Please help! My husband is too h*****n our son

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 8 Apr, 2024 06:00 | 2 mins read
Father engaging his son. PHOTO/Pexels

Hi Achokis.  I have been married for six years. My husband and I have two children, of which one is from his previous relationship. In the recent past, he has been disciplining this child harshly. When I mention it, he says the boy is ill mannered since he started living with us. He says he is spoiled. I fear that it will be said, as a step mum, I don’t care for the boy even though I try to speak to him a lot.  What should I do?

- Leah

Hi Leah.  Thank you for your concern and for reaching out.  There could be many reasons that a man would harshly or wrongfully discipline a child.

One may be a reaction, especially if he has been forced by the mother of the child to take care of the child.  The child could also be reminding him of his mother and depending on how their relationship ended, your hubby may be venting his anger on the child. He could also be upset that the child is interfering with the new family and is a constant reminder to him of his past mistakes. Your husband may also just be stressed about something and is projecting his anger on the child. So, it has very little to do with the boy, but probably a lot to do with him.

Some concerns

On the other hand, it could just be a fear you have.  Society has a narrative that step mothers are very mean to their step children, but this is not necessarily true. There are step mothers like you who have taken their step children as their very own, no wonder your concern. You may tend to be overly concerned because you fear people will say you are the reason the boy is being treated that way. The child may also be exhibiting certain behaviours that irk your hubby simply because of what the child himself is going through. He may be experiencing rejection and needs more attention rather than discipline.

Way forward

It is, therefore, important that you talk to your hubby. Let him know your concerns and that you fear that the same will be mooted even to the other child you have together with him. This can instill  fear and a lack of self-confidence not to mention physical injury to the child. Try and find out if your husband is dealing with stress. Continue talking about the child’s discipline and if that persists then you can mention it to one of his close friends or relative, so that they can intervene. You can even suggest therapy or attending some parenting classes together, so you can both learn how to properly discipline your children.

It may also be good to seek a child psychologist to rule out any issues with the boy. As for you, continue showing the boy love at all cost. That may just help compensate for your husband’s mistreatment. If your hubby is not willing to change, it would be better if the child is left with the biological mother instead of an abusive father.  

The writers are marriage and relationship coaches

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