advertisement

Young Child Looking Sad

Dads. Stop breaking your children. Please.

I feel a need to write this post after what I witnessed at Costco yesterday. Forgive me for another post written in desperation and anger. Please read all the way to the end. I know it’s long, but this is something that needs to be said. It’s something that needs to be heard. It’s something that needs to be shared.

As Noah and I stood in line to make a return, I watched as a little boy (he couldn’t have been older than six) looked up at his dad and asked very timidly if they could buy some ice cream when they were done. The father glared him down, and through clenched teeth, growled at the boy to “leave him alone and be quiet”. The boy quickly cowered to the wall where he stood motionless and hurt for some time.

The line slowly progressed and the child eventually shuffled back to his father as he quietly hummed a childish tune, seemingly having forgotten the anger his father had just shown. The father again turned and scolded the boy for making too much noise. The boy again shrunk back and cowered against the wall, wilted.

I was agitated. I was confused. How could this man not see what I see? How could this man not see what a beautiful spirit stood in his shadow? How could this man be so quick to stub out all happiness in his own boy? How could this man not cherish the only time he’ll ever have to be everything to this boy? To be the person that matters most to this boy?

We were three from the front now, and the boy started to come towards his dad yet again. His dad immediately stepped out of the line, jammed his fingers into his son’s collar bones until he winced in pain, and threatened him. “If you so much as make a sound or come off of that wall again, I promise you’re going to get it when we get home.” The boy again cowered against the wall. This time, he didn’t move. He didn’t make a sound. His beautiful face pointed down, locked to the floor and expressionless. He had been broken. And that’s how his father wanted it. He didn’t want to deal with him, and breaking him was the easiest way.

And we wonder why so many of our kids grow up to be screwed up.

I’m going to be blunt. People see my relationship with Noah, and quite often put me up on a pedestal or sing my praises for loving him more than most dads love their own kids.

Damn it. I don’t understand that, and I’ll never understand that. Loving my son, building my son, touching my son, playing with my son, being with my son… these aren’t tasks that only super dads can perform. These are tasks that every dad should perform. Always. Without fail. There is nothing special about me. I am a dad who loves his son and would literally do anything for his well-being, safety, and health. I would gladly take a rake in the face or a jackhammer to my feet before I cut my own son down or make him feel small.

advertisement

[sigh] I am far from a perfect dad. And I always will be. But I’m a damn good dad, and my son will always feel bigger than anything life can throw at him. Why? Because I get it. I get the power a dad has in a child’s life, and in a child’s level of self-belief. I get that everything I ever do and ever say to my son will be absorbed, for good or for bad. What I don’t get is how some dads don’t get it…

CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

1 2 3 Next
Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with nearly half a million daily subscribers as of 2015. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!
advertisement
13795 comments
keithhoerner
keithhoerner

It's interesting you made this comment given I was thinking the same thing this morning. I am a survivor of child abuse. Actions speak louder than words. Shame...

keithhoerner
keithhoerner

It's interesting you noted this as I was thinking the same thing (being a victim if child abuse myself). Actions speak louder than words. Shame...

LottaDramma
LottaDramma

At what point in seeing this was it better to write about it online instead of intervening in what is clearly a situation of parental abuse?  Your post is beautifully written and hits all the "right" points but you aren't reaching that dad or helping that child. That dad acts that way because he CAN - people see it and let him; it's "none of their business."  When are people going to stand up and DO something instead of patronizing others in blog posts?

Janice K
Janice K

My son is a wonderful dad.  When I see him with his 21 month old son all I can think of is, "Thank God his father and I did something right.  Parenthood is tough and you don't always know if you are doing the kind of job that you should."

