A Dad’s Anger

Anger - Dads Round Table

Photo Credit: George Hodan

 

My daughter was getting off the bus when I saw the tears shimmering in the sun. Her cry could be heard over all of the noise that the kids getting off of the bus were creating. She comes running towards my wife and I, immediately begging to be held. The source of these tears and this crying? A little boy had slapped my daughter in the face as she was getting off of the bus.

My son comes running over to offer his point of view on what happened, as well as a few other kids that were on the bus and witnessed the incident. We quickly learned the name of the offender as well as what he was wearing and what color hair he has. My first reaction was to storm the bus and find this young punk who had done this to my daughter. Never mind telling the driver. She wouldn’t do anything about it anyway. I wanted to find this little boy, bring him off the bus, and give my daughter a chance to seek revenge without intervention. Nobody messes with my baby girl. Nobody.

I have felt anger as a dad before. Most of the time, it’s been caused by an adult. Either the way I see them treat their children, or the way I’ve heard them speak to mine in the past. I get frustrated by the way some kids have acted towards my children, but in most cases it’s more of a lack of understanding what may hurt someone’s feelings when there was no ill will intended. This was the first time I have felt real strong anger because of something another child has done to one of mine. I mean, fist curled, blood pressure raising, white knuckle anger.

I quickly had to let that slip away though. Storming the bus would have done nobody any good and would have resulted in my going to jail. My saying something to the kid would have gone in one ear and out the other, and possibly had resulted in further negative action towards my daughter in retaliation. I am also divided on the issue of fighting back. I want my kids to be able to defend themselves, but I don’t want that to turn into acts of unwarranted aggression. I don’t want them to learn that it is okay to instigate. I had my fair share of fights and suspensions in my middle school and high school days. A lot of times, self-defense didn’t matter. Both parties involved faced discipline.

Taking the High Road

I brushed off my anger as we got the kids into the car, and started trying to get the whole story from them and to console Dudette. I wanted so bad to tell her to hit him back next time if it happens. I wanted to tell her “Tomorrow, when you get off the bus, slap that little punk in the face and run.” It was gut instinct I guess. I knew though, that none of these were ideas I should be teaching to either one of the kids in the car. Instead I told her she needed to stay away from that boy. If it happened again, tell the bus driver. Avoid the boy at all cost, and if he continues, daddy would deal with it. I don’t want my children to be tattle tales over every little thing they don’t like, but in cases like this, I prefer they back away, not use fists, and let an adult know.

Later that evening I messaged her teacher to ask about the little boy and let her know about the situation. Her teacher identified the student, he was talked to by school officials, and no further incidents have occurred. I think the boy got the hint that his shenanigans would not be tolerated. We nipped it in the bud.

A parent’s anger can be a fickle thing. Dealing with these feelings personally is one thing. How I show my kids the proper way to respond is a whole different matter. It’s good for them to see that parents and children both share the same emotions. But it’s more important for them to learn the proper way to handle them from their parents. It’s not always easy to do. A dad’s anger can boil up quickly. It was a great teaching lesson for all of us though. Hopefully, I taught my kids something. And hopefully, I have taught myself something as well.

Comments

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About The Geeky Nimrod

Husband, Father, Thinker, Geek, Mobile Tech Enthusiast, Writer. I am the one who.... Knocks politely and possibly not even loud enough for you to hear. Just another dude on the internet.

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Comments

  1. Happiest Daddy says:

    Great post! It’s an age old dilemma and one that all parents face. I haven’t had to deal with it yet because my kids are little but I believe my impulse would be to take matters into my own hands…or teach my child to handle it physically. However, violence is never the solution and it’s in those moments when our kids learn more from us than any other.

    • That Johnny Dude says:

      “it’s in those moments when our kids learn more from us than any other” <– How very true sir. Often times it's the moments that are hard for us to handle that our kids will learn the most from us about. It's how we teach strong character. Thanks for checking out the post!

  2. While my kid is not old enough to be in school yet, I often wonder about how I will react in the inevitable times something like this happens. Reading stories like this verifies my initial thoughts about it. Nice work and thank you!

    • That Johnny Dude says:

      Thank you for checking it out! It’s hard to control that anger. Especially for me. But all too important that we set the right example.

  3. Good job, Dad!

  4. lardavbern says:

    I would have wanted to knock some sense into that kid. I’ve felt it towards a bully of my son’s. I have told my children about standing tough and not taking stuff from others.
    I respect the way you went about things. Contacting the teacher and the school is definitely wise.

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