You Set The Tone

While out at my kids soccer game this weekend, tensions were high.  It was a playoff game and both teams were evenly matched.  It went into a sudden death shootout and my kid’s team was defeated.  It sucked for most parents to deal with this, but one guy in particular started raging and screaming, claiming we had been cheated.  He was arguing with the official and his kids looked like they wanted to run away.  It got me thinking about how as a father you set the tone that not only others see, but how your children and wife will fall in line.  Today’s article will go over how you can be a good role model and leader in these situations.

My kid plays goalie, so the pressure is high.  I could see that it was affecting him emotionally.  So many parents were all crushed or like the guy above, going out of control, but I decided to keep my cool.  I am not there to coddle the boy, but I gave him a hug and said told him he played well.  I told him that as long as he didn’t give up and fought as hard as he could he made me proud.  Our home isn’t friendly to quitters or complainers, I know the message got through.  I told him to just work on any area that he needs to in order to play better next time.  He seemed to take it very well.

On the other side of the spectrum, this guy was freaking out on everyone.  In  a sense he stole the moment away from his kid.  The kid lost and could have learned from it but all he learned was how to freak out when things don’t go your way.

Light The Way

As dad/husband your behavior and how you handle things is going to directly influence your wife and kids.  If you’re the type to freak out over little things and scream when things get a little uncomfortable, your wife is going to think you can’t handle the situation you’re in, and I honestly think this is when a woman feels the most afraid, and if you continue to not hold up your end of the deal then you know what comes next .

Kids are no different.  I try to be the best example I can to my kids.  I honestly think they know that when shit hits the fan, dad fixes it.   By keeping my shit in order I hope to teach my sons how to be men, and give an example to my daughter as to what I man should be like.

How to Rule

So now we know why we should be the ones setting the tone, but how do you do that?  Its basic frame theory really.

  1. Maintain a rock solid frame. Not letting anyone shake you is key here.  Take everything in stride and don’t slip into someone else’s frame.  You have to be the rock your family stands behind.
  2. Keep your cool for as long as possible.  This extends beyond family.  Even if you feel like you’re going to explode inside, you have to try to maintain calm.  Eventually this will just become second nature.
  3. Be a leader.   If you’re a lazy shit that spends all weekend sitting on the couch, guzzling beer and watching TV, you’re not being a leader.  Its up to you to make experiences for your family.

They’re always going to remember the things you did for them and what you taught them.  Your kids are your legacy, and if all you teach them is weakness and laziness, that’s all they’ll have to go on about Dad when they look back on their life.


How you act sets the stage for your entire family.  Your actions and directions on how to react to situations are going to be what your wife and kids go off of.  Its your job to lead them in the right direction and also to be able to be relied upon.   I’ve often thought that when a guy chooses to have a family, he basically signs up to be a guardian, captain, and commander of anyone who is in his family.  They all look to him for all of these things and if its going to work, you have to keep yourself in check.

The next time you’re out with your family and you see a guy freaking out (over something stupid)  take a look at how he’s representing himself, but more importantly glance at his family around him.  Its a sight I hope to never see on my own family.

-J. Nyx

Author: Jnyx

Fitness addict, DIY guru, tech nerd, member of Memesters Local 419.

222 thoughts on “You Set The Tone”

  1. When you find yourself stuck in the vicinity of a guy like the above example that complains about everything and has a chip on his shoulder, you have to be mindful to not let that stuff rub off on you.

    1. the screaming/angry dad is actually displaying his insecurities for all to see, by being the loud mouthed idiot on the sidelines.

      1. been dads like that since the beginning of organized kids’ sports began…man I remember a few hothead dads at ball games, one climbed the fence and went after the umpire

        1. If I was a ref, I would ban any parent immediately for the rest of the season for that type of shit.

          1. little league in the late 80s nyc dude…you got paid $40 a game, and if you pissed off the wrong guy, he might come back with a knife-aint worth it

  2. It is recommended, once in a while, to go full caveman. Holler ‘n’ cuss, stomp ‘n’ rage.

    Why? Cuz it reminds everybody who’s boss. Big chimp angry.

