It can be very stressful to have a parent who picks you up all the time. He might bother you with things like school, friends, and your appearance, or he might have a tough temper and fight you over bullshit. If your dad gets on your back too much, you can ignore him, ask him to stop, or think of an answer. You should discuss this with other members of your family, such as another adult or your mother. Sit down with your dad when he's calm and tell him directly how his behavior bothers you. In the future, try to have a healthy relationship with more open communication.
Method 1 of 3: Addressing the Problem in the moment
Step 1. Ignore
Sometimes the best way to deal with someone taking your toes is to ignore the situation. Your father may take advantage of your answer and find it fun to see you angry, so try not to entertain him.
- When he starts grabbing your foot, pretend you're not listening. If he insists, leave the place.
- Acting like you don't care can make your dad bored. If he finds it funny to see you angry, he will lose interest when ignored. This is a good way to make him stop.
Step 2. Defend yourself and ask your father to stop
It's possible that he doesn't realize you're bothering him, or maybe he's never been confronted with this type of behavior and doesn't see any reason to stop. Defend yourself and tell him to stop picking on you.
- Be firm without being aggressive. Don't raise your voice, but say it very seriously: "Stop talking to me like that."
- After asking him to stop, leave the place.
- This is a good technique, but it may not work if your father has a difficult temper. Be careful not to make things worse.
Step 3. Think of an answer
Say something that makes it clear you're not intimidated. If your dad makes fun of your hair, for example, say, “Thanks for sharing your opinion” and leave. Give the impression that you are calm and that he is not bothering you.
Be careful when confronting your father. If he has a bad temper, don't risk making him angry and making the situation worse
Step 4. Ask for help
If you have siblings, a larger number can help you stop being bothered. Try to stay close to your siblings when your dad is home. You can either ignore it or defend yourself together. Your father may feel uncomfortable if he has a lot of people against him.
Method 2 of 3: Discussing the situation with the family
Step 1. Talk to another adult about the problem
If your father is making you uncomfortable, it might be beneficial to talk to someone else about it. Your mother, for example, can mediate the situation to make you feel better. If you can't talk to her, try talking to another relative, such as an uncle, an aunt, or a friend's father.
- Another adult will help you understand your feelings. If you want to talk about the problem with your parent, the other adult can suggest the best way to express yourself.
- Tell this person exactly how your father is bothering you. You can also tell how this behavior makes you feel. For example: “I don't like it when my dad yells at me when I don't do my chores. The way he talks to me makes me insecure and scared, and I would like him to stop.”
Step 2. Wait for your father to calm down before discussing the situation
This is important if he has a tough temper. Confronting him while he's getting on your toes can cause a bigger problem. He can get angry and increase aggression. Wait to talk when he's calm.
- Do you know when your father is normally in a good mood? This might be a good time to talk to him. For example, maybe he's always more excited when he comes home from a game of bowling with friends.
- Let him know you want to talk in advance. If he's too busy, he may need to make time for conversation. You might say something like, “Dad, I need to talk to you sometime this week about something that's been bothering me. Can you let me know when you have time?”.
Step 3. Start the conversation sincerely
Say exactly how you feel about the way he treats you. Be honest and give very precise details. It is important for your father to understand your feelings about this situation.
- Avoid making accusations. Don't open the conversation with something like, "Dad, I hate how you yell at me." This may sound hostile and your father will become defensive.
- Instead, say, “Dad, I think we don't get along as well as we should, and I don't like that. I would like to do something to improve this situation."
Step 4. Always use “I” phrases to express yourself
That way you will emphasize your personal feelings and appear less critical. Instead of making an objective assessment of the situation, you are simply saying how you feel.
- Sentences with “I” have three parts. They start with “I feel…” in which you talk about your feeling. Then you say what action caused that feeling. Lastly, you explain why you feel that way.
- For example, you might want to say, “You fight with me all the time about my grades because you think I'm an idiot. It hurts me a lot, because you know I make an effort”. This sounds very hostile and can put your father on the defensive right away.
- Use “I” phrases to better express this feeling. For example: "I feel offended when I fight with myself about my grades, because I feel like I think I'm an idiot, but I'm trying too hard at school."
Step 5. Listen to his side
Let your father speak to try to understand why he acts like this. While it's never okay to make you feel uncomfortable or offended, your father may have reason to behave that way. Understanding it better can help build empathy and facilitate forgiveness.
- Listen to what he has to say. He may have several reasons for picking on you. It could be that he is stressed out at work or simply doesn't realize how his behavior affects him. For example, he might say, "I thought it was just a joke and I didn't realize how much it offends you."
- If he is receptive to what you are saying, he may apologize and explain the situation. So you can move on and have a healthy relationship.
Method 3 of 3: Having a healthy relationship
Step 1. Talk to your father regularly
A good relationship is made with open communication. When trying to have a healthier relationship, talk to him every day.
- Find time to chat every day, such as at the dinner table or after he gets home from work. It doesn't always have to be serious; you can just tell about your day at school.
- If he did something that offended you, tell him. He must know if he's still picking on you and pissing you off.
Step 2. Talk to your parents about family therapy if the situation doesn't improve
It's possible your father won't change. He may have anger and stress management issues, and he may need to see a family therapist to find out how best to deal with the problem and build healthier family dynamics.
Talk to the school psychologist before talking to your parents. He can advise you on how to talk about family therapy, and he can even talk to them for you
Step 3. Look for signs of emotional abuse
Sometimes parents make mistakes and may accidentally upset their children. However, you can be a victim of emotional abuse if your father routinely makes you uncomfortable. It is important to realize this in order to take the necessary steps to resolve the situation.
- Some signs are ignoring him when you don't behave the way he wants to, not looking at you, or not calling him by his name.
- Another form of abuse is preventing you from seeing your friends and not allowing you to have a normal social life to isolate you from others.
- Another behavior is talking to you in a traumatizing way. He may ridicule you, call you names and call you “idiot” or “useless”. It can also do things that frighten you, like putting a pet or sibling in danger.
Step 4. Get help from a trusted adult if you are being abused
It is important to tell someone about the abuse as it can do a lot of harm in the long term. Emotional abuse can also turn out to be physical. Tell a relative, the parent of a friend, a trusted teacher, or the school psychologist what is happening. These adults will be able to find the resources they need to resolve an abuse situation.