Something to ponder.
After we celebrate the good fathers in our lives, let’s think about the bad ones, or just poor and emotionally distant ones.
Going back in my life, I see that my Dad was unprepared to give any emotional support to his kids, and remained a stone faced authority figure from which one asked nothing. Why did we ask nothing? Because we knew the answer would be “No”.
This rule by fear and emotional masking sets up a domino effect in children, and it takes a long time to escape the feelings of inadequacy formed by the neglect. My self-esteem was only bolstered by my Mom, and the ability to read a lot of books.
On my ex –husband’s side the male parent was even more of a tyrant but being full blooded German this was considered normal. The friction caused between father and son during Fred’s teen years only acted as a spur for him to get away and join the military.
Fathers who need to be in control of everything in the family life do not produce happy children who have a lot of confidence in the future.
This was evidenced by my husband’s fear of racial minorities, his prejudices against Jewish people and his arrogance of his superiority. This cognitive dissonance on my part caused a lot of friction and disagreement, and resulted in the family breakup.
To avoid conflict and to be able to raise a son without stress, I was forced into a low income life style and proceeded to raise the child as I saw fit.
Now, forty years later I can see the benefit of this escape. Now that I have no tensions from my own family as to what I should do with my life, I have proven that a nonviolent and loving style of child raising benefits all.
My son, now a father of a son, is attentive, loving, kind, and only sternly disciplined when absolutely necessary. I have a great grandson who taxes his parent’s patience, but does not get spanked for his boundary- pushing, a time out in the corner. So to produce bright, cheerful, vibrant little boys it is wise to have patient, polite and loving Fathers. When I read of all the sad stories of Father’s disowning their children because they are gay, or being so strict in a religion that the children just want to flee, I am thanking my lucky stars that the circle of hate has been broken for my son, grandson and great grandsons.