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HATING my father but LOVING him too?!

Hi Sam,

My dad can be a horrible father, but his mood can change whenever....he could be smiling one moment and screaming the next. He has high blood pressure and could flip any time, which is why my mum and I love him so much. My mum and him get along fine, although they have quite a lot of arguments and I often feel it's my fault (!). But the thing is, is that my dad is a LOVELY person. He hugs me, loves me, just as much and perhaps more than other dads at times. He can be a lovely dad, giving me ice-creams and taking the whole family on long trips to London or the seaside. He'll play games and stuff like Twister or Monopoly.

But I don't understand why he can change so quickly. For instance, he can suddenly yell and swear or try to hit me if I do something wrong. I know I shouldn't talk back to my parents, but I wish he'd understand that i'm not half as bad as some of my school friends, who yell back at their parents constantly.....
I just wish he could control his temper better, as  I don't know when he'll be laughing, smiling or screaming.

And I DON'T LIKE IT.
It's awkward living in a household where you don't know what your dad is gonna do next. Smash a plate or sing a happy song?!

A final thing: My dad is not the worst parent....like in Jacqueline Wilson's books. It's just I would love to know whether I could help him change his temper?


PLEASE REPLY! :)

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Thanks for taking the time to write to me and tell me about what’s going on with your dad. It sounds like his behaviour is really confusing, and it’s understandable you don’t like living in a household where you don’t know what he’s going to do next.

I can hear that your dad loves you and that he can be lovely, but it’s not ok for him to scream, swear or try to hit you. If he ever makes you feel like you’re not safe then I want you to know that it’s ok to call 999 and ask for help.

It’s important to remember that your parents are adults and they’re responsible for their emotions and their actions. It’s not your fault if they argue. I can hear that you want to help your dad, but changing his temper is something that he needs to do.

I’m wondering whether there are ever times when he is happier and calmer when you could talk to him about how it feels when he loses his temper. It might be that another family member, maybe your mum, could support you to speak to him. Or perhaps they could even speak to your dad for you if you let them know what you’d like them to say. Another thing to consider could be writing your dad a letter to explain how you’re feeling.

There is some useful information in Explore about Family relationships. You might also want to have a look at the Home and family relationships message board where you can get support from other young people if you'd like to leave a message yourself.

Remember that Childline counsellors are always here to listen if you want to talk more about how you’re feeling. You can contact a counsellor by logging in for a 1-2-1 chat, or give us a ring on 0800 1111 (calls are free and won't show up on your phone bill).

Take care,

Sam

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