My 9-year-old daughter had a few friends sleep over. My husband and I got into an argument in our room after we sent everyone to bed. He lost control and got really loud. He started slamming doors and yelling through the house. It got really scary in front of all of the children. I asked him to leave and he did, but the kids were scared. I stayed up with the chilren for quite a while until they had all calmed down. I am so embarrassed. How do I tell the parents what happened?

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    Thank you. The girls seemed to "get over it" and not bring it up again. I asked my husband to stay away while they are here. I am nervouse to bring up such an uncomfortable topic, but I feel like the parents should know so they can be prepared to talk with their child if they choose. I am praying they will be understanding and I completely understand if they chose not to leave their child here again. I also need to prepare for conversations with my own children as well. – Nicole Jul 4 '16 at 13:49

People are human and every couple fights. While not every argument is a door slammer (ideally none of them are), it's very likely that most if not all of the girls there have heard their parents argue before. But what the girls may not have experienced before is being in a relatively strange man's house while he is out of control. It is a frightening situation. They probably felt fairly unsafe.

Tell the parents the truth. As married folks themselves who likely argue themselves, they'll probably understand that other parents argue, and that sometimes it might get out of control. Explain that you did help the girls settle down afterwards, and apologize sincerely (and I would add profusely.)

However, I would not expect these parents to trust the two of you with their girls for another overnighter just yet.

Explain that you would like to make it up to the girls by taking them all out for a daytime or early evening excursion (alone); pizza and a movie or something similar where your family dynamics won't come into play. I think most parents will appreciate the gesture. It's possible that not all of them will take you up on it, but that's their choice. Do daytime things intermittently for a while until the girls get to know you well (if they don't already) and have your husband present for some of these things so they can learn to trust him again.

Hopefully your daughter didn't lose any friends because of the fight.

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    I agree with the first two paragraphs, but I wouldn't press to do something again with the girls immediately --it might place the other parents in a tough spot if they aren't comfortable with it. It's also not clear from the OP whether this is a one-time occurrence or a larger issue that the household needs to address before hosting again. – Chris Sunami Jul 5 '16 at 16:23

This is a little scary in my mind. What on earth could you have been arguing about that caused him to "lose control" in proximity to a bunch of 9 year old girls? This is inappropriate behavior on his part and I would strongly suggest some marital counseling or anger management.

I come from a background with abusive family members and I can tell you from first hand experience that hearing a grown man yell at someone and slam things around is terrifying. These girls were absolutely scared.

It was really good of you to send your husband away (thank goodness he actually left...) and to spend time with the girls to help them calm down. I hope you also gave them the option of calling their parents to going home.

There is really nothing you can do to make this up to the girls as others have suggested. Who you should really try to make this up to is your own daughter. How embarrassing to have your father act out in front of friends (speaking from my own experiences). She could lose some friends over this.

As for the parents, you need to tell them this happened. You should have told them first thing when they picked up their children. If you didn't, they've already heard about the fight through the filter of their 9 year old and its not going to help you save face at all. There's nothing you can really say besides it happened, you stopped it ASAP and your sorry really. If you could get your husband to be the one to apologize to each of the other parents that would be fitting; but if it's going to start another argument or be an issue I wouldn't make a stand on it.

Get this guy some counseling before it escalates. You owe it too your daughter, and you owe it to yourself.

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    Rachel - most of this post doesn't answer the question. Can you remove all but the 2nd last paragraph? Otherwise I think you'll continue to get down voted – Rory Alsop Jul 4 '16 at 14:37
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    Her point is there is no acceptable answer. – Jared Jul 4 '16 at 21:43
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    My point was more along the lines of - this is a big red flag and I've lived through this type of behavior before and know how damaging it is to (mostly) your own little girl. I agree Rory that in the context of this site that 2nd to last paragraph is really the answer to the question; but my outrage at the thought of someone doing this in front of their child and her best friends makes me not edit my answer. Some of the parents may be upset of this; understandably so. – user7678 Jul 5 '16 at 14:07
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    We have a be nice policy that superceeds your outrage, as valid as it is. When someone posts here for help, the answer is supposed to be helpful, not excoriating. The OP already clearly feels contrite. Your post mostly just adds your indignity. – anongoodnurse Jul 5 '16 at 16:31
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    I don't see how this goes against the Be Nice policy. I'm just suggesting the OP consider the magnitude of the situation and how it effects her daughter. As for the apology to the parents; what a terrible conversation to have to have, it really sucks for the OP and I'm sorry she has to do it. (Really honestly that sucks and I feel for you.) Maybe you can get your husband to help? That would be much more fair to you and a great sign that it really was just a bad one off night. But the only thing you can really say to them is that you're sorry it happened and that it will never happen again. – user7678 Jul 5 '16 at 17:48

This is indeed tough. This is what I'd do if I was in that situation.

First I'm hoping you spoke to the kid's and somehow tried making it okay. Organize another sleepover where you'll be the one entertaining them just for them to gain your trust back. Buy some gifts and give them during the sleepover.

Now for the parents, you just have to come clean. Explain to them there was a misunderstanding and you overreacted in front of the kids and promise not to go through that path again. But don't be shocked if the reaction will be negative, including them asking their kids not to come to your house. So be prepared emotionally this can go either way, but don't forget we learn from our mistake and no one is perfect. So don't be hard on yourself.

Lastly, you both need to have a talk about arguing in front of kids. I believe that arguments are not good during bedtime, we all have our disagreements, which can usually wait. So you both need to practice how to keep them in until it's you and your spouse alone in a room where kid's arent around . It's not good for kid's to see the parents arguing. I know it's tough but hey we all go through a learning process to be who we are. We're not perfect so practice makes better. Start practicing no matter how difficult it sounds, make that step so that next time you won't scare the kids.

Otherwise Goodluck and I hope all goes well. Not a professional in the sector but just what I'd Do.

  • Nice answer. You write " I do believe that arguments are good during bedtime" - but from context that should probably be "I do not believe", shouldn't it? Mind if I correct that? – sleske Jul 25 at 7:51
  • @sleske your are right. Just that it's hard to avoid them. Life 🙂 – Madonah Syombua Jul 25 at 16:59

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