TL;DR: Dealing with a father that gets angry because my out of school tutor is male.

I’m 18 years old and male. Currently, I am pursuing 12th year education (the final year of high school) and am very close to final exams. Three years ago, in grade 9 in winter, I had an issue, and my mother hired a man to tutor me in math outside of school. Later, my father found about this and got angry at my mother, making a huge scandal over nothing.

That man was only teaching me math, which doesn't seem like a big deal to me - I thought it’s normal to be taught by anyone.

What have I tried?

I tried to have a discussion with him, and I asked him, “why did you get angry?” And he replied, “I don’t like another male to teach my child, I allow only female!” I replied, “But you told me that a person can learn from anyone,” and he said, “close the telephone and think what I mean”.

Then, I ignored him out of anger and started to think he’s jealous that someone is able to teach me math while he isn’t.

I need to know how to speak with him so that next time he won’t need to get angry over nothing. Instead of being happy that I’m learning, he’s angry, which isn’t fair. I wish there would be one day where he wouldn’t have to get angry just because a male teacher is teaching me math.

Question: How do you ask your father not to get angry when he sees that a male teacher is teaching his child math instead of a female?

  • 10
    Can you put your country name?
    – user21996
    Commented Oct 6, 2018 at 17:11
  • 3
    Are you seeing this math teacher alone and would the situation be different if you weren't alone with this teacher?
    – Ael
    Commented Oct 6, 2018 at 17:32
  • 8
    Is your fathers behavior rooted in some culture or religion? If so, what exactly does that say? I don't think any amount of interpersonal skill is getting you somewhere here if you don't take that into account.
    – nvoigt
    Commented Oct 6, 2018 at 17:37
  • 6
    First of all you should find the reason for this jealousy towards a male teacher. Btw. what happened when you went to school for years, wasn't there any male teacher around?
    – puck
    Commented Oct 7, 2018 at 11:07
  • 1
    @AlexRobinson Please see the improvements I made to your edit. Your edit was good, but it edited the language of the post - "math" is a valid spelling in American English. Language (American vs. British) in post titles and bodies should not be edited.
    – gparyani
    Commented Aug 25, 2023 at 2:18

2 Answers 2


That's a difficult question. You can't control your father emotion and neither can he. The only thing your father can control is his reaction to those emotions.

You think your father "get angry over nothing" but, for him, it certainly isn't nothing. The fact is, you don't know why he gets angry and, without the why, it will be hard to resolve the issue.

You said that you tried to ask him "why", but it failed. Based on personal experience, I think it was a good idea to try to understand the why. When you are trying to negotiate something, knowing why the other person doesn't want something is always a good idea.

But it failed, so what can you do now?

I think knowing the why is still your best shot but it won't come out easily.

As DDD said, timing is important. Don't ask when he is already preoccupied or angry, this will likely cause him to refuse the conversation and not answer you.

As your father might be embarrassed by the reason he gets angry, it's better to ask him privately. This way, he doesn't need to disclose the reason in front of everyone but only in front of you.

Edit: As WendyG pointed out (and I agree), when talking to people who are bad at "opening up", it's better to do it when you aren't face to face (like when you are on a walk or driving somewhere). I don't know why it works but, as someone who doesn't open up easily, I know that I more confortable this way.

Now, all this is good but might not be enough. In order to improve your chance of success, I suggest coming in with hypotheses of why your father gets angry. Warning: don't use them at the beginning the conversation, keep them for later if your father doesn't "open up".

Start the conversation by telling your father something like:

I would like to know why you don't want a male teacher to teach me. I feel that this might help me understand you better and I would like that.

As a person, I feel that getting to know someone better is a noble goal and your father might feel the same way. If he does, this will make him more likely to answer your request.

Give some time to your father to respond. If he doesn't, you might start throwing hypotheses:

Is it because X?

(for example: Is it because you are afraid the teacher might be a bad man?)

Let him answer, then give him the time to give an answer to the why question.

Then start the process again by throwing another hypothesis.

At any point, your father might close the discussion (I don't want to speak about it!). I won't tell you what to do in this case (push more or let it rest) but I would like you to keep this in mind:

Your father might not be ready to talk about his feeling, not yet and maybe not ever. Not with you and maybe not with anyone. He has the right to some privacy. If you want to respect his choice, you can tell him this:

I see that you don't want to talk about it. If you change your mind in the future, I will be there to listen to you.

The last sentence keeps the door open for future discussion, so that one day, you finally get the answer to why he his angry (and so that you can talk to him and peace his mind).

I feel that I have been a bit quick about why it's important to know the why. So, here it is:

Once you have the why, you can start negotiating. Without the why, you are just throwing random argument in the air, hoping that one will change your father mind. But, with the why, you can focus on what your father dislike and concentrate your effort on that. Which is, in my experience, way more efficient.


In short -

Proper timing and his happy mood are important to ask about anything to your father

Alex, everyone's nature is different. You father's nature is angry. I know, you can't implement your decision about your own education. It finds you discouraging. Please don't be judgmental. He may not be jealous on another male teacher. there may be different reason. Now, at this situation, you need to keep patience and tackle the situation with proper manner. An angry person tends to anticipate other events that might cause them anger. Don't respond with anger. Sometimes, another person's anger has nothing to do with you.

Further Explanation -

It may happen that your father has another theory of not allowing male teacher and they do not want to reveal you this theory (you also not revealed this theory in your question). So, instead of asking him again and making him angry again, just capture his good mood, and proper timing to get consent about the things which you want to implement in your life. Or, you can ask to your mom to find the reason from your dad. It may also happen that they might have discussed with each other about the reason. I know it is difficult to handle the tantrum of short tempered person, but it is not impossible.

Your Question

How do you ask your father not to get angry

If you don't know exact reason of allowing female teacher and not male teacher, then at least you can follow the points given as below,

  1. Timing is everything (don't ask anything to your father in his bad mood, ask when he is happy)
  2. Don't ask in front of other people. (Your father may feel uncomfortable in front of others, ask him in private)
  3. Work for it (Show him through your work that you are becoming more responsible)

You said that your father gets angry on very small things. It seems that they are short tempered. So above points may help you to get his consent about your any problem.

You can also ask few question to yourself -- Would gender issue really affect on your education? At the end, you are more concerned about getting knowledge from whoever (that really does not matter). So why are you focusing on this point now? 12th education is your main career year. So, you can make complaint on the poor style of teaching if he/she is performing (but do not complaint for gender issue). So, let your father decide male or female. You don't have to bother about this issue, NOW ! Gender issue is really not important for you.

Otherwise, In his (your father's) happy mood and by seeing proper timing, you can ask about male teacher instead of female.


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