So, let's start off where your first father and son relationship began. What was your relationship like with your father or father-figure?
Man, the month has flown by, I didn't realize I never replied.
Different ends of the spectrum? Not necessarily.
I think what you're describing is typical even if most men won't call it that. Throughout their lives, men naturally seek to be both fathers and sons.
My dad will give advice but at various times I know he'd rather not - after all, you take responsibility for someone when you teach someone something. And do any of us really want more responsibility? We take responsibility if we think we can be effective and/or if it's necessary. And those are big ifs for men. So often we don't do it.
My relationship with my father stated, of course, at birth. I do not have a good relationship with my father. Growing up, he was not ever interested in anyone in the family, including my mother. All he wanted to do was go to work, come home, and go to bed. I thought, for a long time, that this was what fathers did. Then I met my friends dads and realized that most fathers were not like this.
Skipping ahead many years, my parents divorced when I was sixteen. My already ill-tempered father began exploding over simple little things and made my brothers and I very uncomfortable around him. Another few years down the road he actually told me not to have any kids. What. The. Hell? Who says that to their own kid? A few more years down the road my wife became pregnant with our son. My father told me that he was going to have to take him away from us.
I don't want me son to feel about me the way I feel about him. I do just fine with my daughters. I know I am doing fine raising them, I just get worried about how I am raising my son.
Well, I've painted a rosy picture of my dad but he certainly had his moments.
Long story short, I think all fathers struggle with loving their kids yet being resentful because their kids represent their loss of freedom and their failure to know how to raise them in the face of their own fathers who didn't raise them.
So are you pretty resentful about your dad, Jason?
Try not to be - if you have resentment for your dad your son will sense it and pick it up as resentment toward him - and he will be left feeling just like you always did.
Know what I mean?
I do know what you mean. I did resent my father for a while. Now I just feel sorry for him because he is missing out on so much. I try to take the good, though there is not much of that, that I learned from him and apply it to my life and at the same time, learn from what I feel he did wrong and improve or change it with how I handle all of my kids. I slip up every now and then but, unlike him, I say I'm sorry and I mean it.
Embrace your son with all the love and attention you longed for as a boy. Don't be harder on your son then you are on your daughters. Make him and your daughters know that you love them all . And as the years pass, yo u may find that your boy is the easiest one of the bunch. Girls are fantastic, but they can create some drama!
I remember interacting with my dad growing up. I remember asking him for help on school projects and the like. I also remember being quite afraid of him. I was a very sensitive and curious kid. Sometimes, my father would get angry and yell, and occasional would throw toys. Even after the incident was over, I would still be suffering from the after effects. Oddly, I wouldn't run to my mother to find comfort. Instead, I would try to pretend that it wasn't happening. I remember being afraid that he would physically hit me, even though I can never remember him even spanking me or even threatening to.
As I grew up, he tried to teach me 'manly' things. One time, I got punched by a kid while walking home. My dad tried to have me learn to punch by punching his hand. I didn't want to. I hated having him force me to do that. I always remember dreading talks with him if I had done something wrong, or felt like I had to confess things (as a kid). I don't ever remember him directly giving me the 'birds and the bees' talk. He mentioned that testicles weren't valid targets for wrestling moves. And he said that my mom 'took care of things' when he briefly talked about wet dreams with me. In the end, I had to figure out a lot of things on my own.
Either way, I grew up pretty emotionally detached from both of my parents. To this day, a lot of the issues that I had with my father crop up in relationships I have with other men. Sometimes, I'm afraid of being physically hurt or taken advantage of. Sometimes I get scared and back away from friendships. It is something that I continually try to work through.
I had some scout and church leaders that were present and somewhat involved with my life, but I was so detached and able to act, that I doubt they figured out anything was wrong.
Thanks for sharing. It sure isn't easy dealing with a lot of the crap that we were unable to control but still affected us early in life.
How are things now? Do you have any children of your own?
Looking forward to chatting.
Now, things are cool but distant. It's largely my choice at the moment. I just don't feel comfortable really opening up and bonding with my father.
I'm still single. I have so many issues around men and relating to men that I don't even want to start looking at the female side of things.
So, no children yet. Plenty of adorable nieces and nephews. I love on them as much as they will let me.
My relationship with my father is at a similiar point. We're as close as I'll let us be. I'm sure he would like us to be closer, but honestly I cannot trust him with anything beyond superficial conversation. I would certainly never confide anything truly personal in him.
It took a long time for me to get over the baggage I carried out of my childhood, but it is possible.
My wife asked me why, considering all that I went through, I keep him in my life. I told her it was because he is my father, I do love him, and he is no longer in a powerful position in my life. I know who I am, relatively, and nothing he can say or do can hurt me without me defending myself or my family.
I'm still on that struggle out of leaving all the baggage behind. Oddly, I find that I tend to put the father energy I always wanted onto other men, gives them the same power to 'make or break' me. Often times, they simply can't fill those shoes, usually because they don't know.
I totally relate to the superficial conversation thing. It seems like my whole family is like that, and they get squemish if things get a little to honest and personal.
i can relate. i too grew up very detached from both my parents. had to learn things either on my own or from some older cousins, who in hindsight didn't know all that much about the birds and bees. and i too was a bully victim, my parents tried to "help" by getting my grandfather to teach me some boxing moves. i hated it and luckily they didn't push it.
I hear ya, man. I had to learn from the internet. probably not the best place.