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<p>This happened this afternoon, and I so wanted to share a picture of the vantage point from our driveway, but I'll have to do that tom.</p>
<p><br>
Well I have been sick the better part of the last 5 days, so since dh is off he went and picked up ds from school.  Now he is SEVEN, walks home with his siblings and I a few times since school started, but today dh drove to pick him up.  It's just over a mile round trip.</p>
<p>Well dh pulls into the driveway and I go out to meet them, I wasn't awake when he left and I missed him!  Well dh gets out and NO ds I'm ask where is ds?  DH says he's walking, and I thought he was joking so I go to the back door, no ds...I said where is HE!?? He said he is Walking.  I said WHAT?? He said well I drove next to him when he got to our street I came on home.  I looked down the street but couldn't see him (the view is NOT good I can see maybe 6 houses down which is about half a block).  I ask again because I don't see ds at the end of our block.  DH proceeds to sit by the windows where he can see NOTHING of our street to play on his iphone.  I said where is he?!!?? DH just says I told you he is WALKING and he is piffed at me.  ME?  well I am scared out of my MIND I can't see my baby and dh shows no care.</p>
<p>I ran inside to get my shoes and start down the street, at the end of our block I see ds running towards me!  I meet up with him 3 houses down and tell him to stop running it's ok he said "I was trying to get home fast momma"  I about broke down in tears.  I told him to please not walk home like that again he is to only walk with momma or another adult, and he said I know but I wanted to walk again today. I said that since dad drove he was to have ridden home.</p>
<p><br>
I TRIED to talk to dh and he FLIPPED OUT on me.   he did tell me that he meant by the "our street" comment was that he got him to the end of our block but to the NEXT block. 2.5 blocks from home, so he drove slowly as his son walked home on his own, got him half way and proceeded to drive OFF leaving him to walk alone almost 3 blocks (at a point where we can NOT see him from our home).  and didn't watch for him to come home like I said he sat by the windows playing his phone games.   I  am talking full on screaming at me when I would utter a syllable.  I couldn't get him to  listen to my concerns, he just continued to scream at me that he GOT IT that I was a B, and he would count off every time I would speak and say ok so that's 7 times you've brought it up...11 times...ok that's 18 times you've tried to bring it up give it the F UP now...screaming at me, made ds who was off in his room cry...the baby got upset and our middle ds just hid with his toys.</p>
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<p> </p>
<p>I mean was I out of line?</p>
<p>I never got to talk to him bout my concerns, and he won't talk to me, if I try to bring it up he goes on a tirade again!</p>
<p>I even was calm and said all I would like is that we work together we should be partners and then he'd count off whatever number he said I was on in trying to bring it up.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p>But again, would you let your 7yo who has never walked ALONE, you can't see him at ALL that far away walk by himself home??</p>
 

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<p>All I can say is that I am sorry that you had to go through that. I hope your DH calms down and is able to work through it with you. If it was me, I would have really been upset, especially if the child had never walked alone before, to me seven seems young.</p>
 

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I think there's two issues here:<br><br>
1) Whether it's safe and generally ok for your DS to walk home alone;<br><br>
2) How your DH deals with your concerns and how you make decisions for your family.<br><br>
I can't say if it's safe enough for your son or not. I live in europe and kids where I live have a fair amount of independence to bike or walk home from school. My DS probably wouldn't have felt safe because he's a much more hesitant kid. Your DS wanted to try and I personally think having your DH drive along next to him til not too far away wasn't a bad compromise. But, once again, I don't know your area or any of the back story and I don't really think the main problem is your DS walking home 2.5 blocks alone or not.<br><br>
I think this came totally out of the blue for you and you weren't prepared for DS to be walking this distance alone yet. I think you freaked out (and, maybe, justifiably so . .. I can't really judge that, but clearly your DH felt so). It sounds like your DH got really defensive, shut down, and then got angry in response. It sounds to me a bit like you kept badgering him to talk when he already felt angry/defensive/bad about the situation and he blew up.<br><br>
That being said, telling you to "shut the F up" and calling you names is *not* ok. I think that's what worries me most about this whole story. Does he often blow up like that? Are you able, in general, to discuss concerns and make decisions for your family calmly and rationally with him? How are decisions made? How are problems solved?<br><br>
Because if this was more or less a one-off, then I'd let it go and say you were sick and dealing with something unexpected and freaked out while he may (or may not) have made a bad judgment call and felt guilty and defensive about it which led him to blow up (I get angry when I get defensive. Not proud of it but there it is). It'd talk about the topic of DS walking home alone at another time.<br><br>
If it's not a one-off and conflicts are dealt with in this way, then I'd find time for counseling.
 

