It's one thing when your kid tells you he hates you, but it's entirely different when you catch him telling another kid he hates him.
As a parent, you expect your kid will hate you, it just goes with the territory. I was a kid once myself and I remember telling my parents I hated them, so why should it be any different with my kid?
This morning, when I dropped Nate off at 'school', I was hanging around and chatting with the teachers when I caught him telling another kid 'I hate you.' He wasn't just saying it, you could see venom in his eyes. He'd been playing with some Lego bricks, and another boy walked up to him to show him a toy, and he just turned and looked him in the eye and told him.
I called him over and we had a talk and he apologized, but I'm still in shock. I know these things are going to happen, but it just brought up all these doubts in my mind on the walk home. Doubts I used to have before I became a parent. Doubts about being a good parent, raising a kid to know right from wrong, doubts about passing on my prejudices and faults. Am I raising him right? Most of those doubts have faded since Nate was born. I don't think I've had much time to worry about them, too busy 'parenting'. This morning's incident makes me question how I've been parenting, too often I think I just want to get things done and don't put much thought into the process. It strikes me that this sort of parenting is exactly what I used to have doubts about, and that this might ultimately be a self-fulfilling-prophecy of sorts. Perhaps I am over- reacting (I'm not even sure if any of what I've just written makes sense), or perhaps this is a bit of a wake-up call for me.
I'm not looking to win any father-of-the-year awards, but I think I may have to work a little harder at this if I want Nate to be that good man when he grows up.