Self Esteem Secrets For Women

Friday, July 15, 2005

Before You BLAME Your Father... Read This!

An insightful comment came to me from a reader of my article
last week about the secret of becoming a real dad. This
person put ideas into words that I’ve heard expressed many
times as people react to my Real Dad premise about what a
man must do to create happy and highly productive children.

One of the comments I received said that two points are
valid…

1) “Though it is true our father and mother impact us a
great deal as children, we cannot blame our parents for our
current failures…”

(I agree!) I’ll explain more in a moment…

2) “We have to take responsibility for the adult choices we
make.”

(I totally agree with this also.)

I openly admit that I believed the same thing for many
years. I would make comments to others when the subject
came up. “Well, you know you can’t blame your parents for
all your troubles. You’ve got to pull yourself up by your
own bootstraps and make something of your life.”

General statements sound good and seem like common sense but
they are vague. We still don’t have a solution. The Real
Dad message is aimed at creating a solution.

What I was trying to do with the Real Dad article is give
fathers a target or goal that they can strive to achieve.
That target is the simple definition of a Real Dad.

I hope you didn’t get the wrong idea about the Real Dad
article simply placing 100% of the blame on fathers….that
was not my main objective.

Blaming someone for your pain is something that people do to
gain a sense of relief when they know they’re wrong but
can’t seem to change what they do.

The Real Dad message says that what your father did or
didn’t do doesn’t matter any more. It’s history. There’s
nothing you can do to change your past.

So should your father be blamed for dumping his bad values
on you? What good would it do?

Since your father can’t repair the damage he did, placing
blame on him is only a temporarily emotional relief that
will quickly wear off. And where does that leave you?
That’s right. Back to square 1 - stuck with your emotional
pain once again.

Bottom line? Don’t blame your dad for what he did back in
your childhood. He did what he did based on what he knew at
the time. (Actually, what he learned from HIS father.)

The Roles of a Mother and Father

The mother creates a child’s emotional make-up, shows
concern for feelings and is tuned into emotion. Compassion,
wisdom and education are her first concerns.

The father has a very different role in the first ten years
of a child’s life. He will work on the outside of the
child. He will work on behavior - his children’s actions.

Mothers = focus on inside emotions and create outside social
skills.

Fathers = focus on outside behavior and create inside
emotional security.

The definition of a Real Dad accurately portrays exactly how
he must raise a confident and successful child….

A Real Dad will be consistently tough but fair. He will
take a genuine interest in the challenges, opportunities and
joys of that child, while treating this particular child as
a unique individual.

Our society has put all the weight on mothers to be the
emotional foundation for children and if the kids turn out
troubled, we tend to look at the mother with our first
suspicion.

But fathers? Our world thinks of them as what they were
before the 1960’s, minus any respect they might have won.
Fathers are just the bread winners. They might be called
providers, but with half of all women working, not even that
seems to give them much respect.

This is the reason why fathers need to hear these two
messages…

1) You are desperately needed in your child’s life because
it is you and you alone who will determine how emotionally
secure that son or daughter is as an adult.

2) You must focus on one single definition that will keep
you going in the right direction as you raise your child,
the future of our society.

The more anger or fear a child has in the first ten years of
his or her life, the more trouble they are or have today.
Those first 10 years determine if the child will be an asset
to our society or if they will become a liability.

(Note: I will be referring to the first ten years of a
child’s life as the most important throughout this article
because that’s when the child’s brain is first forming. The
child absorbs everything around him/her and this shapes
his/her way of life as an adult.)

If a son has a strong temperament at birth, a troubled
father who is abusive will cause him to live with angry
emotions for the rest of his life. As you might expect,
that angry son becomes an angry man who causes trouble for
all of us who surround him.

Then there are the fearful children. These are the softer
natured children who deal with their fears by running away.
If a son has a softer nature at birth, a trouble father who
is abusive will cause him to live with fear for the rest of
his life.

Again, you can expect that this fearful son will cause
trouble, not for others, but for himself as he keeps running
from what he perceives to be dangerous situations…a job with
more responsibility, a larger new home, a new circle of
friends, etc.

How we can bring this message of positive parenting to the
people who need to hear it…

Every day I work with parents who have troubled marriages.
They come to me because they are in danger of getting a
divorce. They are angry and blaming each other and they
have no ability to fix what is wrong.

I get involved with couple after couple and hear the story
of their troubled fathers in every case. Remember how
troubled fathers = troubled children?

There is only one kind of person who is an exception to this
rule. I call them the “buckers”.

These are the people who grow up with a troubled father and
decide with great determination that they will go the
absolute opposite way and work hard toward creating a better
life. Most buckers do succeed, though with some side
effects of quirky behavior.

I call them “Buckers” because they are “bucking” their
father’s value system. They create a life of their own with
new and improved POSITIVE values. (This goes for women
also.)

Unfortunately, most sons of troubled fathers are not
“Buckers”. The purpose of my Real Dad article is to reach
men and simply let them know that:…

1) You are desperately needed in your child’s life
because it is you and you alone who will determine
how emotionally secure your son or daughter is as an
adult. Your wife is not wired to do it.

2) Focus on the Real Dad definition. It will keep
you going in the right direction as you complete
this important job of raising a confident and
successful child who will contribute to our nations’
future.

So please, spread the word to the men you know about what a
Real Dad is and why it is important to become one. I do not
want to put emphasis on BLAMING fathers, but instead on what
we can do to stop the vicious cycle of troubled fathers
creating troubled children.

2 Comments:

  • Dear Larry,

    I agree.. I have a father who does not support the family financially since i was young, i have been supporting the family with mum since i was young.. today at the age of 24.. i am still supporting.. i am determined to move on.. at times of confusion, depression, i like ur articles, they are either reality wake up calls or how to make you think that you should move on..........especially i have a down syndrome sister with us..

    By Anonymous Wendy Yee, At 11:24 AM  

  • Hello Wendy yee,

    I am glad you're enjoying my articles. Supporting your family is a big challenge to take on, especially at such a young age.

    That was a very noble thing for you to do and I'm sure your family is very grateful.

    However, you need to live for yourself too. You mentioned you're determined to move on, and I realize that is a big step to take without feeling like you're alienating your family.

    But just keep in mind that time does fly by very quickly. You are still young and you have your whole life ahead of you.

    I'm sure your family only wants what's best for you, and they'll most likely understand that you need to live a life of your own.

    I wish you only the best Wendy yee...in whatever path you choose to take.

    All the best,

    Larry Bilotta

    By Blogger Larry Bilotta, At 10:25 AM  

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