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<p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
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<div> DH just says I told you he is WALKING and he is piffed at me.  ME?  well I am scared out of my MIND I can't see my baby and dh shows no care.</div>
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<p>Well he is seven-not a baby anymore but a child-walking home less than a mile would not be a blip on my radar. I do think you overreacted and continuing to bring it up probably did make your DH feel like he was on the defensive.</p>
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<p>HOWEVER-being told to "f-off" is completely unacceptable. I think this is one of those situations where what is going on under the surface of the marriage is actually more relevant then whether or not it was ok for your ds to walk home.</p>
<p> </p>
 

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<p>Honestly?  I think you overreacted. You sound hysterical. Your dh stayed with him until he was on your street, the child wanted to walk and it was a route he had walked before, so he knew where he was going.  Your dh made a decision you don't agree with and then you told your child not to listen to daddy.  I think that's not ok, just because it's something you wouldn't do, doesn't make it wrong.  If his dad says he can walk home, he should be able to walk home.   You say he's never walked home alone before....you can't walk home alone unless you're alone, right?  So now he has and everything was ok.</p>
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<p>I'm curious what you were scared about?  What was going to happen while he walked alone?</p>
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<p>I'm not saying that it's ok to scream and swear and disrespect you while you are trying to talk to him.  But he made a parenting decision and you undermined him and then told your child not to listen to daddy.  That's not ok either.</p>
 

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<p><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mamalisa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1292545/help-me-to-see-his-side#post_16197680"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Honestly?  I think you overreacted. You sound hysterical. Your dh stayed with him until he was on your street, the child wanted to walk and it was a route he had walked before, so he knew where he was going.  Your dh made a decision you don't agree with and then you told your child not to listen to daddy.  I think that's not ok, just because it's something you wouldn't do, doesn't make it wrong.  If his dad says he can walk home, he should be able to walk home.   You say he's never walked home alone before....you can't walk home alone unless you're alone, right?  So now he has and everything was ok.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I'm curious what you were scared about?  What was going to happen while he walked alone?</p>
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<p>I'm not saying that it's ok to scream and swear and disrespect you while you are trying to talk to him.  But he made a parenting decision and you undermined him and then told your child not to listen to daddy.  That's not ok either.</p>
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<p>I agree.  I wouldn't bat an eye if my dh drove with him to our street and then came home.  I think it is important to allow our kids to develop some independence at this age.  Of course, if you live in a dangerous area that is different. <br>
 </p>
 

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<p>ok, 1) i think you were caught off guard, and you panicked. I can see myself doing the exact same thing in your situation if I was sick, not thinking clearly, and then caught off guard about the supposed safety of one of my kids. </p>
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<p>2) has the question of when DS would be allowed to walk alone been discussed before?  If so, and you expressed your discomfort with him walking alone just yet, then I think you husband is the one that underminded YOU.  IMO, it is common curtousey for one parent to honor another when boundries have clearly been laid.  And if ya'll hadnt discussed it yet, I still feel it is your husbands duty as a committed partner to respect your comfort levels in reguards to your children.  Since he is 7, and not 13, I can understand how the comfort level while he walks alone for a few blocks might still be wobbly.  I would offer my husband the same curtosey and respect if he told me he would rather NOT let the kids ride their bikes alone just yet, but I thought it was ok.  Im comfortable, hes not.  The uncomfortable feelings trump the comfortable ones for the time being.  its all about parenting as a unit.  Yes, they are his kids just as much as they are yours, but he wouldnt want you making a possible life changing decision without his imput. (Or wouldnt he care?)</p>
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<p>3) if this is common dynamic in your relationship as co-parents, then I say your problems are much bigger then trying to see things from his perpestice on this one particular incident.  The screaming at you and causing the children fear and discomfort is NOT OK.  I dont care how much of a worry wart he thinks you are or how much you baddgered him.  NOT COOL!</p>
<p> </p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
<p>Yes that is how dh reacts to me at any time I try to TALK to him about how I FEEL about something/anything.  I have never been able to sit down with him and talk about our kids and how we parent them.  Not in the 7 years since having ds have we ever talked about how to parent them, he will lose his cool if I even try. Been there done that more times than I have fingers and toes.</p>
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<p>ds is a hesitant child and a emotional one as well.  Him walking home was a big step for him, but no I don't want him walking home on our street when 1 we know no one in our neighborhood, 2 we can't see past a couple houses away, 3 We have never talked about him doing so before.  Our neighborhood isn't a bad one per se, but it isn't in the best of places if that makes sense.</p>
<p>I wasn't undermining dh, I didn't tell him not to listen to dad, I said that he should have just ridden in the truck with dad even though he wanted to walk.  Dad was there to bring him home and be with him, does that make sense?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Also as ds was running up to me he was scared looking and out of breath, and when he said "I was trying to get home faster" it was in his scared voice.  I mean he is little and 3 blocks from home trying to get there as fast as he can.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>But again dh will scream if I bring it up even today, this is another one of those events where I can do nothing but swallow my own feelings/fears/needs.</p>
<p>I am so tired of not being able to parent the kids with him, of not being able to talk to him without being called names or screamed at, and I am just plain tired of him treating me with such disrespect.</p>
<p>So yes there is an underlying issue, and I am dealing with one simple thought that is for another thread and another day.</p>
 