    Occasional fear works wonders on children … AND spouses. But only occcasionally.

    1. watch war movies of the past up to and including Vietnam War movies. Most of the commanders are calm under fire and trying to implement what they learned in training. You don’t see them shooting at their own soldiers which is essentially what the douchbag screaming dad is doing.

      1. I don’t imitate behavior from movies.


        Above, I wasn’t referring to sporting events. I was thinking more at home. Specifically, a misbehaving child or especially woman won’t fall in line unless you periodically show a reminder that you can wild out.

            1. Though never explicitly stated, the understanding in my childhood home was that my parents reserved their “Right to Choose” until I reached 18.

    2. What do you mean occasionally? I jump out and scare my kids all the time and the always jump and scream.

      1. Careful they don’t see you as a clown (I am an eternal uncle -I know about these things). How do they know when you’re seriously angry?

              1. not possible for me- apt dweller. we would try to drop water balloons on him from time to time.

                    1. He would be, but unfortunately he chose the one that he found at an auction of Nazi memorabilia recently, and it really brought the party atmosphere down.

                    2. dooooooooooooooooooood……………………………
                      “and that was the LAST bar mitzvah I got invited too!”

                    3. Sorry, I already made a Pinochet joke. With your Nazi joke, we are probably now flagged by Disqus as a hate group because you broke the daily quota.
                      Thanks GOJ…this is why we can’t have nice things.

                    4. I wonder if it’s illegal to make porn in China unless you include the phrase “Mao chicka Mao Mao”?

                    5. Alright, Mao pull it over. You know how fast you were going back there? Mao I’m going to give you a warning this time, but if I ever catch you speeding like you were just Mao, I’m hauling your ass to jail.

                  1. If any of my kids did that, I would probably wait until they were sleeping and then pour a pitcher of water on them. Vengeance is a dish best served cold.

                    1. I could totally see my 9 YO daughter doing that. We have this relationship where I do something ornery and she fires back or vice versa, but it is in all good fun.

          1. Same here, I would joke and carry on with my kids but, there was never any doubt about who was the big boss.

    3. I would disagree with this. If a kid sees more than one such outburst he will stop taking it seriously. When you lose your temper with someone you show all your cards. Kids must always believe you’re capable of further rage. This is how some fathers can raise good kids without actually smacking the shit out of them (which is generally necessary) – they master the anticipation of punishment more-so than the application of it.

      1. Once I realized that their own conscience is their own worst critic, I have really eased back on discipline. Of course you need to point out when they are doing something wrong, but punishing to the point of building resentment is a big mistake that we all are guilty of from time to time. Now I am working on trying to rebuild my relationship with my oldest, I have been to quick to give out spankings or be critical in the past, and it does strain the relationship.

        1. The young child’s mind cant understand a concept as sophisticated as respect, so you have to substitute fear. As the kid develops and matures, you have to guide the transition from fear to respect. Sounds like you’re all over it!

          1. thanks I think there is a lesson to be learned from grandparents and older parents who tend to be more lenient in raising kids. Once you figure out how to do properly it is about the time they move out.

            1. Like most things, mastery near the end of your career….
              Though I’ve seen it backfire too – parents who have lots of kids, or a large gap in age between the first and last turning to jello by the time the last kid grows up.

              1. I suppose you could go too far the other way. By the time you realize you have been too lenient or stringent, lots of time has gone by.

    4. I’ve never found a time in my life when uncontrolled rage over petty things has helped contribute an iota to how I’m perceived in a positive way.

      1. Taking actions in an unbalanced emotional state is a thing to be avoided. Nothing good ever comes of it.

      2. Maybe I wasn’t clear. I’m thinking that caveman behavior helps at home — very occasionally — when someone has stepped out of line, be it child or woman. I know that on the rare occasion when my dad flayed me, I never forgot it. And I could’ve done that more with my former spouse (though in the end it wouldn’t have change the outcome).