Regina77
Regina77

after reading your post I actually realized that my husband is an amazing dad, he is much better than me as a mom! and I thank God for that every day. Thank you for the post

gamejames
gamejames

We can all learn a lesson from Robert Downey, Sr.  Robert Downey, Jr. has stated that his father cast a shadow whether he meant it or not.  Robert Downey, Sr.'s actions should not be followed yet this story should make fathers around the world feel comfortable acknowledging that they are unable to show their emotional side.  Downey, Sr. would do drugs with his son.  "When my dad and I would do drugs together, it was like him trying to express his love for me in the only way he knew how." http://www.vcyiqy.com/2014/12/robert-downey-jr-iron-sharpens-iron.html

AntoinetteMosley
AntoinetteMosley

My boyfriend and both my ex husbands are great dad's. They would sell their souls to give their kids everything they desire. My Dad sucked I'm so thankful my kids won't have to go through what I did. Thank you for writing this I'll be sharing over and over.

JanieC
JanieC

Well Dan all I can say after reading that is WOW! You totally nailed it. Your kids are very very lucky to have a father like you who's not totally wrapped up in work, stressed out or what ever.

I wish more people would remember that their kids didn't ask to be born and that they are just as precious at any age as they were when when we first set eyes on them as newborn babies.

I have a 13yr old daughter, Alana and yeah we might be going through that "difficult age" of hormones and everything else teenage years throw at us but she is still and always will be my baby girl. Alana hasn't seen her dad since he walked out on us when she was only 2yrs old but as far as I'm concerned that's his loss. I have the most amazing step dad who has been in my life, funnily enough, since I was 2yrs old, but he's not my "step" dad in my eyes, he's my dad and thankfully the best male role model I could ask for, both for me and my daughter.

It's just been the two of us since Alana's dad left and I'l be honest, it's been damn hard going at times but that's not her fault and I would never ever give her any reason to ever think otherwise. I just thank god that my dad is such an amazing man and has been able,in a way, to be both father and grandfather to Alana and not to forget my wonderful mum who's always been there as my mum and Alana's grandmother and more importantly, now I am older, my mum and dad are my two best friends. I'd be lost without them and if,when Alana is all grown up, she feels the same way about me as I feel about my parents then I'l know I did OK bringing her up with the same unconditional love and support that I've had my entire life. ☺

PaulMoore2
PaulMoore2

I grew up in a home with an alcoholic father who beat the life out of my mother, siblings and myself. He was a very cruel and angry man, the kind I grew to hate as a young boy, the kind I wished that could have loved me and spent time with me, the kind of man that had at least one iota of compassion for me, my mom and my siblings. He left when I was ten and by then the course of my life had already been determined: mental illness, porn addiction and host of other non-working behaviors. In and out of jobs, lost opportunities, failed marriage, bankrupt, suicidal. I really believe that if I had a father who loved me and showed me love I would not have made some of the mistakes I made and possibly could have avoided some of the wrong paths I went down. 

Today, my father is dead. He has been dead since 2006. I can't say that I miss him, because even after he quit the booze, he became a dry drunk, very angry, cranky and irritable. I invited him to my wedding years later because deep down I wanted my father to love me and I wanted him to come to my wedding. He came and made amends with a lot of people, including his brothers and my siblings, but because of his anger, he wound up dying alone on the west coast, thousands of miles away from his family. His anger was something none of us siblings wanted any part of. 

So, my message to all of you fathers out there is this: you have one chance to make a good impression on your child and that happens in the formative years of their lives. If you fail to show them the love they need, they will look for it wherever they can find it and usually its in the wrong place. 

If you're an angry man because of your past, it's time to break the cycle and get the help you need so as not to perpetuate the same horrible behavior you are showing to your child who will eventually show it to theirs. The cycle can be stopped, but it takes a lot of work which is something many men could care less about doing. Kudos to you, Dan for having the guts to write about this. Thank you.



Paul.

Lisa
Lisa

Great read!  The same does go for being a mom.  Its hard to think that there are others that do not try and give their children the world - that it is a bother to be in the presence of a child.  It is the little things in life that mean the most.  Time goes by way to quickly for anyone to not appreciate what they have, especially their children.  I for one never planned on having children, and my daughter was not planned.  That being said, she is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.  I can't even imagine me or anyone else doing something like that to her.  Is not like the little boy was asking for the world, just a special treat...ice cream.  Once again, thanks for sharing!

