February 22, 2008,
C.S. asks from New Bedford, MA on February 11, 2008
Help Me Change My Boyfriend's Yelling
I am a 26 year old stay at home mother of a beautiful and smart 4 year old girl. My boyfriend is 27 and we all get along great. The only thing I have a big problem with is how he deals with certain situations. He begins by yelling, whether it's something as small as my daughter procrastinating about doing something. I've tried talking to him about this, but he doesn't seem to understand that most things she doesn't need to be yelled at for, that it just seems to makes her want to disobey even more because she is getting the rise out of him she wants. Sometimes I can curb it with a subtle hint my daughter hopefully won't understand(I dont want to undermine his authority with her any more.) I think it's just the environment he grew up in, I know I grew up in a house with a lot of yelling. I swore my daughter wouldn't know that constant fear of being yelled at for everything. Is there anything anyone can think of that might hhelp him to change how he reacts? I can't deal with it anymore, and it puts a huge strain on everyone's relationship. I'm not sure, maybe some sort of behavior modification suggestions or something?? I'm at the end of my rope.
So What Happened?™
I completely agree with everyone so much, I decided to forward your responses and my question to him and we can read it together and he can understand better how much this is bothering me, i hope. I've tried to talk to him about it but I'm either not sure he really 'gets' it or if he doesn't see a problem with it or what. Like Melissa and others said, I am going to have to move on if this is something that is not going to change. I just really hope it doesnt have to come to that though, because he really is a great great guy. Karina really adores him too, which makes his yelling even tougher. The other part of this issue is, when he doesn't "yell" yell, he just says things in a slightly mean way, and when I confront him on these issues, he defends himself by saying that he wasn't even yelling. *sigh*
When I was growing up, my father yelled alot(mostly about ridiculous things, God forbid I left the light on in my room while I did something else, lol) and it made my childhood tough. I was extremely shy and anxious, and I cant bear the thought of living through the same thing all over again, only having to watch my daughter go through it. I'm optimistic things will be able to change. I'll throw another update on here in a couple of days to let you know how things are going.
Wish us luck!!
and thank you. all of your advice is soooo helpful, and it makes me feel less alone and better equipped to deal with this silly ass yelling thing. (excuse my language ladies, it's just what he is when he decides to yell)
M.L. answers from Providence on February 12, 2008
Ok...if your boyfriend's yelling is so intense that it has you questioning it, perhaps it's time to move on.
You really need to think twice about raising your daughter in this environment.
I would make an ultimatum. Either he gets counseling for his anger and yelling, or he's out the door.
You probably don't like my opinion, but you are living with a man who is yelling at your daughter. This is not his daughter, and he really has no authority to yell at her. He is not even her stepfather.
You are teaching your daughter that it is OK to move in with a man who will treat her children terribly. You need to show her that women do not need to be in relationships like this.
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H.C. answers from Boston on February 12, 2008
Hi C., This may sound hokey - but maybe it would help if you explained the intent of your daughter's action when he ended up yelling. We often attribute adult thoughts and motives to children and respond accordingly. I've found that I have explain things to myself when my 18 month old does something that makes me angry. No, he's not trying to ruin the carpet by pouring juice on it... but sometime I respond to his behavior as if he was. You may also want to point out that by yelling at everything he'll cause one of two things to happen: 1) desensitize her to the yelling and she wont' really understand what is serious and what isn't or 2) she'll become anxious at everything. The other thing that may be of use is to link actions and consequences for your daughter - say for procrastinating. If you wait to do X, there will be less time to do X.....
Hope that's helpful.
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T.H. answers from Boston on February 13, 2008
I agree with the other poster. No child deserves to be yelled at so much. Especially one who has been thru the loss of her real daddy. This man does not have the right to disapline that way. You are her mother and will always be her ONLY advocate. YOU and she deserve better than that from a man who "treats you both like gold". You have been through a lot and need support, not yelling. JMHO.
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M.C. answers from Bangor on February 14, 2008
My name is M. and I have been with my husband for 22 years. We have two teenage boys 14&18.
C.,I have some realistic advice for you about the yelling issue in your home. It probobly won't be what you want to hear,but I'm assuming you want the advice.
First of all, know that you can not- I repeat can not change his behavior. He had yelling modeled for him in his own home as a child ,so that's all he knows. I suggest a few things.
If he recognizes this as a problem, he needs to meet with a Psycho-therapist and learn appropriate parenting communication skills.Right now he does not know any other way.
Trust me,even if you tell him over and over, don't yell- he can't stop,because he does not know how to.
I am sharing this with you to spare you agony, as I myself have experienced.
My husbands yelling/swearing has continued all these years.
I, like you thought I could change him-nope.
I thought he would mature. I thought he would realize how dysfunctional it all was. By me correcting him in front of the kids, they don't respect him . That really didn't help the situation at all. If you want to talk more feel free.
As women, we can share knowledge to help one another.
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R.H. answers from Boston on February 12, 2008
Dear C., Although I have no business telling you what to do, I think that perhaps you could give him a book on parenting or lead by example. I know from experience that times change, people usually do not. Maybe it's a minor behavior problem, his not the daughters mind you, and maybe he can not change but learn. Learn how to parent and act without getting angry...it's not always easy. No one's perfect. If he cannot I would have to say that she has already lost her father and does not need to grow up fearing her next one, or her daily situation. Maybe I am overreacting but it makes me concerned...I will pray for you and wish you luck. I love my husband too but all the qualities I didn't really like when we met are certainly still there now. He is a good father though and no ones perfect. Also , if he loves you both he will want to be the better man and the better parent, heck, we all do. We all have a hard time sometimes. If he does not then you know what is right and I am sure you will do what is right for your daughter. She comes first. Good luck.
1 mom found this helpful
J.A. answers from Boston on February 22, 2008
He really needs to just walk away!! Your child will start to handle situations the same way. You are her mother and you make the rules. He needs to back off and respect how you want her raised. Im sorry to be blunt, but I also grew up in a house with yelling and yelling can be just as bad as hitting! I try my hardest not to yell at my 3 yr. old and when I get upset, I walk away. Also, the more you yell, she will tune him out.