        1. Saved for the rarest of circumstances, it can pack a bug punch. Kind of like when the guy who never swears all of a sudden starts cussing like a sailor, you know something big is up.

          1. Saved for the rarest of circumstances, it can pack a bug punch.

            Do you prefer Ant Technique, or are you more of a Daddy Long Legs fighter?

              1. Wait for it…………………………

                Wait for it………………………………………………………..

                  1. This is why I try to quote when I find things like that. Sneaky Petes go back and change their posts!

          2. I recently had a problem with a neighbor who showed up drunk (I didn’t realize how drunk) and wanted to visit. Pretty soon I began asking him to leave politely. But he just wouldn’t go. I try to be very even handed and civil and even told him not to make me do this. But finally I had enough and yelled “GET THE FUKK OUT OF MY HOUSE! NOW! OR I WILL REMOVE YOU!” Amazingly he left.

            The look on his face (and my wife’s) was priceless. You see, I don’t behave that way ever. She’s still telling her friends about it in utter amazement. But the shock of me doing that prevented the situation from becoming physical. And it won’t happen again because he’ll not be invited back in, ever.

              1. Haha! Actually he’s been diagnosed with a slow moving and treatable form of prostate cancer. He was over here crying the blues and, I think, trying to sober up enough to go home to his wife. I just put him on the fast track.

  3. All that father is doing is pushing his kid toward smoking weed in high school and avoiding contact with his father. 99% of these screaming dads and moms, many divorced ‘alpha’ moms in particular, never played a day of soccer in their lives and are more worried about one play or one bad call instead of the entire 60-90 minutes (depending on age) that their child was on the field.

    1. I’ve never been a big sportsball person but if my kids decide they want to play, I’ll support them. That being said, I’m not going to be one of THOSE dads and will likely ruthlessly ridicule any parents who take their 9 year old’s game too seriously.

      1. I played at the college level and my son, 15, plays right midfield for an MLS club and his high school team. Never once did I scream. If he is close to me on the sidelines, I quietly coach him as to how he should position himself of-the-ball and whether or not he should distribute the ball or look for a scoring opportunity. The positive aspects of competitive sports are the following:

        1)Possible college scholarship. This is actually not a huge benefit because the amount of money you spend putting your kid in the club system is barely offset by a college scholarship if the school he chooses even offers them.
        2)Teamwork – how to work with others, especially when others are being selfish or cannot hold their own.
        4)Keeps them out of trouble
        5)Teaches organization and job skills. You have to keep your uniforms clean, you must produce to stay on the starting 11 squad. You have to know the locations, times, dates of tournaments , games, and practices.

        1. If he interested to see the possible benefits between sports that schools typically promote (soccer, baseball, etc) compared against less conventional sports like martial arts, shooting/archery, etc.
          Curious to the parallels as well as differences.

                1. Shit that was out the window by the 80s…..Gym class was a joke – 40 minutes of basketball or badminton or something. Fun (maybe if I would have attended), but not at all developmental.

                  1. or something

                    Yeah, or something. I have this horrid semi-suppressed memory of a game played with something not unlike ping pong balls, standing on the floor in a 3’x3′ box marked out with masking tape, using our palms as paddles.

                    Budget constraints led to the cancellation of this activity just one year after it had been inflicted on me.

                    1. you’d hit the ball over but you didnt hit it back- you had to catch it. drop meant pt to other team. mostly for the girls and spazzes

                    2. WTF!?!?
                      I remember this silly shit with little squares on casters where we scooted around kicking a large red ball….

                    3. The best part was getting your fingers run over. Or running over your own fingers, for the more uncoordinated among us.

