Dads. Stop breaking your children. Please.
I feel a need to write this post after what I witnessed at Costco yesterday. Forgive me for another post written in desperation and anger. Please read all the way to the end. I know it’s long, but this is something that needs to be said. It’s something that needs to be heard. It’s something that needs to be shared.
As Noah and I stood in line to make a return, I watched as a little boy (he couldn’t have been older than six) looked up at his dad and asked very timidly if they could buy some ice cream when they were done. The father glared him down, and through clenched teeth, growled at the boy to “leave him alone and be quiet”. The boy quickly cowered to the wall where he stood motionless and hurt for some time.
The line slowly progressed and the child eventually shuffled back to his father as he quietly hummed a childish tune, seemingly having forgotten the anger his father had just shown. The father again turned and scolded the boy for making too much noise. The boy again shrunk back and cowered against the wall, wilted.
I was agitated. I was confused. How could this man not see what I see? How could this man not see what a beautiful spirit stood in his shadow? How could this man be so quick to stub out all happiness in his own boy? How could this man not cherish the only time he’ll ever have to be everything to this boy? To be the person that matters most to this boy?
We were three from the front now, and the boy started to come towards his dad yet again. His dad immediately stepped out of the line, jammed his fingers into his son’s collar bones until he winced in pain, and threatened him. “If you so much as make a sound or come off of that wall again, I promise you’re going to get it when we get home.” The boy again cowered against the wall. This time, he didn’t move. He didn’t make a sound. His beautiful face pointed down, locked to the floor and expressionless. He had been broken. And that’s how his father wanted it. He didn’t want to deal with him, and breaking him was the easiest way.
And we wonder why so many of our kids grow up to be screwed up.
I’m going to be blunt. People see my relationship with Noah, and quite often put me up on a pedestal or sing my praises for loving him more than most dads love their own kids.
Damn it. I don’t understand that, and I’ll never understand that. Loving my son, building my son, touching my son, playing with my son, being with my son… these aren’t tasks that only super dads can perform. These are tasks that every dad should perform. Always. Without fail. There is nothing special about me. I am a dad who loves his son and would literally do anything for his well-being, safety, and health. I would gladly take a rake in the face or a jackhammer to my feet before I cut my own son down or make him feel small.
[sigh] I am far from a perfect dad. And I always will be. But I’m a damn good dad, and my son will always feel bigger than anything life can throw at him. Why? Because I get it. I get the power a dad has in a child’s life, and in a child’s level of self-belief. I get that everything I ever do and ever say to my son will be absorbed, for good or for bad. What I don’t get is how some dads don’t get it…
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What a wonderful post! Thank you for your heated, flabbergasted rant, it spoke to my heart (okay sharply stabbed it) and reminded me again, as I exhaustively fall into bed, how truly lucky I am to get to buy my three babies ice cream tomorrow😊
I totally agree with your message here, and I appreciate that you acknowledged at the end that maybe you could have or should have done or said something while in line at the store. It is a difficult proposition to see a wrong and intervene. I have an 8 month old daughter and strive to be a great dad. I struggle at times to put down my phone or stop watching TV to play with her. I do light up when I get home and see her for the first time of the day and I love our story time together and the times when I get to put her down at night. I will never be perfect, but I strive to be a good/great dad who she can look up to and hopefully will look to as one of her heros. Thanks for caring enough to write your thoughts and feelings on the subject.
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e and my boyfriend were seriously in love for six years and we were planning to get married but one day he came to my house and told me he was no longer interested in our relationship simply because he was dating another rich lady who promise to buy him a car and to sponsor their wedding. And i suffer heartbreak for seven months and i was not tired of loving him.so i take a bold step by contacting a spell caster who help me bring my ex boyfriend back. he is powerful and great his contact via Email [email protected] or cell phone
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This is a wonderful post about how dads should treat their children and I am glad that you did not speak up to this individual dad at Costco. It is my professional belief that he would have taken it out on his child after your encounter. There is a side to this story that you do not tell because you and I don't know the father's story which has much to do with how he treats his son. Most people that we all see in the Costcos of our travels, you know those who emotionally abuse their children, these parents were abused themselves and it is the only way they know. It is very difficult to empathize with an "abuser" but it is the only way to help. What is needed here is help to teach the offending parent some skills and empathize with his anger. Let me tell you, this is difficult even for a professional to do. So, I would say to you, try to understand the bigger picture and just maybe someone, who owns this behavior will even think about changing it.
