated, he griped up to the starting time about why wasn't it set up for a big show. I told him to just leave if he wanted to and then he got angry at me for "making him look bad" in front of the kids (sheesh).

You're not alone. Some guys can be great dads but not so much when it comes to the obligatory activities.

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I think it was incredibly insensitive of your husband to skip out on the rest of the performance. Yes, your daughter's part was done, but he probably missed her coming out for the final bow, right? That's the moment when most kids will scan the crowd for their parents' proud faces, and he left her feeling disappointed. Shame on him. You have every right to be angry with him about it. He owes your daughter an apology; he should get her some pretty flowers to congratulate her on a job well done. Parents need to be there for their kids through it all, they don't get to pick and choose only the "good parts." Make sure he understands that. And as a side note, it is rude for parents to get up and leave a performance half way through just because their kid is done. Think of how that made all the other kids and their parents feel, like they were not worthy of his time and attention. Unless it was an emergency, he should have stayed to the end. Whether he was bored or not. I don't think a lot of people, men especially, really think through how their words and actions affect other people. Spell it out for him.

8 moms found this helpful

My dad never attended any school events. He just said 'I ain't interesed', it hurt then and it still hurts today. In 6th grade I dropped out of Girl Scouts to join a rifle club, he was a big gun nut, hoping he would at least show an interest. He never came and never wanted to hear about it. I really wanted to stay in Scouts but I spent many years trying to get my dad's attention and it never worked.
School events are a chance for children to shine. Both parents should go and cheer on their children. Your child may become the next Mozart, or Picasso and your hubby is not interested in music or art, so what. Children will only become who they are supposed to be with loving support of their parents.
Your hubby needs an attitude adjustment. Before he loses his kids love. It's that kind of behavior that makes adult kids drop parents off at a nursing home and never return. Tell him to think about it.

7 moms found this helpful

You have every right to be upset. Not only is it rude to leave any sort of event like this before the end (think of how few parents would be left if everyone left when their kid's part was done), but it hurt your daughter. I think you need to have your daughter tell daddy how disappointed she was. Maybe this will get him to think about someone other than himself during this once a year ritual.

As a side note, my grandfather was a world-renowned musician and extremely particular about what he listened to. The man never missed a choral concert from 4th-12th grades. I'm sure he hated almost every minute of them, as his ear was so musically trained, but he stayed through them all, clapped at the end, and made us feel like we were the best one out there. If he could live through that, your husband can certainly be inconvenienced for an hour or so one night a year!

6 moms found this helpful

My oldest is four and has been in preschool full time this year, part time (2 days per week) since she was 2. Hubby has never missed one performance or activity. There was one class trip I missed, coworkers were on vacation that day so I couldn't take off :( I was so very sad but they had a wonderful time. He really enjoys everything with our girls so I'm not at all surprised that he is so involved in their every day life as well as special events. I too would be really angry if my hubby bailed on a once a year performance. It's not about him, it's FOR her. He needs to DADDY UP ;)

4 moms found this helpful

Le's face it, you'd have to be pretty simple-minded to enjoy elementary school events. Thje music is bad, the drama isn't good, you want to starngle some of the kids (and parents). BUT we go to them because we love our kids - and we want to see our kids' part of it. My husabnd works odd hours so there have been many times that he wasn't able to get to the performance. There wer other times when he'd go the rehearsal during school hours. And yes, there were times that he's leave early when it got too painfully boring. And yes the kids were disappointed if not prepared in advance. It's tough for the kids to see all these other parents waiting for their kid (some with bouquets of flowers!) - I think it's all about managing expectations.

Is it selfish for your husband to leave early and not be an adult about sitting through another 20 minutes of mind-numbingly boring stuff done by other kids - yeah. But measure it against his other behaviors - does he work hard towards supporting his family? Does he show the kids he cares about them most other times, is he unselfish on the other 364 days of the year for the most part? If he's otherwise a good guy give him a pass on this and next time explain to the kids BEFORE the performance that since daddy gets up so realy in the morning he has a really tough time staying alert once he's seen his darling child do her thing - BUT - he'll be waiting at home eager to make celebratory ice cream sundaes - or something along those lines.