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<p>Hugs hugs hugs. </p>
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<p>Nothing else to say other then hugs to you.  And validation for your panickedness.  Sorry to those who think its not a big deal, I would have been freaked too.</p>
 

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<p>I probably would have reacted the same way.  But I don't like my children out of my sight and start to get a little panicky if ds1 takes a long time getting off the bus.   My dh probably would have let him walk like yours did.  But I'm fully aware that I'm overprotective and my dh at least has a pretty good grasp of what our kids are capable of, since I tend to the "but he's just a baby!" thing.  As for the comment that a 7 year old isn't a baby, a 7 year old is far from an adult either.  Only the op knows whether her kid is ok with walking home or not. </p>
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<p>There's some major communication issues here though.  Regardless of the fact the he thinks he was right, you still have to be heard.  I'd try for some counseling if he's up for that or even just for you. </p>
 

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<p>As I read it, it sounds like something I would have absolutely no problem with. But I have to admit I live in Europe like one of the PP and DS 1 took public transportation on his own to go to school when he was 7<span>  . <img alt="bag.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/bag.gif" style="width:18px;height:19px;"></span></p>
 

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You DH probably thinks it isn't a big deal for a 7-year-old to walk a "short" distance on a route he knows well, especially when the child requested to do so. He probably thinks that you are coddling him. And that's fine, but the way he handled it with you was awful. Obviously, you were worried and panicked and he is giving flippant, vague responses to where your DS is and playing games instead of having an adult conversation with his worried wife. Then he just shuts down and tried to yell over you or whatever BS to get you to stop bugging him about it <img alt="eyesroll.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/eyesroll.gif"> I think you probably could have handled it better too, but since you were the panicked one and he was the calm one, I am more understanding of your response.<br><br>
I was going to recommend that if something like this happens again to suggest a break and come back to the conversation when you both had a chance to cool off, but from a later response from you, it sounds like your DH never wants to discuss these kinds of things. That is a huge, huge problem and is the one I would be more worried about and attempting to address immediately! We all have occasional moments of acting rude and childish when we feel defensive, but to never want to discuss how to parent? How can he possibly think that is going to work? He needs a serious wake-up call on this one!
 

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<p>it doesn't really matter if anyone else thinks it's okay for a 7yo to walk a few blocks alone.  what matters is the way you both handled it.  i don't know if you were hysterical, but it no matter how upset you were, it doesn't sound like you were screaming, swearing, belittling and raging at your dh.  maybe your approach wasn't ideal, but it wasn't abusive.  his was.  it's really that simple.</p>
 

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Yeah, there's a big difference between maybe overeacting a little and calling someone names and telling them to shut the f up. That's abuse. So sorry you had to go through that.
 
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<p>If someone was freaking out because I let my 7 year old walk 2 1/2 blocks alone on a familiar street, it might be hard for me to stay patient.  Yeah, he was really rude to you.  But you didn't exactly stay calm and polite either.  Instead of frantically saying, "Where is he?" over and over, you could have just said, "I don't really feel comfortable having him out of sight like this.  I think I'll walk down the street and meet him."  He shouldn't be yelling or swearing at you, of course.  But does this kind of thing happen a lot - where you get really upset over stuff that doesn't seem like a big deal to him?  Maybe you should consider the possibility that some of that stuff really isn't a big deal.  Maybe he doesn't want to discuss things with you because he thinks you're too irrational for the discussion to be helpful.  (I'm not trying to justify his behavior - it sounds pretty out of line.  Just trying to help you see his side.)</p>
 

