Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Father Figure

The role of a father is one that is certainly underrated. It's become a sort of farce, not taken as seriously as it once was. I myself have always had the mentality that one is better off without a bad father or inconsistent one. But now I'm not so sure. For me, it's been a very rocky relationship with the man I call dad. I often think that he never really had the desire to be a father, thus putting in effort was not his priority. I spent my childhood standing at the front door after my parents separated, waiting for him to fulfill a promise I knew deep inside he never would. That didn't stop me from believing the lies every time though. Perhaps I thought he would see what it was doing to his little girl and have a sort of epiphany- magically changing all his neglectful ways. I struggled with this for years and years and although I don't remember the exact instance- I finally just stopped believing. I wasted a lot of time searching for the approval of a man who knew nothing about me. I ended up putting the bad memories of my childhood so deep in my subconscious that to this day it all seems a blur- a defense mechanism I suppose. They say that the relationship you have with your father determines the relationships you have with men. That, I'm not so sure of. It seems a good excuse to mess up with different people but at the end of the day I don't think it influences as much as we'd like to think. If there's any advice I could give to those who had a distant father I would say, live your life to please you and understand that if they don't want to change, they won't. Don't waste hours standing at a door that will not open, unless it's you doing the opening. For those who have had the joy of a good father- you are beyond blessed. I think because the man does not have that initial connection to the baby that the mother has, it takes so much more work to secure that relationship. One way I think to make better fathers is to make better boys. From an early age, I believe males should be taught the importance of being dependable, responsible and emotionally available. Not only would this prove to be a way to teach them to be good fathers some day, but also good husbands. If any fathers are reading this, my hope is for you to look at that little girl or little boy and realize they are your legacy- the way you treat them will have a lasting impression on them beyond childhood. Just as the mother is an important asset to a child, you are equally important. Don't look away when they look at you with longing in their eyes to be close to you- embrace them, show them they are worth something in this world.