Any Man Can Be A Father...
I love the quote "Any man can be a father
but it takes someone special to be a dad."
This says so much about how from children right through to adult hood, they appreciate the values you bring to the table in your relationship.
Many fathers grow and nurture that relationship with care. They have outings, watch TV together, go to games, and much more but sadly not all children get the same preferential treatment. Sadly some get shouted at, ignored, left behind in break-ups, shared on weekends, or even abused. What effect does this have on both father and child?
I love that the quote highlights that the best fathers are those that make the most effort. Learn and grow with their children, and never give up on being there for them.
I witnessed my own son's emotional struggle growing up, of feeling he could never be enough for his dad. That he felt like a disappointment to him and they just didn't seem to understand each other in the way they wanted to.
It wasn't that his father didn't try, he just didn't know how to be the right father to a teenager with Asperger's, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
They get on great now and there are no hard feelings from my son, but it still pained me to see him grappling with that emotion of not feeling good enough as a child or teenager. That desperation to please, and the disappointment on his face when other people made that connection that he couldn't make with his own father.
To be totally honest, even I didn't know all the answers and I struggled so much to keep my son afloat emotionally, until I eventually devised a way to teach him emotional awareness in a way that he could connect with.
When I eventually wrote my book about helping teenagers understand their own emotions, I also took into account that many parents face the same struggles we did. It's an age old story between families that mothers are called over protective, while fathers and sons argue, often resulting in split families, even at times resulting in children who run away, drink or take drugs to numb the feelings around feeling worthless, or even taking their lives.
I know this is not the intention of any of these fathers to drive their children to this and if they could, they would rather have that amazing relationship where they can sit and chat by the fishing lake, or over a game of football, or be able to have an honest conversation with their daughter's without sounding like a dictator refusing them the right to go to the ball. Or at least the local disco.
Taking all this into account and recognising that these are all just ways of coping with the same problem from the parents side as well as the teen's side, and knowing that often the depression, stress and anxiety will ease on both sides when parents and teenagers can talk again, I included Parent Toolbox tips at the end of every lesson in the book Brain Unchained.
Just like the quote, I realise that so many fathers want to be that special dad, but just need a little extra support as much as their teenagers do. Same goes for mums. It's not in any way about blame for anything that has happened so far. It's about what's next.
It's not about your worth as a parent any more than it is about their worth as a teenager.
It's about the growth.
And the future.
These are the things that can turn any father into that special dad. The hero to their children what ever their age from small children to adults and even as parents themselves.
Even as a grandparent, your value still remains in growing and helping your children be the best parents possible to their children.
As a last thought to this, I found the following quote...
"I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by the little scraps of wisdoms." ~ Umberto Eco
That's what my book is written around. it's written around those scraps of wisdom that brought my son and I much closer together. Now he's used those same wisdoms to bond with his father and more importantly, with his own daughter. The benefits don't stop there.
It might be father's day this weekend but I can be a proud mum any day.