When my daughter slammed a cheeseburger down on the tray because it was supposed to be a hamburger I lost it.
I would normally glare at her until she got the message, but I was well past that point. Instead I lashed out at her in front of the family. That she wouldn’t eat her burger because we’d been given the wrong order was beside the point. I was upset that she’d feel so entitled to slam it down in such a manner.
It wasn’t as if she had snuck out of her room to take the car for the joyride at midnight.
But in the moment it felt like the right action to take, and I let her have it. My daughter was so surprised at my outburst that she followed my example and yelled right back. That’s not normally how she operates.
I don’t recall what I said to her nor do I recall what she said to me. It doesn’t matter though because my message was lost in its delivery. It’s one thing to yell when your child is running towards a busy street. But that wasn’t the case here.
Has someone ever changed your mind after yelling at you? Have you ever changed a person’s mind by yelling at them?
I’ve had nearly 11 years worth of experience as a father, but there are times all that experience doesn’t mean squat.
It’s been a couple of days, and I’ve had to reflect on how I acted. Honestly, I feel sort of numb about it but mostly embarrassed. Embarrassed because my other two sons and daughter and spouse witnessed it.
The next morning I was saying goodbye to the kids who were piled on the couch watching cartoons. My daughter got off the couch, walked over to me and gave me a hug. I patted her on the head a few times, wondering what she was thinking.
I’m not naïve enough to assume that she has forgotten about my actions the night before, nor do I believe she’ll be this forgiving when she reaches her teens and beyond. Even at her age, I would have avoided my mother or father had I been in a similar situation.
If I could take a mulligan I would.
I told my daughter why I was upset and apologized for yelling. Maybe I’ve banked enough goodwill with her that she knows I love her and don’t normally act the way I did.
I kissed her on the forehead before taking off for work on my bike.
One good thing about having four kids is that I get a lot of opportunities to redeem myself.