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Shouting at grandchild

(53 Posts)
Lindey Mon 08-Apr-19 21:30:30

I have a lovely family and am lucky enough to have 2 beautiful grandchildren. The oldest little one is almost three years now and is a typical toddler - never sits still for a minute, always up to tricks and can try the patience of a saint. However, he is adorable and is obviously just learning about the world and how to behave. He is so loved by us all, is mostly a gentle, quite shy wee boy and I can honestly say I have never raised my voice to him and try to show him right from wrong in a calm measured way (it's really hard sometimes as many of you will know).

My son in law is a great guy and works hard, pulls his weight at home with the housework and the children and really enjoys being a kind and caring daddy.

My worry is that he has quite a 'short fuse' and I have witnessed him on a couple of occasions losing his temper at the 3 year old and shouting at him. This has resulted in my grandson running out of the room, crying and upset. Daddy then tries to make things up to him by cuddling, etc as he has then realised he has over-reacted. My son in law seems to think my grandson should understand that no means no and should take a telling, but I feel he is expecting too much from such a young child who is just learning right from wrong. Mainly I hate when he raises his voice like this at such a young child and feel that it is totally unnecessary.

I get upset when I see my grandson getting a 'row' in this way, but do not interfere as I do not want to cause any bad feeling. On the few occasions I have witnessed this shouting I have not told my daughter as I do not want to upset or worry her either.

I feel my son in law is just 'learning' himself how to be a good daddy, but finds it hard to control his frustration and temper sometimes. I feel sure this is not an everyday occurrence, but I worry if being shouted at in this way, even if only occasionally, could have a detrimental long term effect on my grandson. I feel it is unacceptable for my son in law to shout in this way at such a young child and wonder about the best way to deal with this. Any positive advice would be welcome. Thank you.

FlexibleFriend Mon 08-Apr-19 21:58:17

Kids that grow up with shouty parents tend to think it's normal because it is to them. I think it's highly doubtful your grandson will be harmed by being shouted at especially as his dad follows it up with cuddles and then talks in a more normal tone.
The best way to deal with it is by staying out of it.

Namsnanny Mon 08-Apr-19 22:03:19

Hello Lindey, smile

I'm sorry I don't really have any advice as yet, just questions if you don't mind!

Have they any child care books around the house?

Has your daughter mentioned anything about her husbands parenting?

Has your daughter witnessed his lack of control?

If she has what does she do?

The difficulty here imv, is if your daughter thinks her husbands behaviour is ok, then there is very little you can do.

Of course you can talk to either of them about it, but for my money I wouldn't advise it!!

good luck shamrock

Bridgeit Mon 08-Apr-19 22:18:24

Yes it’s very difficult isn’t it, but you need to be very careful, your daughter must know that he behaves this way , if so
Perhaps you should ask her how she feels about it & open up a dialogue best wishes .

Anja Mon 08-Apr-19 22:32:33

Perhaps if you see a situation developing you could ‘model’ your way to deal with it eg distraction springs to mind. Then perhaps your SiL would think and use that in future!

It doesn’t have to be obvious. I’m sure you could manage that subtly.

MovingOn2018 Tue 09-Apr-19 03:44:03

Not sure why you're comparing your method of discipline to his. You simply need to mind your own business, play your grandmother role and let him as a parent handle any disciplinary measures.

MamaCaz Tue 09-Apr-19 07:16:30

He sounds like a loving father.

I think it's very unlikely that what you describe having seen on " a couple of occasions" will have a detrimental effect on his three year old son, lasting or otherwise.

Jane10 Tue 09-Apr-19 07:33:07

It's completely understandable that it's hard for poor Lindey to stand back and watch her lovely grandson (or any small child) being treated in this way. I think it's a good suggestion for her to model her way of dealing with difficult moments with the little boy at a time when the Dad's around so he can see that there are better ways of dealing with the situation. Sounds like the Dad might be under stress. A nice cup of tea and a 'how was your day?' might take the sting out of things. As ever, it's about cultivating positive relationships. That included the dad's with his little son.

sodapop Tue 09-Apr-19 08:13:56

I agree with MamaCaz You can lead by example otherwise don't worry too much about this. I have to admit to being a 'shouty' person with a bit of a short fuse but it was always short lived and my children knew they were loved.
We all have different temperaments Lindey and I'm sure your grandson knows he is loved too.

Madgran77 Tue 09-Apr-19 08:44:03

Modelling has been suggested ...problem is that if dad feels that his role with his child is being "usurped" he will not react positively!
I think that young children who are in a loving home soon learn the different dynamics with different people and that is part of life. The little boy will know that daddy shouts when angry but he will also know that's just daddy and that he is not in danger!

grandtanteJE65 Tue 09-Apr-19 08:52:14

Would it be quite out of the question for you to say to your SIL that shouting at a little child scares him?

Obviously, the young father regrets doing so, otherwise he wouldn't be cuddling the child afterwards.

I would definitely say something when the child was not present, if anyone shouted at a small child, or for that matter a dog!