Then, mama, help him out. Guys are not, by nature, as intuitive as we are. Get the ice cream ahead of time, tell him what to get ready - or suggest he stop and buy some flowers to give to his little girl. Even suggest that he goes and naps in the car then buzz him when it's about to end so he can re-appear at the finale.

4 moms found this helpful

My husband gets to every school event and other event (our daughter dances and has recitals and shows) that he can, and that's most all of them, including stuff like bingo night at school, Girl Scout events, etc. Nope, he's not some perfect dad, and some events just don't work out if he is at work, but he just likes to know what she's doing and who her friends are. His interest is in his child, not necessarily in the event. Your husband didn't have to find your daughter's play interesting, but he did have to find his daughter interesting, and he did have to think her feelings were important. Sounds like neither happened in this instance.

Just a thought: I wonder if the dads who cut out on kids' plays, instrumental or choral concerts, poetry recitals, art shows, ballet recitals, talent shows....are the same dads who are there every single second of every single kids' baseball game, football game, basketball game, soccer game...? Sorry, I know the issue wasn't sports-versus-other-activities, but I do see a lot of that every day.

A dad may love baseball and loathe ballet, but he owes it to the kid whose chosen interest is ballet, or drama, or music, to be as present -- in the flesh and in his heart -- for that child as for the child who does sports. And if the kid does both sports and other activities, and he only shows an interest in the sports, that sends the message that "Other things aren't really valuable to me, and what you value is of no interest to me." The same would be true if the dad only attended drama and didn't ever go to the kid's sports game. We need to support THEIR interests and activities and not send them the silent signal that their choices are boring to us. I truly loathe soccer but if my child loved it I would be there at the games.

4 moms found this helpful

My husband hates school events but he goes to them because it makes our child happy to have us both go. He knows not to complain about it in front of my son. Oh and we stay for a whole performance even if our child's part is done. It's not fair for the other kids that have also worked hard.

3 moms found this helpful

My husband goes to every event and enjoys it. Sometimes the event in and of itself isn't enjoyable but knowing that your child is so happy that you are there and proud of them and interested makes it more enjoyable. My dad didn't go to much when I was growing up and it was hurtful. Surely an adult father can fake an hour or two of enjoyment at a school play for the sake of his child. I agree with you that it is being self-centered.

3 moms found this helpful

My dh gets involved in our kids events regardless of how mundane and truly delights in the them. He sits at a 5hr recital to see my dd dance her 3 minute number. He is the nerd with the video camera. I guess it is because he does not have much time that he savor whatever he can get. He also goes to his nephew's hockey games (they sometimes fall on Sundays) when he can and wishes he can go to my nephews' tennis matches but alas work gets in the way.

They broke the mold on this one LOL. Seriously he has not always been this great. He was not bad just clueless like most men. I sat him down, gave him the talk and he was receptive. Yey me!

For those who want to know what the talk was... I told him that he is the first man in our dds lives and we would want most men to come short in comparison so he better do right by them.

3 moms found this helpful

In short, you don't go to your children's performances because YOU enjoy them. You go because it's important to your child and you should be there for support. Growing up I sang from middle school through HS. All I can say is my parents were there, but my father made a big deal about how much he disliked being there, couldn't wait til it was over, etc. Guess what? It wasn't about him, it was about me - something he still doesn't understand. I still sing - but now it's in my church's band - just me and 2 others singing - and we're good. Has my father ever even asked if he could come and see me sing - nope. I'm 44 - all these years later it still hurts.

Please, please tell your husband my story and ask him to paste a smile on his face no matter how tired he is or how much he doesn't want to be there. I matters to your kids that he's there and HAPPY about it.