CyrilJamesTagudBual
CyrilJamesTagudBual

I can see that you are a great dad yourself. I never had that type of father, I guess. My mother used to say that it was because he had a poor example too from my grandfather when he was growing up. Looking back, I always saw my father as someone to please, someone to not disappoint, someone to avoid doing mistakes around. I can't recall ever saying ILY to him right to his face. We were not that kind of family. My dad died almost 3 years now. He was shot in front of our house over a company-related problem. I would be lying if I told you I was devastated by his sudden loss. Don't get me wrong, I was sad, I got angry, I felt an emptiness. But you know what, to this day I still cringe when I realize why I wasn't so much affected by my father's death. I got by faster than most my friends who also lost their dads at an early age. I coped rather quickly, I think, mostly because I was used to the fact that he wasn't around most of the times I was growing up. Oh well. We didn't get along. I used to call it a "civil" relationship. Hehe. I loved my father in my own way. But he was never the one to go to whenever I had problems. I had my friends for that. Well, thank ou very much for this piece. At least, when I'm older and if ever I decide I want kids of my own, biologically or through adoption, the world would have one more enlightened dad. God bless you, Sir. You just had one additional fan in me.

Eileen Mackey
Eileen Mackey

Powerful stuff. I wish it was required reading for every parent. As a child who grew up with no father and an ignorant, refrigerant mother, it affects me every moment of every day. I applaud you for telling it like it is. The only thing I would add is that nurturing a child enriches an adult's life every bit as much as it does the child's.

MarciaDean
MarciaDean

I am a mom and it applies to us women as mothers as well. It brought tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat. My children are grown and grandchildren and three great grandson's later I realize too late that I should have done more for my children. I was married at fifteen and by the time I was twentyfive had five children and divorced. I remarried a man who was raising eight children alone. We added number fourteen a year and a half later. Attention to each individual child was spread very thin. I just lost my son to suicide a year ago...and several years ago I lost a step-son the same way. The grief is unbearable....the "what if's" haunt me. Parents your love and attention DO MATTER! You can't turn back time...once they are gone...you can't give them all the hugs and attention they so desperately need.  Thank you so much for this article. Unfortunately the father and son that need to see this article probably never will. Thank you!

ChrisMalpass
ChrisMalpass

I absolutely agree with everything you've written here. I love my kids and would take a bullet for either of them, but even I feel I could be a better dad. Society just isn't instilling the values it should be in our children in this day and age, we are the ONLY ones who can try to make that difference. Bravo to you for writing this! It has accomplished making me stop and step back a moment to question myself. Thank you!

PandevOse
PandevOse

I am PANDEV from canada.I never

believe in spells and magic until I
experienced one some times ago and it
really worked for me. I was in love with
this guy and he is in love with me too for
3years and we making preparations to get married but to my surprise,his
parents didn't want his hand in the
marriage because of the religion
difference. I was about loosing my man
to another lady under the influence of his
parents until I met a spell caster on net that claimed he can help me out.
He
helped me cast a very strong spell that
helped change his parents mind and i
noticed also that my man love for me has
greatly increased. We are happily
married now with kids. People with similar problems can contact the spell
caster on [email protected])
He cast spells for different purposes like
(1) If you want your ex back.
(2) if you always have bad dreams.
(3) You want to be promoted in your office.
(4) You want women/men to run after
you.
(5) If you want a child.
(6) You want to be rich.
(7) You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever.
(8) If you need financial assistance.
(9) Herbal care
Contact him today on:
at:[email protected]

Gueneth
Gueneth

LOVE. It. You. Your son. All of it. 

SarahParks1
SarahParks1

How To Get Your husband Back & Avoid Divorce !!!

