I don’t do it as often as I’d like to, but I love doing the school run with my son.
We try to have breakfast together as a family most mornings, so if I do the morning school run it’s a great extension of that. We’re lucky enough to be close enough to school to be able to walk, so unless the weather is terrible (or I have to dash off in the car) that’s what we do. On the way to school we try to chat about the day ahead, but it’s usually random stuff like “Daddy, do you believe in God?” – and other easy to answer questions. And then we get to school and off he goes to kick a football around until the bell goes.
On the way home from school, he’s a bundle of over-excited and over-tired energy, just waiting to be released and run around like crazy for a bit. For the first few minutes there’s no sense from him and any question about school is met with a “it just flew out of my brain” answer as he decompresses from a day sitting still and being quiet. But then as we walk and talk and he’s eats his snack we chat about something and nothing.
As I say, I love it.
Or at least I did until the last few times I’ve done it when I’ve had the misfortune to bump into another dad who is seriously getting on my nerves.
We haven’t spoken directly, although he always seems very friendly and polite to other parents in general, but the attitude, demeanour and tone of voice he displays to his children angers me every time I see him. I’ve never heard a friendly word spoken to his kids, but worse than that he regularly tells them to “shut it”, “be careful or you’ll get a clout”, “do as you’re bloody told”. But it’s not just the words it’s the tone and aggression that he uses. It is honestly something I find completely inappropriate and especially unnecessary on school premises.
I find myself having to bite my tongue and I really, really don’t want my son exposed to it.
So my question is – should I say something to the school to see if they can get him to stop? Or should I even approach him directly?
What do you think?