Skip Nav

What to Do with a Childish Husband

What to Do with a Childish Husband

Sometimes it is cute and endearing when your husband pals around with your children, acting like a big kid himself. But Circle of Moms member Jeanie H. wonders what happens “when your husband acts like a child – all the time?

What to do with a father who acts like a child himself,” this mom of three wonders aloud. Her husband  lies about frivolous things, and worse, claims that the reason is that he doesn’t want to get in trouble from Jeanie — "just like a child," she says.

Whether it's Jeanie's husband's habit of lying, or making messes and not cleaning them up, as is more commonly reported by members, or simply horsing around like a kid at inappropriate times, Circle of Moms members have come up with four strategies for dealing with their partners' most childish behaviors.

1. Don’t Parent Him

When their partners are acting like children, moms need to examine the way they respond, suggest Circle of Moms members Jodi and Rachael. As Jodi explains it, “When you ask your husband to do something he already knows he should be doing, you are essentially treating him like a child. He doesn’t need you to parent him.”

Rachael also feels moms should take some responsibility if a husband acts like a big kid. “Treat him like a man and he'll act like one,” she says. “You're not his mother. Stop nagging him, if he thinks he will get in trouble for every little thing then he'll lie about every little thing just to try and keep the peace.”

Denise C. agrees, warning, “He may start acting like a child if you are acting like his mom."


2. Remind Him That He's a Role Model

When your partner is setting a bad example for your kids by not cleaning up after himself, some Circle of Moms members suggests letting him know these habits are just plain unacceptable. But the words you choose are important. Teresa K., whose husband "leaves behind his socks and towels and everything else, " and whose three-year-old listens better, is trying to change the behavior "by reminding him he needs to be a role model.” 

3. Lay Down the Law

Paula's husband is always putting his needs before the children’s. She feels that, "The kids' needs come first. If he's not adult enough to put the kids' needs above his own wants, then you either have to leave him or mother him. It's your choice."

When a parent — any parent — can’t tame childish behaviors that are harmful to the children and family, Paula recommend an ultimatum: "Give him a choice: he stops or you leave."

4. Learn to Indulge it When it's Appropriate

Not every mom with a playful husband is up in arms about it. As long as the habits are indulged while away from the kids – with his buddies or somewhere else — some members feel it's smart to let your husband have a little fun and get it out of his system. Andrea S. fall into this court: “I tell my husband he can act like that a child if he wants when he's out with his friends, but don't bring that inappropriate behavior home."

Carrie A. feels that it is sometimes a blessing to have a husband who acts like a grown up kid, especially when he is bonding with the children. This mom of two, who says she sometimes feels like a mom of three, explains: "Today my husband and kids stopped at a flea market. . . .We were walking around when my husband found a box full of He-man toys for $5 dollars. It's an 80's thing. My husband and kids played with them all afternoon. Sometimes I think guys never grow up."

Tasha H. and Katie K. also don’t mind when their husbands show a childish side, as long as it helps keep the kids entertained. "I don't mind really, as he keeps our son occupied by being silly. As long as they're having fun," says Katie. And Tasha loves it: "I enjoy my husband being kid-like at times. Really helps when I need to clean and he's home, haha."

Do you feel like you have to mother your husband?

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

Latest Family