Yes, our dads closed our spirits many times, yet God can work through this sin and bring good, bring us to God through the Son. I raised my own son in the love of God and didnt spend as much time w him as I wanted and asked his forgiveness and he forgave me, saying he knew I had to work, before he died of cancer.
In a sense, dis should apply 2 ALL parents! Not just dads! I've seen news reports of many women, Afro-American mind u, who r rancid towards their kids! Many of these "moms" say da little boys have no right 2 b sensitive, an' they try an' raise da girls 2 b deez undatable whores! As an Afro-American male, I c dis, an' am very sickened by it! Especially since I wasn't raised in dat environment; thank God!
But I digress! If anything, if u had a cameraphone, like da majority of ppl have a smart phone or a pad, u shoulda recorded da sumbitch an' shamed 'em on social media!
And you stood there like a sheep, not stepping in, not protecting the child, not calling authorities. "You're going to 'get it' when we get home" said after good finger jabbing? You knew what that meant and yet you didn't make a single phone call, talk to a manager, etc.
Guess what? YOU broke the boy.
And if he had stepped up and said something it may have upset the man even more......you never know if he would have taken it out on the child.
Wow! Powerful post. This really resonated with me. I am lucky to have had an amazing father whom treated me with the patience, awe, kindness and loving spirit this man describes. I am so fortunate.
i have some great posts on my blog from parents of young children who didn't find it all that easy and some of the challenges they faced and ways they coped - very encouraging stuff.
Love brett fish
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I broke up with my wife last 5 months due to many misunderstandings i was fighting so hard to get her back. none of her friends would give me any information about her. The only thing I could do was to go find help from anywhere, so i looked for a way to get her back then a friend recommended me to contact Therapist Oniha of the [email protected] that he will help me and as my friend said, Therapist Oniha helped me to bring back my wife in just in 3 days, I now have her back and this is the biggest joy of my life oohhhh am so happy now with her forever.
I wish there was more help for broken adults. My dad broke me many times throughout my childhood. I am an adult now, but only physically. Life is too long to live broken by parents, and blamed by strangers for my "brokenness".
I'm sorry I'm useless, i wish I were dead too.
@Shareallicu OMG please don't say those words...You are a not useless and should never wish your own death...Please reach out to anyone even me!!...XO
@Shareallicu i felt somany times in that way.. dont do it to your self..... if you want to talk we are here... I feel useless too sometimes but i dont let it take me down...
@Shareallicu I understand exactly what you mean. It was my mother who broke me. All of us actually. I learned to be afraid. To walk on eggshells and to never ask for anything. I got food clothing and shelter, but beyond that, I learned I was a burden she was required to support. I learned to hide and not take chances, because the punishment for a mistake or failure was so severe. The biggest thing I learned is that I didn't matter and my needs beyond survival, didn't matter. A telling point: my mother told the story of when she told my grandfather that she was going to marry my dad, she said he hugged her for the first time in her life. She was 25 years old. She said she was shocked and didn't know how to react. Our parents learn to parent form their own parents. Understanding that though, hasn't helped me to find a way out. I'm afraid to take chances, and don't have the ability to ask anyone for anything. I'm extremely capable and self-sufficient. I can fix or build anything electrical/ mechanical. I'm the model employee because it's so easy to put everyone else's needs first. Never married, no connection, no support group. I can't take chances, because I can't afford to fail. I learned the wrong lesson as a kid. The biggest being that I didn't matter.
@Too Late for Me @Shareallicu We are brothers in suffering. Let me show you what worked for me. http://www.amazon.com/Missing-Mark-Target-Child-Speaks/dp/1496940342/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1423159746&sr=1-1&keywords=hoerner+missing
Oh,dear....you're blessed....I'M Barbara 38 y o from Hellas...forgive my english are not good enough,i'll try to make a point.... i try so hard everyday not to be cruel to my asperger son...but once i started,i went to a psychology to take advices for myself first and then for him..i couldn't deal with it ( i mean i was fighting with him) he was only 2,5 to 3 years old....Now,after 3 years since i know he's aspie, i've tried so hard and have done such amazing work with him,that i can feel happy the most of the time and not only some moments...he really drives me crazy sometimes, but now i know how to take things on my hands...and God, I LOVE HIM SO MUCH!!Both my boys!...my point is that some parents may not be able to deal up their own children,they may need some help with ... so, don't turn yourself apart of talking nicely to them... ask them... "what's the problem?Becouse maby i can help"....talk to them about taking some advice from doctors about their child,or why not for themselves...i know it's hard to make them listen,i was telling this to my dad, when i was a kid yet, he never did, but I DID becouse i was currying his ways somehow and i hated to treat like this to my sons... My boys are my last breath and i would nefer thought about losing it!! If you dont show your pure love to your children one day they don't know how to love you back!!!Thanks for your post,you made my cry from the depth of my heart..Keep being the perfect dad you ARE!!lOVE YOU!
