My Husband Is Too Hard on My Son

Updated on August 21, 2010
M.D. asks from California, KY
10 answers

I have a 13 Yr old and I feel that my husband is being too hard on him. I understand boys can be difficult at this age. My son is a
good kid. He does sometimes behave in a way he shouldn't. But my husband is always yelling at him and calling him names and stuff that is hurtful. Don't get me wrong but i know my husband loves my son as much as I do but he just doesn't understand that he also needs to show it to the kid. I have never seen him hugging or acting lovingly towards my son. My husband is never happy and he is always stressed most of the times. He is the same with me too but I am an adult and I am better at dealing with it. But I can't expect the same from a 13 yr old.
I can see that my son has started to show dislike towards my husband. I try to talk to him and tell him that his dad loves him a lot and its just that he doesn't express it. I am scared that one day my son will revolt and get involved in something bad.
I tried speaking to my husband but he gets angry.
Can anybody tell me if there is a good way to handle this?

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all your suggestions. I did speak to my husband and we have decided to got for a family therapy. I hope this helps.

More Answers



answers from Norfolk on

Wow. There is no excuse for a parent calling a child stupid, idiot or anything like that. It sounds like your husband needs anger management training. If you try to speak calmly to him about the treatment of your child and he gets angry with you, I would tell him, as calmly as possible, that this is not acceptable treatment of people, certainly not a wife and child he is suppose to love and protect. Tell him change is necessary and you are willing to discuss options. Look for some parenting books and read them together (so he doesn't feel like you're assigning homework) and discuss them.

Your say your son is 10. Is he in public school? Does he have problems at school? If so, arrange a meeting for you and your husband to speak with the school counselor. Perhaps your husband can gain some insight that way. If not, you can call the school counselor and ask about things like parenting classes or recommended reading for parents.

Bottom line, it sounds like your husband is emotionally abusing your son and lashing out at you when you try to intervene on your son's behalf. If hubby refuses to change, I would leave. That's it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

I made a comment on a discussion the other day about spanking regarding emotional scars. Though my parents spanked me growing-up, the emotional scars of the things said to me are the ones that are still on the surface, not being spanked for something I knew I wasn't supposed to do or that was dangerous.

As the mother, you do have the right to tell him how to raise your (collective) son. You should be able to parent in cooperation with each other, compromising with each other to bring-up the most well-rounded, wonderful, productive man he can become one day.

I honestly don't know what you can do because your son will start to resent his father deeply if this continues. It sounds like family counseling will be in your future if not already to mend the wounds.

In the meantime, my best advice is to make sure you nurture your son, you tell him how wonderful he is, how sorry you are for the things his father says. Don't over compensate for how harsh his father is, continue to discipline when he needs it, but do what you can to boost his confidence and keep him on the right track.

Good luck! I hope this ends soon.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Name calling is never Okay! I would strongly urge your Husband to sit down with your son and apologize for the name calling and bad behavior on his part before this goes any further. Dad should express his expectations clearly for your son. Let him know that he'll try to be better if the expectations are followed. There is a fine line between diciplining a child, and the child not liking the parent. Most children do crave a level of dicipline, but sounds like this has gone too far. Kids need to be encouraged, not put down. If he's stressed about work/money etc....that's something he needs to deal with. He shouldn't be taking it out on his kid! or you for that matter. Maybe that's how he was brought up so he doesn't know any better.....but, does he really want his own son to go through that too?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I dont' know you or your husband. Ther eis certainly the gut reaction to assume he is just a jerk. But he may not be. My husband has torucble talking about things and internalizes it rather than deals with it. Maybe your husband has the same problem but he erupts instead. Either way, it reflects a certain immaturity. I believe you rpobably want your son to inherent the best parts of your husband. But namecalling certainly isn't one of them. My husband and I have never once called our children a nasty name. And I want them to grow up to be kids who treat others better than that. So your husband may have some great qualities, but communicating with his son simply isn't. I would bet money tha the wasecposed to this language as a child too.

I don't believe we should treat our friends and co-worker better than our families, be it children or spouse. I certainly hope he doesn't treat you as he treats his son. Maybe he does and then youu have bigger problems. If he is in a bad mood, tough. You have a right to say how your child is talked to and you are his only line of defense. WOuld you let a teacher or coach toalk to him that way? WOuld your husband let himself be talked to that way? Doubt it!!

