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05-08-2009, 11:47 AM
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Location: Kilmartin, Ontario
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Originally Posted by EmptyNetter View Post
You're probably right about speaking to the coaches/instructors about the unruly dad rather than the rink manager. However, the instructors may have no control over who sits in the stands. It's private property and I would think the rink mgr. would need to be involved if the matter required removal and banning of the bad dad from the premises.

When he approaches the hockey instructor(s) I think he should take the polite but concerned parent approach. The main point where I disagree with you is that Grave77digger owes no apology to the other father. A good staredown is the better option than a beatdown -- no punches were thrown but the bad dad was sent a strong message that his behavior wouldn't be tolerated. More importantly, he was left babbling as he tried to justify his "methods" in teaching his son to play hockey. Bad dad is a bully, he's teaching his son how to bully other kids. While pushing bad dad around would undermine the message that "fighting is bad" a bully isn't going to stand around and discuss the finer points of non-contact hockey. "Tell your kid to hit my kid and we're gonna go," is a compelling message. If bad dad cleans up his act then they can start apologising for past wrongs and scheduling play dates.

For what it's worth I'm by no means a tough guy but I can't stand bullying and I'm a strong advocate for defending oneself (and one's family).
In this case an apology, heartfelt or not, serves two purposes - a) it gives the other man an opportunity to apologize as well without "losing face" and opens up a chance for a constructive dialog and b) it confirms the occupant of the moral high ground in case anyone else happens to be listening in. Notice I did not say go give him an apology, I said open with one if he approaches you thus setting the tone for the following discussion. And apologize for losing your temper not for what you said.

IMO - it doesn't cost a penny to be humble in whatever negotiations you are involved in and it could result in a positive outcome. And any kids that overhear will see a man both taking responsibility for his actions and still maintaining the position he believes in.

buddhahat is offline   Reply With Quote