I want to share my testimony with all of you. I am Sarah from Australia, Dr.Osun Magala rights gave me the possibility to start my new and happy life with my children. The commitment they gave me worked beyond my imagination. 7th of July will be always in my memory as the start of our new life. We had the most beautiful reunion and I was in the seventh heaven from happiness. I am sure that this feeling will be with us during our whole life and it will never leave us. We will remain grateful forever. Please my friends if you need the help of this organization just contact them through Email:[email protected] contact him on his website address: [email protected]

Ajayi022
Ajayi022

@MargieWhite1 @SarahParks1 yes dr magala can help your son to keep him safe and sound. contact him today on via email": magalaspiritualtemple@gmail.com


  if you want your son to be in safe hands contact the dr today. he helped me and he can help you too

Ajayi022
Ajayi022

@MargieWhite1 @SarahParks1   yes dr magala can help your son to keep him safe and sound. contact him today on via email": magalaspiritualtemple@gmail.com


if you want your son to be in safe hands contact the dr today. he helped me and he can help you too

MargieWhite1
MargieWhite1

What advice can you a person in my situation?!  My sons father has trips to jail and a drug charges as we'll as multiple accounts of domestic violence, he has been hopping and bouncing all over my town exposeing our son to his life style of drugs and druggie friends and those that have extensive prison records , child services has been in and out of my child's life since he was a year old because his father and grandparents constantly trying to prove me e unfit parent!,  child service cases where he was involved in physical abuse on other children an has gotten away with it because the attorney in my town is crap...I have been drug through many court hearings over my son, but it is of no use even with a lawyer ....this last time in court I was ordered to give my sons father make up time for  8 weeks to be done and over with in a years time, it is not fair i am having to give up this time to a low life all because I was protecting my son by not allowing visitations becauseof incidens where I have had to pick my child from scenes of domestic violence that he witnessed because of his fathers temper and  from the disgusting life style his father lives. The judge even pointed out the faults in the father but yet we have to share custody.  He has 2 other children one here in my town and one in Arizona that  has nothing to do with and is actively paying support for the one here in town!!!  What can be done!? Does my child have to suffer some permanent damage or die before somebody up and sees this problem!?  The man lives at home with his parent still for crap sake!!!! I have a car and a house my child has his own room with everything he needs, my fiance is a correctional office, we don't want for anything, because my the working to support us I do what I am suppose to and take care of my son!  But yet I still get the crap end of this all because of my sons father.... It is like he can do wthe in this town and get off Scott free...let someone else do what he does and they get buried under the prison for eternity!!!! 

MargieWhite1
MargieWhite1

Sorry for the crappy spelling my tablet kept erasing what I would right and act up.... 

sadbutawoken
sadbutawoken

This post was incredibly powerful. I'm a single mother of a very active five year old child. I am also guilty of sone of these things and this post opened my eyes. Yes, days get difficult but I learned from this read I need to relax because my stressed and worries need not apply in my child shoulders. Thank you for writing thus. You helped raise an awareness about behaviors most of us don't even recognize exists

SmilesOfSunshine
SmilesOfSunshine

      I absolutely loved this read. To be honest, this goes for more than just dads, but single mothers as well. I cried when reading this because I am guilty of some of these things as well. I am 25 and have a 4 1/2 year old daughter and a 2 1/2 year old son whose fathers are absent from their lives. I am a college student trying to balance college work with parent life and at times it extremely frustrating to find harmony  in respecting their autonomy and decision making, and them respecting my decisions and wishes. I have raised my voice to them more times than I should have and I most definitely have been frustrated many night when I ask them to lay in their beds and not get up at bed time so that I can do homework and study and they decide to play in and out of their room until late hours of the night. I love my kids to death and there is nothing in this world I would not do for them, but at times, I just feel worn down. I AM working on it though, I do not like the feeling of my kids fearing me or making them cry. I have spent many nights crying and beat myself up over the the way I had handled situations and how I could have handled it differently. 


