I Hate You Dad !

Real Estate Agent with Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage GREC #208281


Change can happen in a split second


Sometimes deciding to change a core policy can happen in a split second. For me, it took four little words from my two year old son. "I hate you Dad"

It was a situation way back when Benjamin was going through his "terrible twos" stage. Lori and I were in the kitchen and Benjamin and Rebecca were having an argument in the other room. I heard Benjamin say something like "But, Rebecca!!!" then I heard something like a growl followed by a moment of silence.

Rebecca screamed out and came running into the kitchen crying uncontrollably. "Mommy, Benjamin bit me!!!!" She held out her little arm and sure enough, there was an arc of little red teeth marks on her forearm. No skin was broken but it was a crazy thing to see.

I yelled, "Benjamin!!! Why did you bite your sister?" He cried something and began rushing towards her again.

Lori said "Tim, you got to do something"

Damn, the pressure was on. Two screaming kids and a wife expecting me to figure it out. I didn't have time to think it through much. I had seen early on that Benjamin had a temper. I guess he gets it from me. I might look like a very mild-mannered guy but when I've had enough, you don't want to be around. Over the years I used various sports to channel that pent-up anger. Football in high school, basketball in college and then spiking volleyballs for many years after that.

I had to make it clear to Benjamin that biting someone was totally unacceptable and wouldn't be tolerated. I felt I had to nip it in the bud. I had visions of him getting angry at school and hurting someone. He's always been a big strong boy and if he couldn't control his anger he could easily get into a lot of trouble.

Maybe I could talk sense into him. "Benjamin, biting or hitting someone is totally unacceptable!!! Do you understand? Now I want you to say you're sorry to your sister." If it were only that easy.

I think Rebecca might have chimed in, which just set him off again. He stood there for a second, clenched his fists, made a snarly face, growled and started after her again.

So I had to escalate the response. Reason wasn't going to work. So I did what I thought any good dad would do. I snatched him up and lay him over my knee and began spanking him. I was hoping I would snap him out of it and he would capitulate.

After a few swats on the butt, I asked him if he was ready to say he was sorry to Rebecca. Benjamin was a tough kid. He just looked back at me in an angrier face and just said "Rebecca deserved it!!!"

Damn, I really didn't want to go down this route, but now I had a standoff and I couldn't step down. Benjamin had to learn that biting someone was just not going to be tolerated. So I escalated.

I pulled away his pants so I had bare butt. I was able to get a little sting into the smacks. I was getting angrier and angrier at the whole situation. I had a flash-back from when I was a kid. My dad was definitely not a role model. He never hit me but I remember him pulling out his leather belt and giving my older brothers whippings. He would vent his anger out by getting drunk and smashing dishes. Once he threw a coffee cup at me and missed my head by inches. His father apparently had some anger issues too. I was told that he had smashed a mustard jar on my dad's head when he was a kid. So I knew I had to break the chain so Benjamin didn't get himself in trouble due to a moment of rage.

As I was getting angrier and angrier and feeling like I really wanted to smack his butt really hard, Benjamin turned around at me. His face was red and full of tears. This little boy looked me in the eyes and said "I hate you Dad."

In that split second, I froze. It all became clear to me instantly. I put Benjamin down and told him I was sorry. I walked away into the bedroom and cried for I don't know how long. I eventually came out and told Lori that I don't know exactly how I will handle discipline in the future, but physical punishment will never again happen in this house.

It was tough, but I found a better way. I learned how to use a threatening voice to get Benjamin to accept a time-out chair in the corner as punishment. He was a stubborn kid. Sometimes it would take over 30 minutes before he would be ready to apologize.

But I thank God that I found a way that worked for everyone. And I thank God for never having received any calls from teachers about biting or fighting.

And I also hope that Benjamin has forgiven me.

Posted by



About the Author:  Tim Maitski has been a full time Realtor since 1999. He has sold several hundreds of homes in areas around metro Atlanta.  Tim started with RE/MAX Greater Atlanta and is now with Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage.


Along with blogging on ActiveRain, he provides one of the best real estate websites in Atlanta at www.HomeAtlanta.com .


His proprietary  "Maitski Line Reports" chart out the absorption rates over the past 14 years in 37 different market areas.  Know when it's a good time to buy or a good time to sell.    


His online Property Tax Calculator allows you to compare property taxes in many counties and cities around the Atlanta area.  He provides the Atlanta MLS Power Search Tool that allows searches of homes using over 35 specific criteria.