                    4. MotherMurdoc34: “what did you do in school today son?”
                      YoungMurdoc34: “They made us play with our balls in a box”

                    5. “After a particular grueling game, I needed a break and tried to give my balls to a girl, but she said they were too sweaty.”

                    6. Why are you hitting me? I’m serious! I had to slap my balls, then the other kid would slap them back. For forty minutes we rotated through different partners.

                  2. My gym-class was mostly: walk in a circle around the track, or the upper deck. Followed by some basketball inside, or football outside. General waste of time.

                    1. yeah it seems like they lost the distinction between “physical education” and “recess” at some point…

                2. I participated in that program. In fact it was started by Eisenhower. It was called the Presidential Physical Fitness Award when I was a child. The reason I remember it so well was I had hit a school bus on my bicycle. About 2 weeks later we were all trying out for the award. I managed to get through it all, but after 10 pull-ups my arm was really getting sore and swelling. I made it through the challenge and won the award with a broken arm! Back then there was no coddling or participation trophies. We were told don’t be a sissy, ignore the pain and keep going. I made it all the way through swimming lessons one summer before my mother figured out I had severe bronchitis, lol. Things were different back then to say the least. Some of us even survived…

                  1. whoa, so “just rub some dirt on it, youll be fine” was considered sound medical advice at one point?

                    1. ha, here its more like “call your lawyer, call a press conference, and sue the city of nyc”

                    2. thats what the hs football coach told my friend after practice- my place was on the way back to his, he stopped off, my mom was picking shards of glass out of his leg. man, what a ghetto field

          1. in Texas, they allow the high school kids to substitute gym period with competitive sports. From 7:30 AM to 9 AM my son is in soccer, everyday.

          2. Eh, no, it is a bad idea. Those things require time from the parents, not just the kids. If the kid is already doing a full load in school, for example college prep/honors classes, is in the band, is in other clubs and activities and holds a job, and mom/dad are already at wits end running him around, then mandating sports is detrimental. I’d rather a kid learn to hold a job and develop a good work ethic more than I value him going to play some kind of silly sportsball because some bureaucrats on the school board had a hard on for the sports department of their local high school.

            1. Good points.
              You sound like me blasting all the Competitive Parents I work with who claim their kid ‘has no time for a part time job’

      2. Agreed, support is nice, but don’t force your kids into sports if they aren’t into it. I played football 4 years in high school, never once did my mom or dad see a game of mine. Kind of disappointed.

        1. same here, both my parents were smokers and could care less about sports. I wrestled and played soccer. They were good parents in all other aspects.

        2. My God, how did you ever SURVIVE without a helicopter parent circling around you before, during, and after games?

            1. The only warning I used to get from Mama when I left the house was, ” you better be back before dark and watch out for rattlesnakes!”.

              1. 1. Don’t smoke pot (its not as good as when I was a kid)
                2. Don’t get a tattoo (the cops can identify you easier)

      3. I intend to home school my future children. I will however, enroll them into sports of their choice as a social outlet. I want them close enough to society so they’re not socially awkward, but distal enough so they’re not indoctrinated with liberal filth.

    2. Freaking out about sports in general is silly, freaking out about soccer, which I’m not entirely certain qualifies as either a sport or a game, is even worse. Heh.

      Yes, I’m trolling you. 🙂

      1. most of these parents never felt the agony of defeat or had to put in the hours and months to train . They think by being pseudo coaches and refs, that they are making a difference or that they are smarter because they are louder.

        1. The ghetto Moms are the worst. They’re oblivious to their kids’ lives until game night, because they equate a sports scholarship as the only path out of poverty.

    3. Or the 3-4 hours that they were sitting beside them on the couch, watching TV last night when more valuable things could be done.

  4. You absolutely are the rock and the anchor in your family’s life. If you slip, they go with you. So maintaining a calm appearance even when you are in a state of turmoil inside is the key. I find that when the SHTF, if you take a deep breath, analyze the root cause of the problem then focus on the solution, one step at a time, you will automatically become calm and get the job done. Once the crisis is over, then you can go off by yourself and have a breakdown if need be.