Thank you so much for this amazing post,

Mandalynn

stacey1
stacey1

I heard something on tv the other day that I loved.  In the 60s and 70s parents were concerned about being happy themselves.  They sent the kids out and they did not come home till suppertime.  Nowadays we concentrate too much on the kids happiness.  Some sort of happiness must be reached

stacey1
stacey1

I heard someone say something on tv that I thought was great.  in the 60s and 70s parents raised children with idea of themselves being happy.  now we worry too much over the childs happiness.  Its called overparenting and its all the rage nowadays.  There were always pedophiles etc and we still let our kids go out and not come till suppertime etc.  Nowadays that would be considered child neglect.  There has to be a happy medium

Prayers1
Prayers1

I grew up with a Dad that spent time with the boys and the girls were left alone.  Except when it was time to get reprimanded for something that was not especially your fault.  The belt or smack in the back of the head or the kick in the seat of your pants. There were 5 of us, 3 girls and 2 boys.  Girls were not treated any different than the boys.  Except the praise was for the boys. Thank God I had a Mom that loved us unconditionally. I have 2 sons of my own.  They are grown. I wanted them to have the life I didn't have.  They have a good Dad, he never had to spank them when they were small.  Just the sheer look on his face was all it took.  I have a hard time when I see someone in public  beating or using undo force on children.  I have stepped in before and also called the police on a Mom that felt it was ok to grab a 3 yr old up by her arm and beat her.  The child was crying so hard she could not breath and the mother was not phased.  There are to many children being beaten to death.  Out of sheer neglect. If you can't handle the child or don't have time for the child.  There are  plenty couples that would love to adopt a child.  Pray for all the poor kids that are lost in the abuse of crappy parents. God Bless them all. 

Butterfly28
Butterfly28

Everyone can change. Everyone can make a child feel loved by treating them with kindness, empathy and respect. Just because your parents were negative influences doesn't mean that you have to keep repeating the cycle. And every time you mess up with your kids, make it up to them. Show them love and kindness. Hug/hold them!  Be supportive and say you are sorry and that you made a terrible mistake. It's not their fault that you can't control your temper and do the right thing. Make a commitment to yourself and your child/children to do better next time. Then follow through.

Most of the time the parent is feeling bad about themselves, mad at something/someone else.  It often has nothing to do with the child. Parents should stop being so selfish and be patient and kind when interacting with their children. It is a commitment to be an amazing parent and raise amazing children. It is hard work and it is not easy. It is so important to have your stuff together for them. Even if you don't, then fake it for their sake! Always try to keep positive and have fun with them. Love and laugh together. Appreciate all that they are. Even if they aren't like you. Embrace them as individuals and respect them. They grow up so fast. If you know you are not a mentally healthy individual then don't have children. It is the most important job you will ever have. It's not fair to bring them into all of your negative chaos and abuse them. 

Thank you so much SDL for this brilliant and emotional article. Bravo to you. I do hope you reached many parents who are in need of a reality check!

JoreneUnknown
JoreneUnknown

I used to have a father like you. One who put me first no matter what. One who I loved and trusted beyond all else. Everything changed when I turned 16. It was a gradual change and I didn't really even really notice the change until it hit me in the face one day. I was bullied in Secondary School. I had no friends to speak of. My mother was too strong of a person to understand my hurts. My dad was the only one I could turn to back then, but even he turned away once I graduated to Polytechnic. I know 17year olds are hardly considered children who still needed their dads anymore but God knows I needed his guidance more than anything. But I guess to my 'perfect' dad his recorded soccer matches were more important than his daughter seeking advice about her future from him. It only got worse from there. He was never harsh in the way that man was to his child but my father slowly became more and more distanced from me. He would start breaking more and more promises and he would stop listening to my words. Logically I know that my daddy still loves me. Logically I know that he cares, that he's just busy with work, that he's working hard for my future. Logically I know I'm being childish for feeling hurt over such small matters. Logically I know that I shouldn't expect him to still give me the same amount of attention as when I was a child, after I'm supposed to be all grown up by now. But damn logic. It hurts when my daddy's actions all tell me that he doesn't care anymore, even if logic says otherwise. It hurts when I realise that I can't trust him anymore, that I don't even think about consulting him on my choices because I have given up on him actually caring. It hurts to know how broken my relationship with my dad has become because it used to be so perfect and I lost it. Because it has to be my own fault. Daddy is just trying his best for me to live comfortably. He's been working hard all week it's my fault that I had to bring up such heavy topics during his leisure time. Logically I know it's not my fault or his. Logically... but my hurt feels it all the same.

