My temper makes me unapproachable. It chips away at my credibility. It causes people to “walk on eggshells” when they are around me, so as to not step on a land mine that will set off an explosion of my temper. It causes my children to be hesitant to bring their concerns, their problems, and their crisis to me because they are not sure how I will “react.” This is the opposite of what we want as fathers.
When kids speak with all their emotion, they will try to rope you into that emotion. Be careful not to simply fall into the ‘expendable’ emotion that your children are feeling at the moment.
When we react, there is an automatic response (remember the knee-jerk) that will cause whatever happens to be inside you, at that moment, to spill out. If you are frustrated about a situation happening at the office, your children will no doubt experience your anger about that situation even though they are not involved, if you simply react to them. Of course, you would never “intend” for that to happen,
Your kids will fail. Do you explode when they do? It’s important for them to know that they can talk to you when they fail. They will also speak to you inappropriately – they’re kids. I’m not saying allow them to do so, but don’t allow them to shape your attitude, based on their foolishness. Your job is to shape theirs.
The basic idea of what kind of a man your daughter will want, or your son will desire to be, is a byproduct of your example in practical areas of life (not just the “big” areas). It is who you are in everyday life.