    Another important thing the author points out is assuming the leadership role. This not only applies to family, but to external crises as well. If you calmly take command, then delegate duties duties to those around you, the majority of people will follow your lead. For example, I witnessed a motorcycle accident right in front of a police station. I positioned my car between the victim and oncoming traffic. I stayed with the victim and called 911 for EMS. The first officers on the scene hadn’t a clue what happened so I briefed them, identified the woman that was at fault and directed an officer to detain her. He did so.

    By then a supervisor had arrived so I briefed him, moved my car for EMS access and stood by. The victim’s wife arrived and I directed two other police officers to assist me in loading what was left of the motorcycle in her van, which they did without question.

    After it was all over, it dawned on me that I had pretty much taken over until the senior officer arrived and continued in a supporting supervisory role even after that. No one even questioned my authority.

    In retrospect it was pretty weird, since I never thought about what I was doing at the time. I just did it. If you are calm, reasonable and self assured people will follow you. The amount of responsibility that places on you as a man to do the right thing is a sobering thought indeed.

  5. Freaking out about kids’ sports? For fuck’s sake. Is there anything more pointlessly retarded?

    Also, way to feed the beta dad sportsball-couch potato pipeline.

    Jynx, good on you for keeping frame. Please stress to your kids how idiotic these morons are.

    1. I think what it is is adults getting way too involved with kid activities. Let the boys play already. As a kid we did everything on our own, whether it was soccer, baseball, or whatever other sports team we organized. The older boys organized the games, coached, refereed, took care of the fundraising, and made sure the younger kids didn’t get seriously (the key word here being “seriously”) hurt, since we didn’t bother with age brackets. Basically, if a 12 year old boy (and every now and then, a girl) was deemed fit enough to play with the high school guys, he played. Simple as that.

      What I’m going at here is, teens aren’t given enough credit, especially in a society that infantilizes them to the point they can’t drink until 21. They are treated as virtual retards, which is unfair.

      1. I agree with this, and I will add that everyone thinks their kid is going to be the next Bryce Harper or some shit. I can’t count the number of parents I run into who have their kids signed up in all kinds of travel leagues and camps where they treat sports like its a job for the kid. No joke, some of these parents are traveling on multi-state road trips so their kid can play little league. Fucking retarded. If you’re making that kind of investment in little Johnny, it’s easier to understand how you get so wrapped up in it, though still inexcusable.

        I think a lot of people fail to realize that those who make it to the upper echelons of competitive sports are often genetically gifted. Yes they work hard, and yes failing to do so would mean they wouldn’t have made it, but if you aren’t in the mid 300 lbs and fast as shit, you aren’t going to play on an offensive or defensive line in the NFL, no matter how hard you work at it. Parents should be realistic with their kids about this. Hard work and continuing to participate in sports has other rewards (good fitness, friedships/camraderie, pussy, etc…). But at some point, parents need to drop real talk on their snowflakes and bring them down to earth. Of course, that would require parents being able to accept that reality themselves. Part of me also wonders if this isn’t driven in part by rising college tuition prices – in other words, people are banking on this as a way to pay for college. Of course, I have no similar pressures because I don’t give a fuck if my kids go to college either.

  6. Sportsballs should be forbidden anyway. I hated it at school and still hate it as an adult.Any physical activity that does not have a martial or craft application ought to be banned.
    Chasing balls is for stupid cats !

    1. Well, I wouldn’t go that far. Playing organized sporting games pre-dates recorded history, and can be a great outlet for doing things peacefully when not at war. I’m not fond at all of watching sportsball, but playing it can be quite fun (especially lacrosse, which I may have mentioned once or twice).

      1. I would like to see more sports that can be transitioned into lifelong hobbies. Last time I put on a pair of shoulder pads was the day I wrenched my knee in high school football. I know cycling, rock climbing, skiing, and the like are not as fun to watch, but they are more beneficial in the long run.