3 moms found this helpful

I personally find them hard to attend like your DH but because of the love I have for my kids I want them to know they were important enough for me to sacrifice my time to give them my undivided attention. Your DH needs to learn patience...yes he was rude. Help him next time and talk about expectations in advance...I am sure the last thing he wants to do if he is a decent father is hurt and dissapoint his daughter. :)

2 moms found this helpful

Yay Sarah B.! You just said everything that I feel after reading this post! These fathers (and some moms too, I would suspect) need to understand how much their support and being present means to their kids, and how hurt their kids will be if they could be there but opt not to be. They are only kids for such a short time - sheesh! Tell hubby to suck it up!

2 moms found this helpful

Well yah that is selfish.
This is for his daughter.
A daughter, really needs their Dad and to know that he cares about her.
Don't want her finding a man for herself, that is just like that? Later.

Or, does your Husband bond with his Daughter in other ways???? With other activities?
If not and he does not do anything with his Daughter, then that is really really selfish.
He is emotionally unavailable.

My Husband is very proud to attend my kids activities or performances.
He is there for them... with words/affection and by attending.

2 moms found this helpful

Niether my husband or I enjoy the grammer school events. We generally hate them but we go, don't complain, and try to have a good time and enjoy the performances. The kids and teachers put so much time and effort into these events we just are resolved to make the best of it. If I had a husband that complained I wouldn't let him off the hook. These productions aren't about the audience but helps to give the children confidence in front of an audience. It is very important for the kids to know they are supported by their family. They don't care about the stangers there they care about the people they belong to being their. It helps to affirm them. How can you encourage your husband to affirm his children in the things they do in school which is positive.

2 moms found this helpful

You can tell your hubby that some run kids activities. Some teach Sunday school and some coach soccer.
YOu have every right to be mad. He was being selfish. He now has children who are in activities. It's his lot in life to suffer through with a pageant smile and pretend to love every minute of it.

2 moms found this helpful

My husband loves school events and anything else that the children are involved in. He even gets roped in to doing PTO stuff for me and doesn't mind a bit. It makes me so sad to see dads at things who are so obviously miserable. The kids get that and it ruins it for them. They are proud of their school and or their activity and want tnothing more than their parents to be enthusiastic as well. I wish they would at least try to look like they care.

2 moms found this helpful

All I can offer other then what you have already gotten is this.... I a mom, just like your husband doesn't like the school functions. However, it isn't about me, it's about my kids.... so I have one child that doesn't mind I don't attend school functions and I have a child that wants to participate in all functions. So, I know my one wants me there for everthing so I go, do not complain... my other son, I ask which events he really wants me there for and I make sure I go. Maybe let him know that his daughter takes it personally when he doesn't show up or leaves early and that he needs to make sure he attends when he can so her self esteem grows.

1 mom found this helpful

Enjoy is too broad a word...Honestly, I love seeing my child perform, but other than that, except for the ocassional flub or outburst they are pretty dreary. There are only so many times you can find "The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round" charming.

I love my kids and want to be there 110% when they are doing something important. That being said, it would be a huge stretch to say that I greatly "enjoy" the plays, concerts, games, etc. Unless someone is overly animated or you get the ocassional inapprorpiate action or comment from a kid, they are pretty unevetful.

He should have stayed as a "support." Kids live for these events, and it is important to be there with smiling faces and encourgament all the way through!

1 mom found this helpful

i hate the events and attend the bare minimum. i also don't force my hubby to attend them either. my children understand that Mom doesn't do the PTA, so if you are in any program, yes she will leave as soon as possible. i attended the scouting events on when absolutely necessary. Do they feel bad about it? no, as they understand that it doesn't mean we don't love them any less. we just hate functions. we still adore them tho!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter is a cheerleader and there are a LOT of games and events.

Yes we enjoy supporting her and going to some of her events.

