13 answers

Is My Husband Too Hard on My Son or Do I Baby Him?

I have a son that is 2 1/2. I pretty much hate getting up in the morning because my husband is always yelling at him. I know my husband is a grumpy morning person but even if he is not grumpy if my son is crying he will yell at him not to.

I leave before my husband so he takes him to daycare in the morning and I pick him up from daycare at night. My son is probably more needy in the morning then he is at any other time because he wakes up hungry and we want him to get dressed before he eats. Then he always starts to cry when I leave to.

I always get my son's clothes out and ready with his pull ups and wipes and we trade off getting him ready in the morning. Yesterday my son woke up right when I was leaving and started crying cause I was leaving and my husband screamed at him from the room and told him to pretty much shut up when my son was at the door to our room. I felt that my son just wanted my husband to invite him to come sleep with him so I yelled at my husband and got my son and made him breakfast with cartoons then left.

Then this morning I was leaving again and my husband was up and my son was crying because he asked to eat and I said to let daddy get you dressed first. My son wasn't happy with that so I just got him dressed and he was still crying and I was telling him it was ok and he would get food in just a minute. My husband yelled at him again and told him that he had no reason to be crying and he needed to stop and so on.

I go though this every morning. It has gotten to the point that I don't even want to leave my son there for fear of him being mistreated by my grumpy husband but at the same time my husband says I baby him and my husband won't stand for it.

Is either of us wrong in this situation? This is my first child but I was under the impression 2 year olds cry when they want things. I don't give him everything he wants but I do try and calm him with his crying. I can't keep going through mornings like this. It makes me late for work and the whole drive I am just mad at my husband for being mean to our son. I feel like if we had a daughter he wouldn't treat her that way. What do I do? My husband emails me every morning apologizing but its just not fixing anything.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you so much for all the responses. They were all a huge help in different ways. I have tried giving my son breakfast first. Which he likes but he is still cries here and there. He cries the most when I leave and that is when my husband gets the most frustrated. I explained to my husband it is normal but he said it is annoying, which I disagree with.

I would like to say that in no way could my husband ever be abusive. He and my son have an amazing relationship. It is probably my fault that I have made him kind of a mama's boy but I am trying to work on it. I just crave the love and attention I get from my son so much that I don't see that it may be spoiling him and my husband sees it and thats what he is trying to stop. I can change things I do but I can't stand to hear my son cry, I mean REALLY cry.

I probably should have added that my son just started daycare a week ago. Before then we had a family member living with us so my son was kind of spoiled in that he did not have to get up as early as he does now.

My husband never yells anytime other then in the morning. I have tried to do most of the things in the morning that needs to be done for my son to be ready; which has helped. Only time will tell if my husband will change his additude in the morning but I think he will because he is tired of hearing from me about yelling in the morning.

More Answers

The first thing I thought of when I read this was an episode of Super Nanny. The father had a problem with yelling. So, Super Nanny took him into a room alone and showed him video footage of him yelling at his toddler. Showing him how scary he looked and how loud and mean he sounded to that tiny little person. Showed him the terrified look on his little toddler's face. It broke that big ol' man down into red faced tears to firsthand see how his little boy saw him. It was like a big slap in his face. To see himself through the eyes of his tiny little short toddler. Maybe approach him that way? Your son is only two years old. He's a baby. At that age...it's us grown ups who are responsible for keeping our cool. Even when we are tired and grumpy. WE are old enough to control our emotions. But, our little babies/toddlers.....aren't. Tell him it breaks your heart that your baby has to start out every morning getting yelled at by his father. You know how much YOU dread mornings..........imagine how much your little boy dreads mornings............. =0(

2 moms found this helpful

I think you are both right and both wrong. First--the situation with your husband. I also have a hubby who is not a morning person and is generally more grumpy when he wakes up. But that is not an excuse for him to mistreat our daughter. He will at times be more short with her in the morning or crabby, but I wouldn't allow him to yell at her all morning. You need to speak to your husband and work out a plan for the mornings that work for both of you. Getting his clothes, etc...out is helping hubby out and he should be able to get him dressed, breakfast and off to daycare without all the drama. But your son also needs to know that this is the morning routine and he can't manipulate either of you by crying when he doesn't want to do something. I don't think your husband needs to yell, but if your son is being uncooperative and starts crying for you, and then you run in to his rescue it will solve nothing. Your husband needs to have a more effective way to deal with your son when he doesn't listen. I would say no cartoons/breakfast until he is dressed and then stick to it. If he doesn't get dressed, then he sits in his room until he is ready to cooperate-no need to yell, just have your husband be firm. Then you get ready and go to work, do not give your son attention when he isn't listening to dad--you and dad need to be a united front.