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This is a special thank you message that I have been avoiding to share in public because I was ashamed to expose my affairs to the public, but I realized the promise I made to dr. wakina to prove to me why people talks more about him if he is real and I will comment about him? I told Dr. Wakina that he should show me his true power and he agreed to help me after he finished consulting his Oracle and came up with positive result. This great doctor started this work and finally proved his powers to me when my Ex came back 2days after the spell, begging and pleading for forgiveness.
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A Dad who consciously and purposely decides to make his children feel loved would also hopefully lift up the mother of his children and give her his love and caring, too. My Dad did great with me when he was home, but he traveled for work and my Mom seemed to be overwhelmed when he was gone and wanted to be left alone and not be "bothered" by me. We rarely did anything together that was "just spending time," and I could not talk with her about anything the whole time I was growing up. Due to bad things in her past, she did not/could not feel loved and supported enough by her husband, so she is the one who tore me down every time Dad was away. But Dad also did not pay her much attention when he was home, no affection or special things, and they also drank and fought a lot until they got divorced when I was 12, and I remember all of that. So he was a good Dad but not a great husband. Anyway, all of her hurt came out to me whenever he was away, and she was jealous of the time Dad spent with his only child (me) when he was home. Every put-down and negative thing I heard from her cut me like a knife, and burned into my soul, and at 59 I am still overcoming the lasting effects of being broken by her. I thought I married a man who could love me and his children, but after having only one daughter, I found out how broken we both were. And so the cycle continued. The husband/father sets the whole tone of the family, but our culture does nothing to support that concept; in fact, media shows men who are loving, thoughtful, caring, and put family first as weak and stupid. The outdated model of being a tough, emotionless "macho man" still permeates our culture as the ideal. Until we as a society can change that, one family at a time, then the men who become fathers may not always be able to do the right things.
I am speechless, and touched. With as many horrible examples out there, thanks for speaking up to be a positive light in a grey world.
You're not the only one who gets angry when you see a child "broken". There are those of us, who are non traditional parents as well (step, grand etc) that have felt that anger, that helpless burn in the pit of your stomach, when a child has "that" look on their face.
I have always wished for my own children. I have been blessed to be a step parent. I try to build our children up at every opportunity, knowing only that I'm a good enough parent to know that I can always grow to be better.
My wish is that the father of that boy, read this post. So I will share and share again.
Keep being who you are. From one parent to another, I think you're pretty great.
Everyone! Abandon social media! Interact with your offspring! Retire your binary facsimiles! Embrace your physical existence!
how i got my husband back and got pregnant after 5 years!!!my husband has been patient with me and has been encouraging me that it will be best if we had hopes that we will have a child one day.last year,we had a little fight and he demanded for a divorce and i was so down because without him,i am nothing.he left me and the next day i met him with another woman in a shopping mall.i even tried talking to him but he pretended he didnt know me.i told my sister about it and she introduced me to the Famous Dr Malaa,who helps in so many ways.i contacted him and he did his thing,before i knew it,the next day Moric called me and apologized that he was sorry for everything and that i should take him back and that he will cancel the divorce,i had no choice than to accept him,and we have been living happily until i felt sick and went for check up and the doctor confirmed me pregnant.i am so happy and all thanks to Dr Malaa for all his help.contact him now for any kind of problem and he will surely try his best to make you happy. His email is ([email protected]) or also call his mobile +2348159645271.thanks once again Dr Malaa for everything :)
Dan, what a great piece. I am 60 now but still the little boy in the store you saw. Because my Dad is the father in that picture. Always angry. And he STILL is. He broke me a million times, into a billion little pieces. And he still tries! I am a lawyer, a published author and I play lead and rhythm guitar in a fantastic funk/soul/r&b/rock cover band ... I am a remarried husband to a wife that blesses me with her presence by my side - each and every day of my life. I'm father to three wonderful children, two stepchildren .......... and a grandpa to 4 grandkids and counting. But as great as that all is, a man is still the boy. He always will be. And the broken boy never heals completely. The wounds scar over and thankfully, there is the education of life, and all that it has to offer us here in the USA. Still, there is and always will be the angry man that is ALWAYS standing in the background shaking his fist and gritting his teeth at me. A friend to his circle of withered cronies. A bastard to me. A dichotomy of "here, take this money" and "you goddamn republican." A double standard that sits and prays a rosary on a church bench, and curses the people he glares at all around him. Right there in the pew! Dads. Wake up and realize that someday, you might just have a 60 year old son like me. A loving guy who knows in his heart that the only real lesson you ever taught him as his father, is how NOT to be. What NOT to do. Those are your best lessons for your sons and daughters? I don't think so.