We are usually in separate cars. Why? Because I am a big part of the volunteer group for cheer (President) and I am usually there before and after games. Another Why? He travels a lot for our company and many times, he takes a special flight to get back in time to see her in something important. He supports our daughter and goes to some games but she certainly does not expect us both to be at every game. She is fully aware that I book his flights based on her event schedule per his request, even if a return flight cost a bit more.

For the cheer banquet, MOST all the dads left when the award presentations and dinner was over. The moms stayed around because we had a DJ and we were chaperoning the dates.

I personally don't think anything about it because my husband is very supportive in all ways and I don't see leaving early as an insult or self centeredness. It is certainly too trivial for me to waste energy and time being angry the next day.

1 mom found this helpful

I do. Unless they are all kids I don't even know for hours on end. Seriously... if the program lasts 45 minutes without me knowing a single kid then I get bored with it. But that doesn't usually happen. :)

As for my husband.... he RARELY is even able to attend anything like that. His occupation requires odd hours, and it seems that school events tend to be scheduled on either Tuesday or Thursday nights... two nights that he may not even get home in time to see the kids before they go to bed, let alone at a 6 pm school event. It just so happens that my daughter's school is having their Talent Show tonight at 6 pm. Our daughter is playing the piano and is performer #2. My husband swapped schedules with someone else trying to get there in time. He now works from 9:30a.m. - 5:30 pm today... He has a 50 minute commute, but the school is located between home and work... so he MAY,, just MAY get there in time to see her.

1 mom found this helpful

That's sad. Yeah, we do enjoy kids' activities/events. Sorry.
If we don't know any kids involved, it may be different...but if it's my 4 year old son's event even if he's finished, we'll generally stick with it because it's his EVENT. We're there winking and thumbs upping at the beginning, and we're there afterwards to ask who so-and-so was, or laughing at a part that was funny, or whatever. It shows interest in our children to at least pretend to be interested in their events. (Thinking music, play, etc) Believe me, there's no outstanding talent in his preschool Christmas shows, but HOW can we not think it's awesome with his little face beaming. And his mouth dropping like a gasp and him standing a little straighter when he sees us? How cute! We want to take advantage of it just in case it changes as he gets older....what if he rolls his eyes when he sees us later? Let's grab these moments while we can.
The only time we would leave early would be martial arts tournaments because they can last HOURS AND HOURS. (For real--10am to 3pm? Because of the different categories and ages...but they are good about doing all stuff for one age group, then moving to the next age). We get there early for good seats, we stay not just for him but for his entire age group, for everything.
My husband even goes to childrens' birthday parties if they are on a weekend or when I can't make it, and he does great. He gets in there and plays, assists if needed, and otherwise hangs out with the other dad(s). I'm proud of and grateful for him. (*By the way, I never ever would have imagined that me or my husband would be this way; I thought we were "cool" but the definition of cool changed when the boys were born...now cool is anything that builds confidence or happiness in our kids).

1 mom found this helpful

my husband does this. our daughter does a few pageants a year (please no comments she likes them) and he never wants to go. i tell him that she wants him there and he always puts up a fight so i stop asking. the only 2 he goes to are the 2 big ones in the year. even then its a fight because you can clearly see he wants to be somewhere else.

1 mom found this helpful

Depends on how busy my husband is with work. If he's swamped, he's in full countdown mode with school or sports events. When he went to a gym performance that wasn't as big of a deal as anticipated, he griped up to the starting time about why wasn't it set up for a big show. I told him to just leave if he wanted to and then he got angry at me for "making him look bad" in front of the kids (sheesh).

You're not alone. Some guys can be great dads but not so much when it comes to the obligatory activities.

1 mom found this helpful

Most people have said what I'm thinking, so I'll cut this short. The only comment I did want to make is that if everyone left after their kid was on then the last kids on would play to a nearly empty house and how would that make them feel? If it needs to be about your hubby and his kid, then ask him to imagine if your daughter was on last and it was only you two sitting in the audience. She'd be pretty upset as would you and you would be incensed at how selfish the other parents were. Sometimes we have to think of not only ourselves AND our children, but also other people. If he doesn't, then what life lesson is that teaching her?

