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Dear Dish-It: My Dad Always Overreacts

Dear Dish-It,

My dad is awesome! He loves to go out on fun trips like Lebanon and Dominican Republic! But sometimes I wish he would stop overreacting about everything. I mean, just now he dropped a bunch of coffee cups (because we own a business) and he got mad and yelled at me … then he kissed me as if nothing happened! It’s starting to get annoying – and I get scared when he yells. I tried talking to him but he raises his voice so I get scared again. What should I do?

scared and annoyed


Dear s&a,


In terms of your dad overreacting to stuff, that may just be the way he is. One of the hardest things in the world to do is to make someone change – especially after they’ve been or acted a certain way their whole lives. If you want to help your dad feel less stressed out and angry over the little things that happen in life, you can either talk to him about it (in a calm and gentle way, explain that you’re worried because he gets so worked up about the smallest little problems and incidents, and tell him that sometimes it scares you when he gets so worked up) or set a good example for him by not overreacting to things yourself. Maybe if you lead the way, you dad’s behavior will change?


The other thing is that even though he’s your father, your dad is a human being, just like you. Every one of us gets angry sometimes. The important thing to remember, though, is that anger doesn’t really solve anything. When your dad gets angry and overreacts or loses his temper, the main goal – for both you and him – is to calm him down and try to solve whatever problem is making him upset, whether it’s big or small. The worst possible thing for you to do when your dad is angry is egg him on or provoke him – in other words, you don’t want to do anything to make him more and more upset!


Finally, it sounds to me like your dad has a bit of a bad temper – that’s what causes him to overreact to small issues. Having a bad temper means acting very angry and out of control. The thing is, your dad, like I said before, is a person, and all people have a right to express their feelings – even angry ones. What’s not OK is to express those feelings in a way that hurts other people – physically or emotionally. If you feel like your dad is really hurting you beyond simply expressing his feelings – which he is allowed to do – then you should talk to another adult you trust about it.


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  • 5 Comments

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    Dear Dish-It In The Forums

    Autonomy
    Autonomy posted in Family Issues:
    "StarrChild" wrote: Two years ago my parents broke up. I was never really the same after that point. My mother she began to just not care about anything. She would go out clubbing every Friday and would yell at me for my attitude towards it. Why would I be okay with her doing that??? I didn't really realise it but I began feeling kind of depressed. Of course we didn't fight all the time but when we did I would always end up crying alone in my room. And it would be really painful. One time I cried every night for a week because of her. A week ago, I felt really sick at school so I went to the sick bay but my Mum refused to believe I was sick. She thought I was lying and being over dramatic as usual. I felt really horrible after that, that the teacher sent me to the guidance councellor and almost immediately I burst into tears. I didn't even know why I did but the councellor did a little test on me and came to the conclusion I was slightly depressed and had anxiety. It wasn't really surprising but hearing it out loud just felt really weird. Even after knowing that fact my mother doesn't really act any different. She's not a bad person I swear but she can just be really horrible at times. Anyways, that's technically whats been happening in my life lol. Nothing really interesting Oh dear, that sounds like a dreadful situation. I've lived through similar difficulties in my own life, and my heart goes out to you, truly. May I offer you some advice? I don't have the cure to your problems or a magic wand that can make them disappear, but I do believe that some good can come out of your living situation. The first thing I'd like to make note of, is that everyone makes mistakes. As human beings, we have to make mistakes. There's no way around it; it's how we learn and grow. And as we get older, we don't stop making mistakes. Your parents are no exception. Although we look to our parents for guidance, and direction, and support, we have to understand that they aren't perfect people, and they make mistakes. They may not always lead us in the right direction. They may not always set a good example. They may not always be there for us, to encourage us and support us when we need them most. And that's okay. Everyone makes mistakes, and we have to accept that. But we can't let allow other people's mistakes to hurt us, my dear. And I know it hurts. Your mum might not understand how her actions make you feel. You said you haven't been the same since your parents divorced, and I know how challenging that can be to go through. But you know, some of the brightest, wisest, and happiest people I've met, are people who have dealt with difficult problems in their lives, and used them to grow as people. You can let your parents' mistakes get to you, and make you upset and depressed; or, you can accept that they aren't perfect people, accept that they make mistakes, and accept that their mistakes don't have anything to do with you. So here's what you do, friend: you can't stop your mum from going clubbing, and that's okay. Don't try to. Don't fight with her about it. You can let her know how it makes you feel, but don't get into an argument. Accept the situation for what it is. Your mother is her own person, and she is accountable for what she does; you aren't. Next time you start to get in a fight or an argument with her, just step back, and withdraw yourself. Try it, see what happens. Once you decide not to let other peoples' failings affect you--and you do have the power to do this--then you'll find a sense of peace you probably haven't felt before. And you'll learn from your mistakes, and the mistakes of your parents, and everyone around you, and you'll be a better person. Press on.
    reply 23 minutes
    Dounuts
    Dounuts posted in Family Issues:
    Go to your neighbor's house and ask him/her to call to police.Everything will be just fine.
    reply about 6 hours
    RavenClawRaina
    my ex is going through the same thing. Call the police now. Things will get out of hand. My brothers friend has been living with us for about 2 weeks becuz his dad punched him in the face. Call 911 now. They will help you. Just say you have been abused by your family member and they will take it from there. If you want, add me and we can talk
    reply about 7 hours
    XxRuby_PhoenixxX
    If you are getting abused to the point where you bleed, call the police immediately. This isn't acceptable behavior.
    reply about 7 hours
    MRAP
    MRAP posted in Family Issues:
    Hey, Just wanted some advice to help me on what to do on this. Ever since I was 3 I've been both Verbally, Mentally, And Physically abused. To me, this is normal since it's been happening for so long. But I just can't take this thing anymore. When I get home I always get yelled at for no reason. I have been on Anti-Depressants for the past 1-2 years. Been going to counseling for 6-7 years for family. Nothing has changed yet. I just need help on how to handle this. Thanks.
    reply about 7 hours