What really breaks a child is when you don't treat his/her mother right, when you divorce, when you are so selfish that instead of making the relationship that YOU CHOSE work by giving up your "rights" and putting your family's needs before your own. To a child whose family is broken, everything you say will be B.S. until you live it. You may tell them they are wonderful and build their self-esteem sky high until they are the biggest thing in school, but when they take that selfish attitude to their relationships... no matter how good they think they are, until they can learn to be successful while putting others' needs before their own, they will not have healthy relationships. So many parents today preach building their child's self esteem, when what the child really needs is parents who are living examples of selflessness and discipline (this means doing what is right when it's not easy) in their own lives first, and then are willing to lovingly introduce discipline into their children's lives as well.
My ex husband has only seen our 18 year old son once in this past year. He lives in the same County that we do.... He chose not to have relationships with his children even when we were in the same household. Makes me wonder if I shouldn't have ended it sooner. I think being ignored was very hard for them. He is very damaged and refused to believe that there'sanything wrong with his behavior.
@Good Example So.......just because parents divorce, they break their child? That is BS. Not everyone should be married and if the relationship is bad, that affects the child far worse than divorce!
My name is Jessie Bender from USA My boyfriend and I were happy as far as I could tell and I never thought that we would break up. When his cousin died in a tragic car accident he went back to Philippine for a week to be with his family. I could not go because I was in the middle of entertaining out of town clients for work. He did not seem to be upset that I could not go so I let him be. The next thing that I know, he reconnected with an old friend from high school that he had a crush on years ago and they started to have an affair! I had no clue what was going on until a month after he came back from Philippine.He proceeded to see both her and I until I caught him testing her one night. I confronted him and he told me the truth about what happened. We broke up and went our separate ways. Neither of us fought for our relationship. I was angry and decided not to be upset about it and just keep it moving. Then after about a month of not speaking to him I became sad. I wanted him to tell me that he wanted to be with me and not her. I contacted Dr.ogala for a love spell and he totally helped me! he was able to get him to miss me to where he wanted to get back together again. He had a lot of regrets and felt bad for not fighting to keep me and for cheating in general. He values our relationship so much more now and we are together now! You can also get your lover back with the help of Dr.ogala contact him through his email: [email protected] [email protected] you can also call him +2348072371282 THANKS.
The author of this article took two or three minutes out of someone's life and made an assumption about them (that the kid was going to end up screwed up and the dad was a bad parent). What if the kid had been screwing up in school, or had been acting up all day and the dad was just fed up? My point is: Unless you can see the full picture, you cannot make an assumption of anyone's parenting skills. My ex-wife went to church with a guy who seemed like a really good husband and dad when he was out in public eye but behind closed doors we all learned that he was molesting his step daughters. I'm sure if you'd seen him in that same store hugging up on his kids you would have assumed that he was a great dad.
I am a single dad of two wonderful girls. They are both honor students, into sports are very independent and strong willed young women. Sometimes they misbehave, they fight and yell and there are times when I lose my patience and you might here me tell one of them to: Sit down and shut the hell up. But you know what: I'm still a damn good dad and the author needs to stop being so judgmental.
If you think telling your children to shut the hell up is being a good father then you need help. If my husband ever told one of our children that, we'd be divorced. He'd never speak to our children like that. Yes, he's been fed up before but talking to them like a dog isn't an option. You may think you've not hurt them but trust me, you have. Sad that you feel the need to talk like that to your kids. Call me judgemental if you want, it is what it is. I'll be praying your lovely daughters don't marry a man that talks to them the way you have.
@Someguy Yes, you're right, maybe he was fed up at that moment. Yes you're right, maybe the kid was screwing up in school or had been acting out all day. And yes, looking at the big picture is important.
BUT and this is a huge but, the moment a parent grabs their child out of anger and physically hurts them (jabbing his fingers into the child making him wince) then that IS the bigger picture. You fail as a parent the moment you physically put your hands on your child out of anger. It's that simple. And there is absolutely no way to honestly justify it, no matter how hard some people try.
My husband left us a year ago when we had our last kid because he has always been afraid of having kids (so embarrassing). I was in a dark world, things did not go as we have planned when we exchanging our marriage vows, he hates kids and never plays with them even on their birthdays; he always wants to have me alone for reasons best known to him. I tried teaching him ways to love kids but he constantly keeps his distance away from them which made them to think that he is not their father.