1 mom found this helpful

I can honestly say that my husband always enjoyed attending our kids' events as much as I did! Now that they're well past grammar school age, we actually miss those things - tell your hubby to stop complaining - time goes so fast, and before you know it those days will be just a memory.

1 mom found this helpful

The problem is not that your husband like them or not, the problem is that your daughter's feelings got hurt and I can understand why.
Some times these events can be very tiring, specially after a long work day, and is worst when our kids only do 5 min of the whole 2 hours of the event, I found this kind to hard myself, specially with a toddler who wont stay still for that amount of time.
Things is, my daughter and I am sure yours too, take pride of their hard work and want and deserve that their parents see their hard work.
I think you should let your daughter tell him how this make her feel. Is not that he is hurting your feelings as much as he is hurting his daughter's feelings.
My husband doesn't like most of the events, but if our daughter have work hard for any of this, he would try to go.
Now, school meetings, he would rather stay in the house with the kids then go and sit and hear the principal talk.

1 mom found this helpful

Mine is only interested if he likes what is involved. He likes to coach softball, because it is a sport. He enjoyed coaching soccer for the same reason.
Dance- he hates. (Even though I was a dancer and teach dance! Lol!) Our middle daughter does competitive dance and it is pulling teeth to get him there for those FEW weekends a year! I just remind him it is for HER, not him.
School plays, depends. If he can go, he does. But, ours usually do them during the day so sometimes he can't get away. If he can though, he will for the kids.

I just have to drill in that these things are for them. Will they remember everything we went to 20 years from now? Maybe not. But, they will remember when we don't go, if it was a big deal to them.

1 mom found this helpful

I think that most men feel this same way, they love to see the part of their own kid, but after that they lose interest. BUT......I think that he should've stayed until the end so that she knew that he was there. We have never left one of our kids' programs early. Even though sometimes it is a pain in the @$$. and, you shouldn't have told him to leave......sometimes you both are just going to have to suffer through.

We always go out for ice cream or something afterwards together. I think in the future, maybe you could just send him to the car and when she gets done send him a text and you can just say, dad went to get the car for us - let's go so we can go get ice cream together!! Then she will not know that he left early and you won't have to listen to him complain, and he will probably be in a better mood when you go to ice cream together.

I am sure that it has nothing to do with not wanting to see your daughter or be supportive to her. Men just see things differently than women do, and they really don't understand little girls. Also, my husband in general just does not like to be crowded in with a bunch of people like normally happens at those events, I am sure that has something to do with your husbands actions as well.

1 mom found this helpful

It sounds like your husband needs to shut up and plant a smile on his face for the evening. It is sad that he has to fake it because he doesn't find your daughter's activities interesting but at least she would think he cares.

Maybe we are not the norm but my husband and I truly enjoy going to our daughter's activities. It is fun for us to watch her enjoy doing something and to see her interacting with her peers. If there comes a day when I start to get bored with the performances you can bet that my children will never know. As parents, we are supposed to be our kids biggest supporters.

1 mom found this helpful

Hells no!

My husband generally seems to be counting down the seconds till the children's event is over. Generally, I just take my kids places by ourselves because I know he will not enjoy it and we can enjoy ourselves better without worrying about him.

He is a good husband and dad... but why are men like this?

1 mom found this helpful

Ugh, this is a struggle at my house too. I gave up trying to get my fiance to go to EVERYTHING, and tell him I appreciate the things he DOES go to... usually some kind of bribery is involved just to get him to go in the first place!! I'm thinking once these guys get older, they'll realize how crappy it is that they missed out on so much... but I'm not holding my breathe waiting for that day. When that day DOES come, I'll probably smile smuggly and said 'I told you so'. In the meantime, I'm not wasting my breathe or energy begging and pleading over every little thing ;) Truth is, I have to drag MYSELF to a lot of the little stuff, and I just want him there (not only for the kids) but because misery loves company!!

