“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” – Ambrose Bierce
We are men and it’s no secret that most of us have an angry dad button that, when pressed, emits anger. The degree of anger depends on the person, but in almost all cases that emotion is counterproductive to fixing whatever set us off. You found a bag of pot in your son’s drawer? Your daughter’s school called because she skipped class today? Junior failed an art class project? Cue angry dad.
We know things are going to happen, so how we react when those times come will determine either the positive or negative development of our children moving forward. Here are 3 angry dad scenarios that hurt your children and solutions that will help.
1. Dealing with a Mess.
After an extremely long day at work and his patience already worn too thin, Dad is finally relaxing for a moment. His young son who is excited to see him jumps up into his lap suddenly, spilling the entire cold drink Dad was holding all over his pants and chair. One of two things is about to happen. Either the child is about to be instilled with fear of his father’s wrath, or he’s about to calmly learn a lesson that will prevent future incidents. Blind rage is exactly what we don’t want our children to be instilled with. Kids are going to make messes, all the time. Expect it, breathe deep, and react calmly.
2. Impatience Gets the Best of Him.
Part of a dad’s job description is being a handy man. During these times, we often recruit our children to assist us. These are extremely important teachable moments that are going to shape our children. The dad that uses this time to lovingly and patiently instruct his young child will create many positive memories. Their bond and mutual trust will deepen. A work ethic will be established, and the child will learn a desire to do quality work. If the father is the type that belittles his child instead of teaches, and curses and bangs his way through the task while the child observes, then a pathway filled with anxiety is being paved. The child will feel he can never do right in his dad’s eyes.
Know that when you recruit your children to help the project will take a lot longer and may not be done to perfection. The real purpose of the job will change into time with your kids over the actual project. Focus on that.
3. The Bad Report Card.Let your kids know you are on their team.
We all want our children to excel and set high standards. Sometimes it just isn’t going to work out like that. Bad grades usually will beget other bad grades if we react in a typical and instinctive fashion, which is to have an overly negative and disappointed reaction. This situation certainly calls for discipline and perhaps firm consequences, but a bad grade is actually a cry for help. That’s where the focus belongs, calmly figuring out what went wrong and what the solutions are. Leaving it all in a negative state is going to develop a low self-esteem in your child, and that’s a breeding ground for all sorts of troubles later. Discipline fairly, and then proceed optimistically in solving the issue. Let your kids know you are on their team.
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you do to control your emotions?”