Most of the conclusions I have come to around parenting have been drawn from my own experience. And in understanding my own failures, to then being willing to see the changes I would need to bring into my own life as a dad. It hasn’t been easy at times.
Children need stability. I see more than ever that raising healthy and confident children takes certain vital ingredients. Of course those certain elements that we as parents are adding in from day to day will not always be given with balance, because the tectonic plates of life are constantly moving. But working together to bring consistency to our daughters lives is important.
I spent the majority of my life resenting a dad that didn’t have any time for me. His involvement with himself and his personal issues didn’t afford him a great deal of time to focus on a relationship with me. And to see the relationships others had with dads who were proud of their kids, who took an interest in their lives was hard for me to take in. Throw in the abuse and his addiction and our relationship was so far from anything I could see my friends were experiencing. It was bound to affect me and did.
Over the years it became apparent that there was a common thread in others, like me, who had been failed by the one man in a their lives who should have been the constant figure of stability, strength and love. They all suffered emotionally from the damage of that damaged separation. Anger problems, addiction issues and unhealthy relationships centred around control and fear became normal.
Some men go into fatherhood knowing exactly what their role is. And how his own conscious approach to dealing with the massive pressures coming will impact his family for the better. A lot of men don’t, not because they are bad. But because they, like me grew up walking a very different path to one of knowing and understanding the importance of the principles of love and tolerance with a family.
A fathers involvement in the most stressful event can tip the balance of an already emotionally volatile situation for the better. The smallest gestures from day one can ease tensions and bring confidence to a pregnant partner who is already going through the emotional wringer. Early bonding for an example, can relief stress and give a show of commitment. It is also a way to begin to connect. To make a start on a relationship that will not always be easy.
From day one involvement is everything to a father/child relationship. Patience and tolerance, if put at the centre of a home can make all the difference. But it takes a willingness to practice those simple principles in his life. To be willing to outgrow his fears and shortcomings, to grow as a man in his responsibilities. If the weight of his role can be carried with care and attention. His children will benefit and thrive under his love. And Mum will also benefit from his stability.