Parental guidance.

Yesterday, something exciting happened in my life…

…okay, I’m lying.

I observed an incident. It was quite a thought-provoking one and so in that respect, exciting somehow. While out shopping with my family, I happened to be admist an encounter between two males.These testosterone-filled, angsty men were close to knocking each other’s head off because one of the men, I’ll call him Man A, ‘pushed into’ or ‘bumped into’ the other man – Man B.

So, I’ve set the scene. Here’s what happened next.

Man A claimed that “I was walking with my boy init and this guy thinks it’s okay to just barge into me” and you can imagine, he went on like this for a while, repeating himself and sounding kind of tedious and stupid, while Man B squared up against him and tried to stand his ground.

Living where I live, I assumed that when Man A said he was with “his boy”, he meant that he was with his friend, his “homeboy” or “boy” as male friends tend to call their companions. Man A was shouting, swearing and was extremely aggressive towards Man B. Honestly, I thought he was pretty vile. Man B was backed up against the staircase and seemingly getting undermined by Man A, who even threatened to push him down the stairs and physically assault him outside the shop. The security guard was quite pointless at this stage – he tried to intervene and diffuse the situation but I don’t think he did a good job at all.

Once the situation came to an end, Man A walked down the stairs in a huff and puff and grabbed the hand of a little boy. Boy. Now I knew who he referred to when he mentioned he was with his boy. It was his son. This is when I went into thinking mode. The child was staring at his father in a slightly confused manner… he had been abandoned by the man he calls ‘dad’ (I assume) and left at the bottom of the stairs while he watched his father swearing, cursing and threatening to abuse a man for what seemed to be a relatively minor incident, and one he could have easily brushed off.

There was no need for Man A to leave his son behind and pursue a fight that was essentially, quite useless, but there was a need for him to be the bigger man and walk away, if only for his son. I couldn’t help but think how this incident could potentially affect the little boy, who probably looks up to his father as a role-model and inspirational figure… if this was the sort of behaviour his dad deemed acceptable in public, it seriously worried me what other incidents such a father would allow their child to be exposed to. For a child to witness their parent in such an aggressive and violent light is extremely saddening for me, because as you may have guessed, I felt extremely anger at Man A’s choice to do what he did.

This incident made me realise that in the future, I want my child to see me and his or her’s father in a positive light too – even during times when we’ll need to give them a telling off. With parents being the first point of contact and inspiration, I think it’s extremely necessary for a parent to rationally think through a situation and not do what Man A did, which was totally wrong. Ignoring the fact that his child was inches away and learning something from the incident, Man A allowed himself to influence his child in a negative way.

Maybe I’m thinking about this too much, but I definitely know after yesterday that I’m going to be extremely cautious with the way I present myself to my child. I hope anyone reading this will do or already does the same thing!

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