He finally left us to an unknown destination when he couldn’t bear with the pressure around him. I suffered and convinced them that their father will change to a better man and come back. This made me stand by my word because I don’t want to be a lying Mother, so I had to find ways to bring back my Boo as a changed man until I overheard a woman in a mall talking to her friend about a Spell Doctor called Dr. Wakina who help her sister get back her husband; so I quickly asked her if she can help me with the doctor’s contact if he can help me.
Thanks to her and Dr. Wakina who changed my husband and brought him back to us as I promised our kids. He now loves them and plays with them. Dr. made him a lovely Father and Husband. I am so happy that I finally fulfilled the promise I made to my kids. Contact Doctor Wakina if you are suffered relationship humiliation via [email protected]
I loved this article. My dad is a great dad. My husband is a great dad. It is one of the things that I love about him most, the way he loves our children and the time he invests in just being with them. I hope every parent out there gets to read this article.
Not everyone is meant to be a parent. Not everyone needs to be a parent. Some people in this world just completely suck at being a mom or dad. These people don't abd won't possess a quality parental mentality, ever. These unfit 'parents' that should never have been don't realize this fact until they have a child who is unfortunate enough to become stuck with this human, a human who has absolutely no business having a malleable sponge depend on them for everything. What child should have to endure this?
First line, 3rd page - 'It’s time to stand up and ask what we can do to be better dads. It’s time to get our priorities straight. It’s time to come home and actually be a dad.'
Can i ask if YOU actually stood up for the boy? You certainly had an opinion on what you saw was happening but didn't list anything regarding your conversation with the father.
@Callingithowiseeit From the description of the father, it seems plausible that he would've turned around with that same anger and threats of violence to the author, who had his own son with him to protect. Point your judgement to where it can do some good. We're not all our bravest at all times. Third page, near end of article - "I believe a part of me feels like a coward for not saying something to the man in front of me at Costco. Consider this post to be my penance. Perhaps a part of me feels that if even one person reads this and decides to be a better dad, it was worth every second that I spent typing it."
@Callingithowiseeit Could he have said something? Yes he could have. Should he have said something? I can't definitively answer that. But I grew up with an abusive father and I can speak from experience. When someone would say something to my father about the way he was treating us, he'd play this apologetic father and pretend to be this loving father and do a 180, until we got home. Then he'd turn that anger he had for someone getting involved towards me. And it made it so much worse. And the reality is that it happens.
Does this mean that nobody should ever say anything or get involved? Absolutely not. But sometimes it's better to not directly confront the situation and rather contact the appropriate authorities. Yes, too often nothing gets done, that's the horrible reality. Trust me, I know it's a perfect world. I wish it was, but it isn't. And I wish I had a better answer than just reporting it, but I don't.
My husband is a wonderful father. He takes time off work to be able to stay home and help out with our two children, who are both under 5. He made draining the tub fun for our son. He builds towers out of blocks, shares his food with them. He is gentle and kind and is incredibly kind, respectful, and supportive to me, his wife. He wants to have as many children as he can so that he can put more good, caring, kind people out into the world. I hope this helps.
Hi Dan! I'd like to take a moment to say that the greatest father I know is my husband. He shows our daughter, Lana, so much love everyday. He takes time out to talk to her about school and how she's doing. He plays with her. Their favorite thing to do together right now is Minecraft because she just got that game for Christmas (our daughter is 5). He takes her to fly kites, they go to the park, he reads her bedtime stories every other night (we take turns), and he just in general loves her. Our daughter is never without the love and support that she needs from us. She's the happiest, sweetest little girl. I'm definitely going to be showing him this post because even though I feel that we are doing an amazing job molding and loving our baby girl, this was an inspiring read. Thank you for taking the time to post this.
This sounds great and all, but you have no idea as to what may have happened in Cosco for that boy to deserve it. Maybe he needed a good stern hand at that moment because he was being disobedient or something else. Yes for sure it could have been a Dad crushing his son, odds are tho he had a good reason for doing what he did.
@Nick I understand being frustrated by something, but to physically take it out on his son and to threaten and belittle him is NOT okay! Never. Children need structured discipline, not threats and fear to be poured into them. There is no good reason to not at least listen to what your child has to say without getting angry at them. They have thoughts, feelings, likes and dislikes just as you or any other adult does. Being patient and understanding is a part of parenting and it makes me so sad to see that a lot of people these days don't take the time to love and appreciate the greatest beauty in their lives - their children.