Over the years, Tim has optimized his business so that he now can offer a huge 50% commission rebate to his buyers.  The more experience one gets, the easier the job becomes.


Tim also has a "Five Days to Sold" System that uses an intensive marketing blitz to create a showing frenzy that creates urgency and offers.


Tim is always looking to LinkIn with anyone who is interested in building their social network.


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Comments (16)

James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Afternoon Tim.

Mmm, My question is did you ever find out why Benjamin bit his sister?  No one deserves it, I agree but was just wondering

Jun 10, 2018 11:26 AM
Tim Maitski

No.  They won't tell me.

Jun 10, 2018 03:59 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Tim- what a wonderful post. Your son may not know why he bit his sister. Sometimes kids do things just because. Thank you for recognizing that you could be the key to stop physical punishment. 


Jun 10, 2018 06:38 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign


          Thank you Tim. 

Jun 16, 2018 05:21 PM
Tim Maitski

Kathy,  Thank you for sharing this post.  From the comments, I see that it has touched some as much as it did me as I was writing it.

Jun 18, 2018 06:36 AM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Wow Tim. This is some story and what a significant and poignant time for you too. Happy Father's Day.

Jun 17, 2018 04:45 AM
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Great story Tim, I am going to forward this to my preacher son!!

Jun 17, 2018 04:55 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

So glad Kathy shared this today....excellent lesson all parents must learn. It's learn as you go when parenting and it's life's toughest job. Benjamin will hopefully be a dad someday too and thanks to you the pattern has been stopped.

Jun 17, 2018 05:30 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Tim Maitski,

I missed this post so was glad Kathy Streib shared this in her "Ah-ha" moments for the week. Parenting is a tough job and we learn as we go along sounds like you've learned some valuable lessons and when Benjamin is a father some day I'll bet he looks back on this and other incidents to help him cope!

Jun 17, 2018 06:16 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

You made a powerful choice that moment, and I know your children are lucky for it. When we use violence behavior for violent behavior it perpetuates the energy. Teaching restraint and other methods for coping with anger and stress and disappointment is a huge job for parents. I so appreciate your honesty and Happy Father's Day to you - you are a wonderful man and dad 

Jun 17, 2018 07:18 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Tim,
Thank you for sharing this heart-wrenching story!  Parenting is so hard and I'm glad you broke that chain and found a better way. 

Jun 17, 2018 08:05 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Tim

That's a pretty powerful story, and lesson, you've shared with us! Parenting is such a tough role, with lots of joys but plenmty of challenges, too.


Jun 17, 2018 10:09 AM
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Oh, this brought tears to my eyes, because of your honesty, your self reflection and your ultimate kindness in finding a better way, Tim. We just watched the movie I Can Only Imagine, a true story of Bart Millard who wrote and sang this song and the whole story behind it about his father who was a monster and turned his life around just before he died and became Bart's best friend. 

Inspirational, just like this post! So very glad that Kathy Streib highlighted it this week! 


Jun 17, 2018 10:27 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good afternoon  Tim - very good story for Father’s Day.  Children try patience sometimes and most of us have made mistakes like this but learned later. 

Jun 17, 2018 02:28 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

What a powerful story, Tim! And, look at the wonderful young man Benjamin turned out to be as a result of your great parenting. Those words are difficult to hear but, I do believe that all children say that at one point or another. 

As for you having a temper - really?! You're SO incredibly mild-mannered and soft spoken - I would never imagine you have a temper at all!

Hope you have a fantastic week ahead!

Jun 17, 2018 09:04 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Parenting is so difficult. I am glad you made the decision to stop and found another way. 

Thank you for sharing.

Jun 18, 2018 03:25 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

I can relate!  My mom was a violet person.  I was entirely against violence raising my daughters, but of course they test you . I only had to spank each of them once.  I never did that again as they knew they had pushed me to my limit.  To this day none of them spank their kids and it's worked out well.  Although I will have to say my 6 year old grandson tests everyone.  They've enrolled him in brain balancing.  Results yet to be determined!  Great father's day post!

Jun 18, 2018 04:19 PM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Tough story  about the trials of a parent.

I had to learn that responding in anger was not the lesson I wanted my children to learn.

We mix our message when the anger builds in us.

Thanks for sharing.

Jun 20, 2018 07:04 AM