My husband won't stop screaming at our 4 year old son when he makes him mad. I keep telling him that that isn't the way to handle the problems. All we are doing is teaching him to scream at people. He doesn't want to hear what I have to say and I hate hearing the screaming. What can I do??

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Nina - posted on 01/10/2013

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My husband used to do that to our dog and baby, but I just tried talking to him, with tears in my eyes, I wrote him a letter about his anger. I expressed how it made me feel and how our child can sense his anger and how I didn't want the boy to develope any emotional issues as a result of my husband frustrations. He loves me so much that hearing it helped him to slow down and breath through his frustration. Try bringing it up like this "when you raise you voice it makes me feel ______. Hearing you yell makes our son feel _____." Rather than saying "it's bad when you yell, you are setting a bad example". Make it more about your feelings rather than about his negative actions, then he will have an easier time listening when you try to communicate. Sometimes if you present it the wrong way, he will jump into defense mode and won't hear a thing your saying. Also wait to talk about it until he isn't angry. Do it at a time when you are getting along and he isn't frustrated. Make dinner, start conversation, if the moment is right start by saying "you know dear I've really been wanting to talk about something with you. It has to do with my feelings and emotions, I'm having a hard time lately and sometimes it's triggered by your yelling"

Ariana - posted on 01/10/2013

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Get him to go into family or couples councelling with you. Obviously there has to be a change in the dynamic between your husband and son. You're right that he shouldn't be yelling at him, and having a councellor there could help you get that across to him in a way that just doesn't happen on your own. If he says he doesn't need to go or won't go go by yourself so you can figure out what YOU need to do. That way he can always chance his mind and go if he sees you going to it.

Until you go into councelling I would talk to him (in as non confrontational a way as possible) that you don't think it's healthy for him, or your 4 year old, to have yelling going on all the time. You really think there are other ways to handle it and want to work on that rather then yelling which isn't good for anyone. Tell him if there is yelling then another tactic needs to be used, maybe your son needs to go to his room or have some sort of consequence, but yelling isn't the answer.

If you see him yelling at your son take you son into another room or send him to his room if he's in trouble and needs calming down, so that he's away from your husband while your husband yells. If he's going to get your son in trouble he should get him in trouble, but there's no point in yelling at him. If he's unwilling to break the cycle then you need to put your foot down and try to break it. If your son is doing something he shouldn't work on ways to have a consequence set up rather then having your jusband get frustrated to the point of yelling.

Parents yell sometimes, but it shouldn't be on a regular occurance, happening so much that you're worried about it.

Some councelling with your husband would be very helpful and also give him a way to vent his frustrations without it coming out in screaming.

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