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<p>It sounds to me like the issue is something specific about the communication. I'm not sure if I've pinned it down, so I'm going to write it out.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>1) You asked DH where DS was, and he said "walking." And you thought he was joking. Why? Does your DH joke around a lot? Something must have led you to not take his answer at face value. For his part, he was probably annoyed right off the bat when you repeated a question he'd already answers. But is there maybe a reason that you didn't take his answer at face value?</p>
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<p>2) OK, this part is maybe not accurate, since this is the kind of detail that would be easy to remember wrong when recalling dialogue later. Few of us can repeat word for word what was said in a conversation. But your DH said that he drove with DS until he got to your street, then came home. But you assumed he meant the BLOCK. Assuming your recollection is true, once again we had a disconnect. He said street, you heard block. So you felt really anxious thinking he should be home already (walking 1 block) when in fact he was not yet due home (walking almost 3 blocks).</p>
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<p>So at this point we have potentially two examples of you not going on your DH's words at face value. No judgement, the problem may be a mutual issue rather than solely yours - for example, your DH might typically dodge questions and be vague, and thus trained you to feel you must dig deeper each time, I don't know. I'm just breaking this down for analysis.</p>
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<p>3) Your DH did not respond at all to YOUR communication. You were worried. He didn't respond to that in any way shape or form. A good response to you going "Where is he!!!??" would not be to repeat "Walking" (duh) but to respond to the concern: "He's fine, he really wanted to do it, he's probably halfway by now, he'll be along within 5 minutes. If he's not back in 5 minutes, I'll go walk to meet him." Regardless of whether that allivated your concern, that would have been a useful and caring response. It would have clarified the situation for you, clarified the reason he wasn't concerned yet (your DH would know better than you would how much time he expected to elapse), and demonstrated he was cognizant of the situation and made a judgement about it rather than just mindlessly going about his business.</p>
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<p>4) Now, he might complain that your questions were not direct - you just kept asking where DS was even when kept getting nonsatisfactory responses. It's true, repeating the same question is probably not ideal, but honestly even being disconnected to the situation as I am, I'm having a hard time coming up with a good way of rephrasing the question. It sounds to me like if you had launched into Twenty Questions ("where exactly did you drop him off?" "how long were you planning on waiting for him?" etc.) this would have triggered the blowup anyway. I mean, it sounds like he was purposefully withholding information and he was determined not to discuss it beyond a bare minimum of words ("Walking." "Our street.")</p>
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<p>So... this tells me that maybe it isn't communication after all. He probably knew darn well what you were looking for, and that he wasn't answering your real questions. He didn't like being questioned. Period. He felt his judgment was being questioned, and he didn't want to "report" to you for your "approval." And there was absolutely no way that he was going to submit to talking to you, because saying one more word about it woiuld be paramount to "reporting" to you. He felt that as a father, as a parent, he had every right to make the decision to allow DS to walk home without having your commentary. Your worry was in itself tantamount to disapproval, lack of trust in his judgment (I'm just talking this out from his perspectivve, not saying you were wrong to be worried).</p>
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<p>OK, so you probably annoyed him by asking the same question more than once when he technically "answered" you, and then he completely shut down with the indication that you did not completely trust his judgment.</p>
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<p>DO you trust his judgment? For some guys, I think they just are oversensitive and macho and all that crap. For other guys, their wives constantly scruitinze their every action like they were children, and they end up just shutting her out entirely. Only you know which it is, or whether it's a mixture. Maybe you're not so bad, and maybe he's not so bad (well, except for his shutting you down and swearing and namecalling, that's way out of line no matter HOW much of a shrew you may or may not be), but the two of you together make one giant sore spot.</p>
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<p>My idea: next time you're about to freak out about something, reassure him by putting it on yourself. "DS is.... WALKING? Oh, that's new... He's not back yet though!... Honey, I totally trust your judgment, but you know me, I'm a worrywart. Shouldn't he be back by now? When should I worry?" Soothing his ruffled feathers might help him to feel ok enough to soothe yours.</p>
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<p>And if it already gets to freakout mode (it'll be hard to shift gears perfectly every time) you can still try to diffuse. It seems like you just won't be able to deconstruct with him after the fact, he won't talk about it with you. But when he's not yet screaming but clearly shutting you out, you might be able to take a deep breath and say "I hear myself overreactiing" (doesn't matter if you feel you are or not, the point is to diffuse, and sometimes you may feel it's URGENT to diffuse, especially if you are still actively worried about your child for example). "I'm sorry. I probably sound like I don't trust your judgment." (Him: "Damn straight.") "I trust your judgment, but I think you must know more about the situation than I do. Based on what you've said, he should be home by now, right?" And then he might be willing to respond with something useful, either explaining in more detail about when he expected DS home, or saying (even if grouchy) "look, would it make you happy if I went out to meet him? FINE" or something.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Damn, I am wordy.</p>
 