The second thing you say is that you expect your son to cry to get what he wants. I completely disagree. A baby cries to have their needs met. A child at the age of your son has other ways to express himself and he is capable of following a morning routine. I do not think teaching him to cry to get his way is a good idea, do not get trapped treating your toddler like an infant. He will be pre-k before you know it and he will need to have coping mechanisms beyond crying when he doesn't get his way or is impatient. Teach him that he needs to use a big-boy voice or you can't listen to what he is saying.

I think you and dad really need to have a sit down and get on the same page as far as disciplining goes. Rent the movie 123 Magic or buy the book. It is very effective at this age and is easy to do. You can probably get it at your library. I think the video is great because you and dad can watch it together (without son around) and then you can discuss how you are going to proceed. You and your husband need to be partners in caring for your son, not enemies. Best of luck, I hope you work this out now so you won't be arguing over what is the best method for the next 16+ years =)

2 moms found this helpful

Look, the kid is 2. I know he's not a baby, but I'd be crying too if I was hungry and getting screamed at.

I always preferred (still do--he's almost 7) that my son eat first so he didn't get anything on his clothes. Could your son eat first, let your crybaby husband wake up a bit and THEN get him dressed? It might work.

I'd be more concerned about the fact that your husband emails an apology every day yet never backs anything up with changing his behavior.

2 moms found this helpful

First, why does he have to be dressed before breakfast? If there is no real reason for this, do breakfast first! I can see wanting him totally ready so that he can dawdle over breakfast until it is time to go, then he just gets up and goes. But still, that is an easy compromise if he is crying over food. Not that you should give in when he cries, but compromising on the schedule might make everyone happier. If you switch up the order a little and he doesn't START crying, you won't be giving in by letting him eat first. Some kids are criers when they first wake up. It takes them a few minutes to get their bearings when they get up. So let him eat and wake up the way you guys do with your coffee.

He DOES have a reason to cry in the mornings. This is a horrible way to wake up. He doesn't understand why your husband is being so mean, and why you are leaving him there with him. Especially if your husband is in a great mood the rest of the day. How confusing for a child! Your husband has got to stop yelling like this. Yelling just leads to more crying, it is a vicious circle.

I agree with the others that you can't give in to the crying. Infants show need by crying. Two year olds can control themselves. As long as they aren't scared and hungry and confused, that is. I would also try to calm my son's crying if Dad was screaming at him, your son is afraid. But the key here is to not let it get to that. If you side with your son, your husband is the bad guy. If you don't comfort your son, he is going to feel abandoned by you. My dad was a screamer. I know what that is like to grow up that way. But as far as tantrums and whining go, I wouldn't give in. With my son, when he gets whiny, I firmly tell him to use his happy face/happy voice. I have instructed him to smile while he is asking for whatever it is that he wants. He can't quite whine while he is smiling. If he is crying I make him take deep breaths until he stops. He cant cry while taking deep breaths. Then he has to use the happy face. I don't listen to him until he does. If its a full on tantrum, I leave the room and make him stop and behave before I will listen to him.

It's going to take some time before your son stops crying for you probably. I am sure he doesn't want to deal with Daddy in the mornings, and it is going to take some time, with your husband NOT yelling, before he will be easygoing about it. The first step is your husband's to take, he needs to control himself. And then you guys are going to have to give it time while your son learns to trust dad and control himself in the mornings. And you can't let your son get his way by regular crying. Does your husband apologize to your son when he yells? He needs to. But the behavior has to change too.

2 moms found this helpful

Tell your husband if he can get get up grumpy and yell, then why can't your son get up grumpy and cry! It's the same thing, your husband just won't want to hear it. I bet there are plenty of times your husband has been a bear when he is starving.

