The look of the family has changed over the last few decades. Old stereotypes of “broken homes” are slowly falling away. With statistics stating that half of all marriages end in divorce, fathers are looking for new ways to bond, to manage their families. With that in mind, here are 10 Commandments for an Absentee Father.
1. Thou Shalt Keep in Touch. – We are not talking about keeping in touch with your babies momma but you should make every effort to keep in touch with your child. This can be a real challenge with very young kids and a poor relationship with the mother but every resource should be used to set up a regular routine that brings comfort and security to your child.
2. Thou Shalt Not Make Empty Promises. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don’t promise things you have no control over, your child will not understand. This will only teach them not to count on you. Be a man of your word and your child will learn to do the same.
3. Thou Shalt Remember to Include. Okay so you have a new family or love interest now, that’s great. Everyone should be able to move on with their life, just don’t leave your children behind. Invite your kids to come along to events, create a new extended family. If your new mate does not understand, run as fast as you can.
4. Thou Shalt Inspire. This will be the one time you get to screw up royally and someone will still love you. Become a good role model for your children.
5. Thou Shalt Make Birthdays Special. Who doesn’t like feeling appreciated? Everyone should have at least one day a year when others make a big fuss over him or her. It does not have to cost you a lot of money just your time.
6. Thou Shalt Offer to Run Your Childs’ Errands. There are school events; sporting events & practice; doctors, dentists & orthodontists appointments; chaperone parties; summer camp arrangements; play dates and so on, just jump in there and pick one. If you live too far away to chauffeur use the phone or Internet to make appointments, research information, make payments and keep up-to-date with school progress.
7. Thou Shalt Listen. Really get to know your child by listening to them, which is not the same as preaching to them. Schedule one on one time so they will gradually feel comfortable about opening up, even if it has to be over the phone.
8. Thou Shalt Love. Loving self comes first, then you will have more than enough love to give away. Take every opportunity to say “I Love You” to your children.
9. Thou Shalt Be Compassionate. You may no longer be in love with your childs’ mother but try hard to hold on to the pleasant memories that first brought you together. She may not deserve your compassion but your children deserve balance and peace, it may be worth going the extra mile.
10. Thou Shalt Forgive Yourself. Get rid of that image of what your family should look like. It should be however it is. Whether you have chosen to add a new mate, add stepchildren or new grandparents there is no need to blame or feel guilty. All children really need is love expressed through the giving of your time and support. Forgive yourself and take responsibility for your choices.
The U.S. Census Bureau cites that single-mother families increased from 3 million in 1970 to 10 million in 2000, to 10.4 million in 2006, while the number of single-father families grew from 393,000 to 2 million then to 2.5 million. In light of the changing face of families we need to soften our judgments about right and wrong and concentrate more on helping each other out.
Imagine a world where every child feels loved and nurtured
I know it’s Father’s Day but how about giving your child a call?
Copyright (c) 2007 Priscilla Parham