A father has a special purpose in life. Apart from providing and protecting, which at face value seems to be the most important role, he also has the responsibility to affirm his kids into their true identity. This seems so easy to do. We start the journey of parenthood with good intentions and really mean well. We make promises to ourselves and our wives that we will give them everything we never had. Mostly focussing on physical lack that we don’t want them to have. Yet through all this, we make it our goal to protect them from the pain that we experienced as kids. Not realizing that if we never dealt with our own pasts we might stamp our pain down on our kids.
Over time as they grow older, it seems that we cannot base our kids’ upbringing on our own. We need a bigger perspective. One that keeps us moving closer to them and closer to ourselves. A place where we recognize our limitations and live in brokenness knowing we do not have all the answers. Then only can we produce authentic kids that believe in themselves and are not afraid to live from their hearts.
On the flip side of the coin, we need to recognize that we are often the cause of their internal pain. Whether we mean it or not, our actions and words can cause trauma in our kids’ lives. It creates pain in their inner beings. And to fit into society and be socially acceptable, they numb the pain to not be awkward. – Not even talking about the different stages of development of a child’s brain and the effect of trauma in those stages. – If the numbing seems to work, it can develop into a habit that is tough to break. Hence the creation of a dependency like drugs and alcohol that, when they feel emotional pain, by using it makes them feel normal like ‘everyone else’. Extreme kinds of trauma can be anything, but the commonly known ones are as follows:
1) Physical abuse
2) Sexual abuse
3) Verbal abuse
4) Death of a parent
5) Divorce of parents
6) Constant belittling
8) Absent father, to name but a few
A boy needs a father. One that does not abdicate. One that is willing to, even if he does not always understand his son, stay connected and willing to walk with him. A father that teaches authenticity, humility and true acceptance regardless of a different outlook on life. Not one that screams, attacks or belittles his son, or stepson. Maybe then we will produce the kinds of men that help create a stable future.