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<p>While I think you do sound pretty hysterical, I do not think your DH had any right to talk to you that way. Im sorry you had to deal with that.</p>
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<p>I also wonder if you trust your husbands judgment. It seems like he rarely has the responsibility, and when it was given to him you freaked out. I wouldnt have blinked at a 7 year old walking 2.5 blocks, so it seems reasonable to me that he wouldnt think it was a big deal either.</p>
 

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<p>I am not saying your dh behavior was right.</p>
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<p>I do think your son should be able to walk that short distance on his own, so I will side with your dh on that.</p>
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<p>I do think your ds might have been running off your emotions. He might have been nervous and scared. Then to see frantic just made everything came to a head. IMO, you should have acted calm. When you act with fear you make everything worse. Some times you have to fake not being scared -- being sick does make this harder. But we have to live through 2 tornatoes that were in ear shot, the last thing my children to see is frantic behavior. You talk about your emotions later or calmly. This help keeps you and your child together. It was a big move and your ds had a right to be scared but it should have been met with praise and see you could do it! I'm proud of your ability to be independent and you should to.</p>
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<p>I am going to urge you to read "Free Range Kids" by Lenore Skenazy.</p>
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<p>I think your dh remembers his care free days. Heck at 7, I walked more than 3 blocks by myself. I was allowed to cut through a field and walk about 1.5 miles between my grandparents homes. You can see each others home because placement on hills but not the entire route. There could have been snakes among other critters.</p>
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<p>I am wondering if you value your dh's opinion a judgement. I bet your son's abilities has been an issue in the past and you have said he was to little. This was his way of proving to you that your child is capable of this. I struggle with my dh about this independence. He can be a little more protective than I, even them being 16, 12, and 10 dh and I will butt heads.</p>
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<p>I can see with your dh's short answer why that would have caused you more worry but at the same time what did you think he did with your son? Do you think he would purposely harm him? Toss him out of the car to get lost? Leave him at school? Is he really that horrible of a person you cannot trust him with y'all child. If not that is another issue.</p>
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<p>I think you keep bringing it up. Just tells your dh that you do not trust him or value his parenting decision. This was his decision, you need to suck it up even if you don't like it. He did not harm or didn't do anything unreasonable. </p>
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<p>Why does your husband need to run these things by you?  Do you run all your parenting moments by him first?  If you were going to let ds walk the last 3 blocks by himself would you have discussed it with your dh first?  How about playing outside by himself the first time did you talk about it with your dh?  </p>
 

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<p>My husband reacts similarly when I panic about the kids-- it's like he gets disgusted with me when I display fear and concern for our children.  I don't understand really.</p>
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<p>As far as the walking... I was walking 2 miles each way back and forth from school when I was 7.  People are a lot more paranoid today about their kids being abducted.  It's a very small chance of it happening but it does happen every once in a blue moon.  I don't even like for my kids to play in the yard where I can't easily see them from a window.  They definitely don't walk anywhere by themselves, not even a block.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Marsupialmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1292545/help-me-to-see-his-side#post_16203458"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I can see with your dh's short answer why that would have caused you more worry but at the same time what did you think he did with your son? Do you think he would purposely harm him? Toss him out of the car to get lost? Leave him at school? Is he really that horrible of a person you cannot trust him with y'all child. If not that is another issue.</p>
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<p>That is the crux of what made this issue so explosive. Seriously, he went to get your son and came back without him, saying that he'd wanted to walk your street. I don't understand the need to keep asking and asking. Though DH & I don't talk to each other the way you said your hubby talked to you, I would have been angry if DH acted like you acted. It was way over-the-top for the situation. Even if your son was a bit fearful, it's healthy to have a small fear and work through it. That's how we grow.</p>
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<p>If DH or I ask the other a question twice and don't get a satisfactory response, we usually say something like, "that's not what I'm asking. I'll rephrase it..." and start over. There's no judgment there, just an acknowledgment that we're losing communication somewhere. You say that your husband kept saying, "he's walking," but you also kept asking him the same question repeatedly when he HAD answered. <br>
 </p>
 
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