This "butt out, he isn't your child attitude" that so many of you show really surprises me. We are grandparents with the benefit of experience, so a politely expressed opinion should be a possibility.

grannyactivist Tue 09-Apr-19 09:42:28

As a teacher I never raised my voice in class because I believe it defeats the object. When we had trainee teachers I used to tell them that shouting in the classroom is like using the horn to steer your car; it won't get you anywhere. Nevertheless, what you describe Lindey seems to be an occasional meltdown born of frustration and in the context of a loving dad who spends quality time interacting with the child so I really don't think I would make too much of it.

As an aside I remember when my own children were young they often used to say that I had 'shouted' at them when in fact I hadn't, I had merely used a lower tone and a fierce stare. As adults they reflect on that and say that although that's true it 'felt' as though I'd shouted. hmm

luluaugust Tue 09-Apr-19 09:52:52

Just from observation I would say the occasional bit of shouting is not that unusual among young dads or young mums going by our High Street! I know that doesn't make it right. As always I would avoid getting involved if you can people seem to have to try so hard to be a parent now and if your DD is not worried you could find yourself in the middle of something you can't actually solve.

Gonegirl Tue 09-Apr-19 09:59:28

I think you are worrying too much about this. So long as Daddy gives him a loving cuddle after the shouting, there will be no harm done. Children at a very young age start to realise that mums and dads get angry sometimes, just like they do.

So long as there is plenty of love about, and the shouting goes no further than that, things will be fine. Dad is obviously working on it.

eazybee Tue 09-Apr-19 10:01:02

Most definitely do not interfere.
I agree with your son in law that his son is capable of understanding at three years old that 'no' means 'no'; he is undoing his discipline if he shouts, tells the child off and then runs after him and cuddles him. I hope he doesn't say 'Daddy didn't mean it.'
Firmness and holding to the point are what are needed, then he won't need to raise his voice, but your grandson has already learned that bursting into tears when reproved earns him sympathy.
And most certainly do not tell your daughter; not your business.

madeline Tue 09-Apr-19 10:23:47

Just to add, we're not really a "shouty" family and we've had problems at school where if a teacher shouts my son gets extremely upset and cries, cowers and flinches. He's just not used to and it really affects him.

grannytotwins Tue 09-Apr-19 10:50:18

I think it’s a shocking way to behave towards a small child. My twin grandchildren are seven now and have a father that behaves in this exact way. Now they are older and can express themselves fully, they say that his behaviour makes them unhappy. They see him at weekends and one night a week as my daughter split up with him. The boy, in particular, is upset greatly by his father’s on-off behaviour. However much he cuddles and apologises later, damage has been done. It’s a huge red flag.

Gonegirl Tue 09-Apr-19 10:53:09

I hate to say this Grannyactivist but I have to report that these days shouting at the little sods in my daughter's class is often the only way the little bu****s can be got through to. Especially when it comes to breaking up a classroom fight. (her being 5ft 3, and weighing around 9 stone!) Sigh!

Tokyojo3 Tue 09-Apr-19 10:57:57

I too have a son in law with an incredibly short fuse . He was an army man and when he shouts it’s really terrible. He’s a good husband and father to my three year old granddaughter who is a right little monkey! As has been said, a three year old is just learning about the world and gets up to all sorts. He has an incredibly short fuse and frightens the child . I’m a retired teacher of children with Special Needs to add to the background of this post. Sudden outbursts like the ones I’ve witnessed are terrifying for a child and he cuddles her later on ... this could colour her learned view of men and what love is ...setting her up to seek a man who is abusive and controlling. I dare not say anything but it does not stop me being worried sick . Shouting at children simply doesn’t work and a grown man frightening a young child is disgraceful.

fizzers Tue 09-Apr-19 11:07:27

keep out of it, you will be seen as possibly meddling

jaylucy Tue 09-Apr-19 11:09:13

As the daughter of a much loved father that shouted, I can quite honestly say that it hasn't affected me in any way. The thing is, children need to learn where the barriers are in life if it be safety, bad behaviour or anything. The times when my father shouted, meant I knew when to stop and so did my brothers and sister as well as my son and nieces and nephews !
Your SiL has a different way to discipline than you have, so suggest you butt out unless you witness actual harm.

Chinesecrested Tue 09-Apr-19 11:12:41

In my day the children would get a smack, so getting shouted at has to be an improvement, surely?

Barmeyoldbat Tue 09-Apr-19 11:23:46

I was a shouty parent and dit did my kids no harm, in fact my son had a problem with a teacher in primary school her didn't like but all the other kids did. In the next year he had a strict teacher who would raise her voice a bit to make her point and my son loved her. It was miss and miss that, she could do no wrong. I would suggest you carry on as you are.

trisher Tue 09-Apr-19 11:37:49

Don't times change! Time was when dads were there to dish out the discipline which might indeed include hitting and almost certainly shouting. Does shouting harm children? of course not. In fact sometimes it can save them from harm by stopping them from doing dangerous things. I would just ignore it. The dad is doing his best.

icanhandthemback Tue 09-Apr-19 12:07:31

I have this with my SIL. I've learned to keep my mouth shut! My daughter hates it, I hate it and Grandaughter goes into meltdown mode. The psychologist has told him it is counter productive, he's done the parenting courses twice but still he can't help himself. It is the biggest cause of discontentment in their household. I don't know what the answer is but I empathise.