        1. You might be on to something. I always perceived football as something too elitist and not very practical outside of a gridiron.

        1. Well not at my age, no, but I still toss the ball around with my son, weather permitting.

        1. Lacrosse is the less popular version of hockey. Like American football vs. European soccer. At least, that’s what I think.

              1. What the hell is wrong with fishing and drinking wine!? Dayumm UC, ya dun gone from preachin’ to meddlin’!

                1. BEER! Is the preferred drink while fishing, I suppose homemade wine would be ok if you didn’t have beer.

                  1. Well I do make my own wine. But the way I make you can’t drink very much or you won’t get any fishing done.

            1. The hell it isn’t fun. It’s a sport where you can and do beat other people with a stick and lob a small hard ball around at other people at speeds approaching 90mph.

          1. It’s not hockey, more like football and hockey combined on grass instead of ice.

                  1. Kinda the opposite. It’s home grown organic to these united States. Couldn’t get more American actually.

                    1. Lol. That it’s an elitist sport played by mostly rich WASP types kinda makes the optics the *opposite* of commies. But I get it, ya’ll be jelly an’ shit. Yo.

              1. Lacrosse you use a stick, and when players get hurt it’s actually a bad scary thing. Matches back in the day would go on for a week and there would be deaths from the violence. Injuns invented it.

                  1. Yeah, I don’t get those people. There’s American sports fanaticism but that extends only to wearing gay shirts and painting your face/body and acting like a fool. Taking a sport you do not play so seriously that you start burning down villages is pathetically stupid to me.

                    1. Village violence is how soccer actually started. In the medieval era, teams of men and boys from neighboring villages used to scramble to carry an inflated pig’s bladder into a goal. Anything short of murder was allowable. It was basically a state-sanctioned violence in the form of sport.

                    2. I think quite a few sports started violently or from war roots. Wasn’t Polo originally played with the decapitated head of an enemy or something like that?

                1. I really miss playing lacrosse competitively. I went from 205 to a cut 158 between my sophmore and junior years of HS and absolutely dominated at lacrosse. Making the D1 material LBs and Safeties puke after a good physical practice domination. Glory days…

              2. Lacrosse is far more punishing physically than American football without the head injuries. It is not comparable to soccer whatsoever.

          1. Sounds bitter to me. I love George but there were times when his Class Warfare thing got to be a little much, especially rich coming from a guy who was a millionaire.

            1. O pish-posh – you’re reading to much into it –
              This is the same rant that declares:
              “bowling isn’t a sport because you have to rent the shoes”
              “volleyball is simply racquet-less team ping pong played with an inflated ball and a raised net while standing on the table”

    2. I would kindly disagree. While soccer has fluidity of an evermoving battlefield, football has a sense of organization and discipline. Basketball? Mostly cocky black dudes jumping up and down.

    1. google the name hipponax, interesting read on wiki

      “There are two days when a woman is a pleasure: the day one marries her and the day one carries out her dead body.” – Hipponax ca. 540 BC

    2. He cancelled his Disqus account and is working on a special project. He’ll be back in his ascended form in the near future.

              1. Would you say it’s a team effort? Okay, I’ll let you off the hook here. Because if I kept it up, you’d spill the entire story, complete with projected launch date.

      1. I’ve been wondering where he was, I thought we wuz homies, looks like he’d of told me. I was beginning to think something happened to him. Seems like a pretty good cat even though he’s a smart ass NY yankee.

          1. That is my brother’s, cousin’s, neighbor’s, sister’s, landlord’s, great grandma’s, former roommate.

      2. Lolknee was in deep with the Mafia. After decades of refusing to tip lap dancers at the local Gentlemen’s Club, his creditors came to collect. God rest his soul.

  7. Though, it would be a kind of important detail whether they had actually been cheated.

    If that had been the case, would you suggest to just take it calmly?

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