That said, feed the kid breakfast first! Set a timer and when it goes off, he has to get dressed. It sounds like that will cut out on morning crying and keep his clothes clean in the meantime.

2 moms found this helpful

ok so here is my thoughts on this. feed the baby breakfast first. is it really that important that he eat after dressing. wouldn't it make everyones morning fun smoother to put him into a highchair and feed him first. then when he is full and happy get him dressed. you need to pick your battles and this is a silly one to loose ground on.

2 moms found this helpful

I don't know why but my heart ached when I read this. It's our jobs as parents to teach our children how to communicate. If your husband constantly yells at your son, your son will act accordingly. Does your husband ever get down on your son's level, look him in the eye and just speak to him? We can boost our children up or we can crush their spirits with our words and our tone.

Maybe get your son up a little earlier so he has some transition time, that includes some loving and hugging. I always try to be up and ready when I wake up my daughter. That way I can help her when she needs it. Tell your son exactly, in toddler terms, what he needs to do. Show him how to do it and slowly transition the responsibility to him. Encourage him when it's hard and praise him all the time. But don't yell at him because it will accomplish the exact opposite.

2 moms found this helpful

It sounds like maybe your husband feels bad about his behavior or he wouldn't be emailing you to apologize, no? So, that being said, I would start with your husband. Obviously his current approach is unacceptable for various reasons, so ask him what things could change to help HIM be a better parent in the morning. Maybe he feels stressed or tired or over-burdened?? Whether you think his feelings are justified or not, maybe he's having some of these feelings. Talk to him first, work out a better schedule and communicate with him how much his actions are hurting your son. I also agree with some other posts about maybe getting your son up earlier so there's an easier transition or letting him eat breakfast first. I think as long as you're all willing to compromise a bit on the schedule, then maybe it will get better. I hope! Sounds awful! Hang in there!

2 moms found this helpful

Two year olds need to learn to communicate in other ways than by crying all the time (of course they still cry sometimes); however, if someone were screaming at me, I would cry, too. Your husband needs to find a way to deal with his grumpiness in the mornings. He should not be yelling at his son. Apologizing to you is not making things any better for your son. At least if he is apologizing he must realize on some level that he is doing something wrong. I like the idea of videotaping your husband yelling and showing it to him. I would think that would be very eye-opening. You and your husband need to get on the same page with parenting. Love and Logic is a great parenting system. There are books, seminars, and a website. Good luck. Parenting is hard.

2 moms found this helpful

My husband "tried" to be like that in the a.m with our son. I said "tried" because I put a stop to it at the first signs of it becoming a problem. I told him I am aware you are not a morning person and neither is your son by the way, but you are the adult and it is not our sons fault you are tired, or cranky or impatient. I also asked him do you want your son to associate yelling and being scared to DADDY? He woke up quick.
Honestly what bothers me more for you is hubby knows exactly what he is doing by sending you apology e-mails. A- he should be apologizing to his son and B-I wouldn't accept the apology e-mails if he doesn't correct his behavior.

2 moms found this helpful

He probably is a little different with your son than if you had a daughter. I have one of each and I notice my husband treats them differently. He is much more concerned with her falling or crying because of something, but when the same thing happens to my son he says "Oh, you're okay". I tell him he needs to work on that...I would like to raise a son that is sympathetic of others and caring and sensitive. Husbands!!!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Gee, I wonder why your son cries every morning? Sounds completely dreadful for all of you. You think it could be he knows what he is going to have to deal with and is scared, tired or practicing what he sees? A big ol grumpy guy waking him up and then yelling at him, I would be crying too.

Your husband needs to grow up. He is grumpy when he wakes up? What is he going to do about it? Go to bed earlier, get up earlier have a cup of coffee, have some quiet time and then wake up your son?

Yelling is going to teach your child to yell. Then who will your husband blame for a little boy that is always yelling?

1 mom found this helpful

tell him yelling at them is going to make them cry more. seperation anxiety is normal last less than 5 min when you leave. if he distacts him while your leaving so he dont see you leave he won't cry. I would be worried about this if I was you. if he yells to much your son will start ignoring him and when he yells due to discipline reasons your son won't respond to him which will anger him more. If your son acts scared of daddy get him out of there. I am afraid your husband might go abusive.

1 mom found this helpful

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