How do I get husband to stop being so agro around daughter?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by allhaileris, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    I've been trying to forumlate this question in my head for some time now and can't quite get the thought out, but I really need to figure something out NOW, so here it goes.

    husband is a SAHD. When Eris is home with him alone, he says they are fine. Honestly I think she ends up playing in her room most of the time because she doesn't want to deal with him and he of her. But I do know they go out and do things, and she doesn't throw a fit when they're out (or doesn't throw a fit much). But when I come home from work, she's a different girl and starts this cr-p where she hides from him, won't talk to him, won't do what he says. All because I'm home and I'm good cop because I'm too depressed to fight and too worn out to think from working all day. I end up being middle man and breaking up their fights.

    I keep telling husband to calm down and stop getting upset with her. He won't do it. He's been beyond stressed, had an incident this past weekend where his stress when even more up and everything sets him off. And yes, I think he needs some medications or therapy but he'll never ever do this. Never.

    Many of you have suggested she's showing signs of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or Aspergers and I think she'll need to get evaluated for that, but we're not doing it right now (need to find the doctor, save money, etc). So if she has these traits, and is having a hard time communicating how do I get them both to stop this horrible habit? It's pretty classic these days for her to not do what she's told, then he gets a little upset but doesn't yell, just asks her again, she doesn't do it, so then he starts to get upset, she picks up on this and does her covering her head/hiding/plugging the ears thing, which just upsets him more. I need this to stop. I keep asking him to back off whens she gets in this state and it's like he can't hear me and just keeps drilling in on her. The word "bully" came up in the other post and I think that nails it on the head with him. But if I suggested that to him I "wouldn't be supporting him", which I'm just trying to help him be a better parent.

    I think he was very similar to her when he was a kid, and I would think he could understand her better but he doesn't. I keep giving him suggestions that he doesn't listen to. But then the issue is when I'm there, so what am I doing that makes this happen? When I'm home she won't leave me alone. If she's asleep then husband won't leave alone (because he wants to talk to an adult). THis makes for a very frazzled me.

    We're planning on going to the Renaissance Faire this weekend. husband and I have worked it for years, camp over the weekend, it's 6 weekends long. I didn't go at all last year because husband didn't want to be around Eris. He told her this morning that he didn't want her going. This does nothing but punish ME because I'd have to stay home. I told her I knew she could be good and that I hoped she'd behave so we can go. I can deal with her behavior on my own, but when both of them are together, when I'm there, it's total chaos and stress and it's not fair that I should suffer because husband can't be reasonable when I'm around. I'm going to tell him that I'll put her to bed when we're camping and he can go off and have fun without me, but I still dont' want a scene while we're there. I don't want to deal with his attitude.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Is this her father? I personally think he is acting badly, worse than her.
    If she is on the spectrum, until she gets help, don't expect it to stop. Any form of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is a neurological problem, not a behavior problem.
    in my opinion it's the adult who needs to be the bigger person here, at least until the child is diagnosed.
    Do you have Medicaid? If you do, the child can probably still get a good evaluation from a neuropsychologist if it is at a Univeristy Hospital. Most take Medicaid. I wouldn't wait too long to get her tested because this problem could escalate, especially if neither of you really know what is going on with her. IF she has any form of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), she will not behave as a typical child and will not respond to typical, mainsteam discipline. I urge you to check out University Hospitals for Medicaid. We're on it and we got great services! Good luck.
  3. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    It's hard for me to answer this because my situation is sort of similar. My husband is easily frustrated and ends up yelling at difficult child a lot. Someone in another post said my husband sounded like a bully, and I agree that he does.

    Midwest Mom is right to advise and evaluation - the sooner you find out if she's on the spectrum, the better.

    Do you and your husband talk about the discipline? Can you agree on it? You both need to be on the same page and be consistent, or it doesn't work too well.

    My husband refused medications and therapy too. Will he read a book? Will he work with you to come up with a behavior plan you can both agree on?

  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    First of all - it really sounds like your husband needs some help. I think it is great that he is a SAHD, but would he be less stressed if he didn't stay home? My husband was a SAHD for almost a year. I finally told him it had to stop, not because I didn't want him home with Wiz, but because he was miserable and making Wiz and I miserable. He woudl push and push and push Wiz to do things, and just get all bent out of shape if anything went even a tiny bit differently than he wanted or expected it to go. Wiz was only 3 at the time, and I really did NOT want him in daycare, but we needed the benfits from my job.

    I would have your husband read The Explosive Child and Love and Logic Parenting/Love adn Logic Magic for Early Childhood. My husband did not respond to ANY book/hint/counsellor suggestion for changing his parenting until I brought home Love and Logic Parenting. He read many other parenting books, he jsut refused to use any of the methods/tools from them. The L&L made sense to him, so we went with that (they all made sense in one way or another to me, I just wanted him to calm down and quit pushing Wiz into confrontations or ignoring Wiz's behavior - it was one or the other ALL the time!)

    By the time we found L&L thank you was 2 - he is 8 years younger than Wiz, so it took a LONG time.