1 mom found this helpful

My husband dislikes most of my kids activities and they have been numerous over the years. It doesn't really matter if they are sporting events, plays, music or whatever it may be. I have tried to make it enjoyable, some of the time I insist he goes and others I just let go. He is a good provider and works hard, he also has a crazy schedule, working shift work and overtime so there are plenty of times that he can't go, or one of our other children has an activity or place they need to be. He is great about dropping them off and picking them up at various times so I am okay with him missing some things. I also leave it up to the kids to let Dad know if they really want him to attend and if he isn't working, then he has to go! There are some things just not worth fighting about.I do wish he would enjoy attending, but not sure how I can change that.

1 mom found this helpful

My hubby actually enjoys them more then me. I don't know why I am not as interested in them but he is always sad when he can't get off work to make events...

1 mom found this helpful

yes! We both enjoy doing anything that makes our kids happy. They love to see us there (whatever activity it is)

1 mom found this helpful

Does he get anxious in crowds or that kind of situation? It kind of sounds that way.

1 mom found this helpful

No, we don't generally enjoy them, but we attend them anyways...

~Of course we love the part our child is doing, and some of their friends but usually that is something we both agree on...that we 'wish' we could leave early ;)

Just being honest!

I say cut your hubby some slack...he showed up for the star of his show and gave his support of his daughter...that's still a good being a good Daddy! Do you think your hubby is a good Daddy otherwise?

1 mom found this helpful

My husband loves (weird) I know, but loves going to things like this. If he could force our kids into being in every spring and Christmas concert that they have at church and school he would. He even likes to go watch them when we don't know any one in them. I'm not sure what the deal is with this, but he said they are just so cute and do the funniest things without warning.

1 mom found this helpful

My husband makes it to almost all events even if he has to show up late he has missed exactly 2 sporting events in the past 9 years. This includes all practices and I mean ALL he coached my oldest for 5 years. My friends husband usually says- just get pictures- and that is good for him it really really makes her mad.

1 mom found this helpful

My husband finds them dreadful, but will go if our child is in it.
If I have worked a lot and am exhausted, I am tempted to sneak out, but I don't.

1 mom found this helpful

We god to a christain private school here. My hubby is very very not religous. I am. I make him come to them and I make their uncles come too. The last one both boys were in same perfromance, I thoought with that many antsy kids they would sing before sermon.....nope. he and both his buddies ( who are uncles to the boys) had to sit there. i would look over and jus grin, there was no leaving early. we all carpooled. Once they are in public schools I hope he is soo different. he is the go to dad at home it is just the religon part that gets him. i love it though. which forgive me father. for thinking it is humous my hub is annoyed in church. anyways justknow it isnt just you! some people just dont have the setimental part of needing to be there for things.

good luck,
libby

1 mom found this helpful

With 5 children and several foster children who we were very supportive of we attended plays, musical recitals, as well as hundres of baeball game, track meets and so on. Even if we had other things planned we chaned it to make a child's activity and now I find that some of our children's friends that have children are asking us to attend things and yes I will be cheering at the TBall game on Saturday in the rain if need be. He is being selfish and feel sorry for him because how does he expect to have a relationshhip with a child he doesn't respect and care enough about to give the child a bit of his time.. I mean what else would he be doing watching TV? Glad that you are there and sorry your child had to learn about her father's .2 hearted efforts. Someday the child will stop asking him to do things and he will feel really bad and not understand what went wrong.

Yes, he does.

He was really excited last night to have me stay home with the 2 little ones so he could attend the science fair with our 6 year old. Honestly, as long as he isn't saddled with trying to make the little ones behave during an activity/event, he loves it ALL!

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