she sits in silence
a solitary tear falls upon the face of a child
looking for acceptance
for his return
her father coming home
words she longs to hear
the construction of her confidence
assurance of his presence
no longer the need to awaken love
before its time
in the arms of another
Fathers – Love your daughters
When you think of the word “Father” what comes to mind? Did you have a healthy relationship with your dad? Or was it unhealthy? I can tell with full confidence that mine was not a healthy one.
As Western culture and society move more and more away from the values of family and commitment in relationships, unfaithfulness, divorce and broken hearts are on the rise. I’m not a sociologist by any means, but I think it’s safe to quote Michael Rosenfeld, author of “The Age of Independence: Interracial Unions, Same-Sex Unions and the Changing American Family” in saying that even in the age of independence family is still the basic foundation of a human being.
I remember when I was still in my 20s and at a friend’s house, there was a man there that was talking about the affects of a father’s absence in the life of a teenage girl. He spoke about how it is so easy for a girl to give herself sexually to another when she doesn’t have a strong and healthy relationship with her dad. I thought he was full of crap, but as I debated with him and pondered the subject afterwards, I could really see that what he was saying made a lot of sense.
I wrote this poem soon after reading the poem of a blogger friend. He shared a video as well and it made me cry. It’s about a little girl in a car, leaving her father standing outside, saying goodbye. She looked so sad.
Live Science says that scientists have found, after decades of research, that a father’s parenting style affects their kids just as much, and sometimes more, than mom’s.
The Child Welfare Information Gateway for the U.S. Department of Human Services states that a present father has a huge impact on a child’s cognitive ability and educational achievement, as well as psychological well-being and social behavior. One study of school-aged children found that children with good relationships with their fathers were less likely to experience depression, to exhibit disruptive behavior, or to lie and were more likely to exhibit pro-social behavior.
National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse says, The presence of a responsible father plays a key role in delaying sexual debut and reducing teen pregnancy. Concerning substance abuse they say, Research results show that father closeness serves a protective factor against the use and abuse of alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, and hard-drugs during adolescents.
Now at the age of 40, I can safely say, with full confidence, that I no longer suffer the affects of an absent father. I have had great healing, thanks to my faith, but it didn’t come easy. In recollect, I fit the description of all that is stated above. I did poorly in school and had very low self-esteem. I exhibited disruptive behavior and had poor social relationships. I lied continually and got in trouble with the law. I experienced great depression and chronic insomnia. I started smoking at a very young age and used drugs, with a dependence on marijuana. And last, but not least, sought love at a young age through sexual relationships and promiscuity.
Now back to you. What does “father” mean to you? Do you feel that the presence of a father within the family unit is necessary for the healthy development and growth of a child? Would you describe your relationship with your father a healthy one? If not, how did that affect you in your formative years? And if so, how did that affect you in your formative years?