    Your school can do some screening for Eris. It may not be the most thorough screening, but they can do some. The Special Education archives has a letter you can adapt to your child/school and then send. It is very important to send teh letter by certified mail - this puts timelines adn protections into place for Eris. Over on the Sp Ed forum they can explain this far better than I can.

    Is there any chance Eris has sensory issues? The Out of Sync Child explains them and some ways to cope with them. It can really help also. We thought thank you was showing signs of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) (autistic spectrum disorder) and we had an appointment to screen for that. We happened to get in to see the Occupational Therapist (OT) for sensory issues before the other appointment and by the time for the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) screening it was clear that his problems are sensory - he just responded so well to the Occupational Therapist (OT). The great thing is that the main therapy we used for the sensory stuff is brushing - and we do it at home with a surgical scrub brush. Very soft, over clothes or on bare skin, and he loves it. I think Wiz would have had a much different life if we had known about the sensory stuff earlier.

    Anyway, you will have to find some way to get through to your husband. If he is triggering some of Eris' behaviors, he will need to learn other ways to parent her. Sort of putting medications in his food, all you can do is keep talking to him. (I really don't recommend putting medications in his food!)

    My husband told me that the L&L books "made sense" and "weren't trying to baby the kid or let him run the house" and he thought the other parenting books were telling him that the kid should run the house. I don't agree that the other books said that, not at all, but I have had male coworkers who had the same opinion about parenting books and really liked the L&L books. You can learn about L&L on the website - . I even found useful info on the stuff for teachers.

    Sending hugs, this is a really rough road. I am sorry that you and husband seem to be on different "sides". If at all possible you need to work to present a united front - so that Eris doesn't see you as "good cop" and dad as "bad cop". Cause that will not only hurt Eris - it hurts you, husband and your marriage also.
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I spent way too much time and energy as a referee between Miss KT and Hubby, her wicked stepfather. While I knew Hubby tended to overreact, Miss KT was a rude, hostile, obnoxious pain in the patootie, and I knew that, too.

    You said that you think Eris reminds your husband of himself? Around here, that wasn't cause for empathy, that was cause for frustration. Both Hubby and Miss KT have ADD/ADHD, and they're both illogical...which made me very tired. He probably can't see past his own issues to deal with hers. Another thing might be the SAHD situation. Is this is choice, or has he been job hunting and can't find one? Hubby was worse when he was laid off, men's identities are so tied up in what they do, and he wasn't doing anything but job hunting. He was much better when he went back to school, because he had an identity again.

    Just a few thoughts, hope I helped a little. I do know what you mean, and it's so hard on Mom! Sending hugs.
  6. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    Yes, husband is her father. Yes, she has sensory issues (just recently figured that out because I have a friend who's daughter has Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) and realized Eris is the opposite, sensory seeker).

    I have insurance, the medical community here kind of *****, but mostly I just need to get through some personal stuff first before starting another battle getting her evaluated. Probably in a couple months.

    With disipline we're having a hard time agreeing. Often I just do the "do what your father says" line, but it's heartbreaking to see him react the way he does. We're working on this all the time and we make advances but then something else happens. I think a lot of it is him, and I think he thinks I'm being too lenient.

    I'm going to get the Love & Logic book today after work and see if he'll read that one. I told him about it yesterday and he didn't even react, so we'll see.

    He's a SAHD because he wants to work for himself and I make way more money than he can ever. College vs HS dropout. He does make a little money, but it's very little. He is a distributor for an herbal suppliment company and seems to have picked up some business lately, and I can see his self esteem improve a little on that front, but I know so many things he says he'll acomplish with work are empty promises. All I can do is keep encouraging him. Eris' school has mandatory parent involvement (why we picked it), about 8 hours a month you are at school. It really helps to have other parents in the classroom so the teacher can do her job. It's more important for him to spend that time at school than get a 9-5 job (which he'll always refuse to do unless ordered by a court or I kicked him out). I do know a lot of frustration stems from him being around her so much. Summer really fried him and he's trying to destress now that she's been in school a couple weeks.

    So I guess the next step is the Love & Logic book and we'll go from there. We did have a constructive conversation yesterday about going to Faire. It's like a family to us, and there are lots of people who will spend time with her so we can get an hour to ourselves here and there. She loves camping and is really excited to go (this morning asked if there would be fire dancers, nope, not this time). I also told him I'd put her to bed and stay with her and he could go play with his friends. He also cleaned her room yesterday instead of yelling at her over and over to do it. That is a huge deal with him.

    I keep hearing him say "she's doing this on purpose" or "she's being defiant" whenever I tell him she just doesn't understand or doesn't realize what's going on. Will this ever sink in?
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sandy, in my opinion make a neuropsychologist appointment. and do it now. First off, it will take a few months to get in. Secondly, there is really nothing going on that should delay a child's evaluation. Nothing will improve until you understand your kiddo better. Nobody here can help you with discipline if we don't know what is wrong. A Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kid will not respond to what a bipolar kid will respond to etc. And a regular kid is a whole different ball of wax. Until you get the evaluation. she is unlikely to change. I do recommend therapy with your husband. He sounds difficult himself. I agree that maybe being a "stay at home" for him isn't a good thing. Especially if your daughter spends all her time trying to stay out of his way. Good luck :)