Many of my readers email me with lifetime symptoms of anxiety and depression. They feel as though they missed out on their childhood. They are frustrated, and their relationships with others are suffering because of it. They are struggling to have a relationship with one of the most important people in their life: their father.
Fathers are meant to be the trunk of the entire family dynamic. They are supposed to be rock steady and hard-working. They are supposed to be gentle and emotionally validating when their children need a shoulder to cry on. They are expected to play baseball in the backyard and attend every birthday party. They are meant to be there for guidance and structure. A father's role is to support the mother also in her role in child-rearing efforts.
A father who doesn't fill his role leaves us wanting for more. He causes us to have low self-esteem and low self-confidence. He causes us an inability to fully develop who we are, and to form our own identity. He doesn't teach us all of the life skills that we need in order to cope with a busy and hectic world. He may teach us to choose all the wrong partners later in life, or to be noncommittal in our relationships.
Many of us did not have the perfect dad. We did not have an ideal or health parent-child relationship with our dad. Our fathers were far from it. They were self-absorbed, selfish, condescending, critical, judgmental and hurtful. They told us that they were too busy to play ball in the backyard, and they failed to show up to many of the life events that were important to us as children. Children were not their priority. It was very evident to us that they had better things to do.
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