Friday, June 15, 2012

Few things are as devestating as faulty fathering

Every boy needs a dad
Father’s Day is coming up soon, and I’d like to quote a small part of a fantastic, albeit a bit strong, blog entry from Act Like A Man:

“Fathers especially have dropped the ball; America leads the industrialized world in fatherlessness. Forty percent of all children in America are born to single mothers; that rate is 50% for mothers under 30, and 70% for African-Americans. While moms are great at giving unconditional love regardless of their child’s performance, dads motivate sons to try harder, not to give up, to work for success. But even for those with dads, the average school-age boy in America spends half an hour a week in one-to-one conversation with his father. Compare that with an average of 44 hours a week spent in front of a television or computer screen.

“Without better male role models in real life, guys become confused about what constitutes acceptable male behavior. They don’t recognize the images presented in video games, movies, television, and porn as caricatures.”


You can read the rest of the blog entry here.  You can also check out the excellent book Fatherless Generation: Redeeming the Story by John Bowers to find out how we can heal from this epidemic.

I agree with another Filipino Christian Blogger who quoted the above blog entry, The Living Rice, that this is also a wake-up call for Filipino fathers.  

I dunno how we do in the area of men who sire fatherless children, but I have this sinking feeling that my generation and younger are not far behind America’s example. 

Futhermore, due to comments from readers, socializing with friends, my job as a teacher, and general observations, I also feel that many, if not most, Filipino dads are not the hands-on type.

Meaning, I also have a sinking feeling that many Pinoy dads think that when they bring home the bacon, their job is done…it’s the mom’s job to raise the kids. We probably are strong, even hard-line, authority figures, but we’re not very relational to our children.

Please don't think that I'm saying most fathers are deadbeat dads, but reading the article where that above quote was taken reminded me why I made this blog, Lessons of a Dad, in the first place: to combat the issue of faulty fathering…and trust me when I say that I’m not a shining example of a good dad, either.  It’s a wake-up call for me to be the best dad I can be for my kids. 

Fellow fathers, Filipino or otherwise, we only have one shot in making this work.  Fathering is like a sculptor armed with a hammer and chisel: you can either make a masterpiece, or make a mess…and might I add that whatever is sculpted in stone is very difficult to change. 

Let’s man up…and father.  Our kids are too precious for us to fall asleep at the wheel and be deadbeat dads.  Heck, we shouldn't even be content at being a good enough dadWe should be the best dad for our kids.  Failure here will not only affect our children, it would affect their kids, and their kids' kids as well.  Advanced Happy Father’s Day.

 

This serves as my pre-Father's Day article.  It's quite strong and a bit of a downer, I know.  My article for Father's Day itself is, on the other hand, quite inspiring.  If you wanna see it click here.

(PS:  We all need to continue to learn to be the best dads we can be.  Take the time to visit more parenting articles on this site.  Also, this coming Father’s Day Sunday, don’t forget to do something special for a fatherless child that you know.  I once did this for one of my daughter’s friends, and it meant so much to her)

2 comments:

  1. Since that day when I found out the truth about my father, not a single moment has gone by without bitter remembrance of how he FAILED me.

    I used to blame my mom for throwing me lies about my dad for 19 long years, but I've realized that all she did was to protect me -- even if it means learning from the painful truth.

    Loathe- this may be a strong word, but this is exactly how I feel towards him. I am incapable of forgiveness for the pain he had caused me.

    There were days when my heart carries all the remorse of an abandoned child, feeling utterly envious of families hearing mass together, shoppping together, laughing together and sharing stories during dinner that I can't help but shed a tear.

    "What if he was here, with my mom? I would probably be the happiest child." I asked myself over and over. "Father and I would play basketball together, go on mountain treks, scuba dive, debate about politics and economics."

    But time has its way of making the pain bearable. I no longer cry over the sight of a happy family, instead I rejoice and thank the father who never abandons his children and wife -- the kind of man whom I shall become one day.

    (http://aroundtheflexure.com)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ken. Sorry it took so long for me to reply. I’m also truly sorry for all the hurt that has come your way as a child; few things scar as deeply as fatherlessness. I truly am sorry.

      I don’t know what “painful truth” you’re talking about, but I do know that we often fail not because we’re evil…we fail often because we’re frail.

      While I understand why you’d carry remorse, I hope you can let it go. Bitterness is a useless emotion. It’s like drinking poison hoping the other person dies. Pretty silly, but it’s the truth, isn’t it?

      I’ve also come to realize that every member of the human race has been blood-bought by Christ when He hung on that cross 2000 years ago. If that person was so precious to Him, then I can’t bring myself to loathe (yes, it’s a strong word) him or her. I will not justify the action done, but it will look at it as this person needs help. Remember, hurt people…hurt people.

      As for not having a father. I suggest you find male role models, good ones. I’m blessed to have these even after my dad passed away.

      Oh, and let’s not forget that you CAN have a father. God, if you allow Him, can be “A father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5). If you’re CDO based, I’d love to meet you and bring you to a great community where you can grow closer to Him and to a group of men who can grow you.

      Thanks again for the comment.

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