Don't let your son be assaulted with words which are mean - and really just counterproductive. What does your husband think is helpful about namecalling?? It makes him feel better but is in no way parenting or disciplining. It is simply him taking out his frustration and shows he can't put his thouhts and words together well enough to actually try to resolve a problem. YOu and he need to discuss discipline and a plan. "Next time Billy does this... then we will.." Maybe you need to send your son out when he misbehaves, discuss a punishment wiht your husband, and then you dish it out. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

Hie is teaching his son how to talk to others. What kind of man do you want your son to be? One who namecalls or one who is a problem solver. Tell your husband about all the great things he does show his son, but you need to draw a line with behavior that is unacceptable. Be strong for your son!

PS - Just reread your post. If he talks to you the same, he must stop. I think everyone acts out occasionally and says something nasty to someone they love. However, ongoing namecalling an dnastiness is not okay. You can fight, argue, even yell, but it sounds like his weapon of choice is degrading everyone else. It is immature and useless. I suggest you lay down the law. Next time he acts childish, walk away or drive away. Don't let him talk to you at all until he can talk with respect. Your son sees that you accept it an dhe will come to acept it too - from his dad and others. And his wife and kids will have to deal with the same thing from you. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if your son starts treating you this way when he is a teenager. Totally not okay. Please don't fool yourself. Most husbands and wives dont' talk to each other this way.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Spartanburg on

I would talk to him and make sure he understands how damaging this is for your son's self ex father in law would this to my ex hubby (even worse things such "I don't like you" or "don't be a girl") and he was not very loving, physically and emotionally "warm" to this poor kid. Well, he did tremendous damage on a psychological/emotional level. A damage my ex hubby carries forever. Let your husband read these responses (or if you fear him, don't), but you need to stop his ignorant behavior. He should get past his stupid man/father pride and ackowledge that it does not know it all and that, as a matter of fact, he is wrong in what he thinks and in what he does.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

Do you realize that calling you and your son stupid, idiot, etc. is verbally abusive? This IS NOT acceptable at all!!! You need to seek counseling on how to handle this. Your son is growing up thinking these things are true and that he is stupid, dumb, and I'm sure there are other things being said as well. And yes, it could very well lead to your son having many, many issues as a teenager and as an adult.

You've got to put a stop to it ASAP



answers from Los Angeles on

HI, you have the kind a husband like I do, feel sorry for you and me. I talk to him about his behavior towards our son, but it helps for few days and then I talk to him again and again...That is how I manage his behavior...Good luck.


answers from Cleveland on

Some men have "weird" ways to do things I guess.

BUT no matter what Him calling your son STUPID is NEVER ok.
When my son was about 1 or so my hubby got a taste of what Mommy is like when you screw with my child....

Our son was freaking out because he wasn't getting his way, and ya know being a lil bit of a brat. My hubby yelled at him and told him to "SHUT THE F*%@# UP"
Needless to say I WENT OFF on hubby.

Even if your husband is not a very affectionate father *some aren't* Its true that that doesn't mean he doesn't love his son.
You could always tell your son to talk to his daddy about it. Maybe hearing it from his son will help him realize he's being too harsh.



answers from Washington DC on

Please, for your son's sake, something has to change and fast. If that were my husband talking to my son like that he would have been gone years ago. I know it's not fair for me to say that if I am not the one going through it but please, please look at this through your son's eyes. The man that should be his primary role model is calling him names that will be burned in his memory forever. Your son probably wonders why you are letting this happen. Protect him. Get your husband out and don't let him back until he has gotten help and proves himself to be a loving parent.



answers from Washington DC on

Name calling is totally unacceptable under any circumstance. It's very easy for us to sit back and judge what kind of relationships your husband has with you and your child(ren) but truly, this sounds abusive. Good for you for speaking up. The hard part will be getting your husband to respond. I think what you need to decide is how big of a deal is this to you. If it were me and my children being verbally assaulted, that would be an absolute deal-breaker and I would threatening the dissolution of the marriage unless my husband got the help and skills he needs to be a proper partner and father. That's me though. Perhaps some family counseling might be a good place to start and some anger management/parenting skills classes for your husband. I believe it is our JOB to protect our children from harm to the best of our abilities. If that harm is coming from within the home and you have the power to do something about it, you must. My heart goes out to you. You are in an impossible situation. Please take good care of yourself and your son.

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