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Shouting at grandchild

(54 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.

M0nica Wed 08-May-19 10:01:48

There is a difference between shouting and losing your temper and shouting in anger - and the second is more worrying.

I confess I was a bit of a shouter, but rarely in anger. although not when the children were as young as 3, usually when they were older and I had gone through all the grades of asking them to do something, telling them to do it. commanding that they do it and finally raising my voice when they continue to ignore me.

I have discussed it with my now very adult children. DD's reaction was, that she knew why I did it because, she for one, had had no intention of doing what I asked, until the alternative, (being shouted at), was marginally worse, than doing what was requested.hmm

As madeline says, a child who never hears a raised voice finds it very difficult to cope with it when it does happen My DH, an only child, grew up in a home entirely quiet and peacefully and this has left him still finding it difficult to accept that someone who likes him/loves him could possibly disagree with him, criticise him or get cross with him, even mildly. To him a negative expression means that person hates him. It has caused him real problems at times, at work and at home.

icanhandthemback Wed 08-May-19 11:50:06

I agree with a lot you say, M0nica. I think it is about balance. I think it is also about letting children know there is a line they don’t cross without consequences, talking about why you took a stand and being able to apologise when you get it wrong or you over react. If you’re end game is to bring a child up to be the best adult they can be, they have to learn resilience along with everything else.

Starlady Sat 11-May-19 15:28:38

Children don't have to be happy about discipline. IMO, that's part of the point - misbehave and there are going to be unpleasant consequences.

Granted, there are more effective ways than shouting to teach a child this lesson. But DD and SIL are going to have to figure this out themselves. Anything you say, Lindey, would, unfortunately, be seen as "interfering," no doubt. I think you're very wise to bring your concerns here instead of to DD or SIL.

"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."

I think you're both right. GS is "just learning right from wrong," but IMO, part of that is learning to obey parents and that "no means no." True, I feel it would be better to distract him from things he's not supposed to do/touch/etc. while still saying "No." But SIL sees it differently and he's the parent (as is DD), not you or me.

As long as he's a good, loving dad, overall, and it's a happy household, I think your GC will be ok. I get how you feel though, and hope that as GS gets older and there are more privileges SIL can take away instead (electronics come to mind), there will be less yelling.