I beg all parents who somehow have stumbled upon this blog and my comment here. Please don't stop showing that you care. Even when your children are old and grey, even when they push you away in rebellion. Because damn it all, children will always need their parents and it isn't only the young ones who can be broken or hurt. No matter how old we get even if our minds know and understand the reasons our hearts still hurt all the same.

Jazzy1436
Jazzy1436

Beautifully said and so true to the heart. So many father's or mothers would rather have their kids fear them then respect them. Also some are a product of bad parenting themselves. Just because you were raised that way does not mean this is the way you should raise your child. I believe everyone can learn something from what you said. Amazing Job!Thank you!!!!

MichelleBagan
MichelleBagan

From a new step father of one teen boy and teen girl. I am learning a lot about myself and teens. I have been learning from them, people around me and from my own experience as a step son. I will very soon be blessed with my own child at 41 years of age and will soon be learning even more about life and raising a child. I have a lot to learn and appreciate this article. It is always good to have little reminders of the things you can miss in life if you ignore the joy of the young in this world whether they be ours or not, they are still all our children. Thank you and please, to all parents, try your best to treat all children and people as you would expect to be treated. With love respect and understanding.       New dad learning,  James Demoskoff , Nelson BC Canada. Thank you. 

korppien
korppien

Truly inspiring words Mr. Pearce. I had a chance, long ago to be a good father to some step children, but I blew it due to my own fears. Sadly I will not have children of my own blood, but I do have "kids" through my short sessions with clients at the children's mental health clinic I work in. I see such wonderment and joy each time I see these children and such anxiety and rage when I see the reasons why they are in the clinic. I know their pains, see their sorrow and feel their shame. If some parents could just heed your words and pick up the broken pieces things would get better all around. 

AllysonChurches
AllysonChurches

I am married to a wonderful dad of 4 kids. 2 step kids he adopted and two kids we made together. He is not perfect but he always tries to do his best, and that is all we can ask of ourselves as humans.

catfishstewie
catfishstewie

I've only been a father for a little over a year now, but I agree with you entirely. I strive to do the many things you wrote about in your post and although it may not be the easiest when you're exhausted from work or wrapped up in your own issues, your child's happiness and well being should be the most important. I know every day I get home, my little girl always yanks a smile out of my face within the first minute of me being home. I think every dad, super dad or not, should have that reaction and do the things you mentioned above because there is no excuse to not feel that joy and see their child living life to their full potential. Like you said, I am not perfect either, but your post moved me to my core. I hope I am not the only parent who has had this reaction to your post. And although I try to make the most out of the few fleeting hours I have with my daughter each night, you have inspired me to be and even better father and never stop improving upon myself. Thank you.

Please Help
Please Help

I’ll admit it. I am far from an angel, I am not good at anything, worthless, and doomed to fail. But why should I keep trying. Because to not try would be to waste a life, a life someone else would have treasured and a life that had a small chance of accomplishing something. In my heart, I know I am greedy, narcissistic, cynistic, nasty, hiding under a mask, overtly depressed and cope with it using games or other distractions. My father, never gave me a kind word, it was always “oh someone else did better” or “sigh* You don’t know anything” or “Do whatever you want it is your life” my entire life has been only one task, to make someone feel proud of me that I cared about, My mother would try to make me feel better by simply insulting the person who was hurting me, but did that help? No, cause I do not feel joy in the suffering of others, I can never hold grudges cause I know people are human, I cannot understand why people find so much joy in insulting others. I know that I am a huge hypocrite as I do insult others at school to hide my own insecurities and fake confidence. I am worthless as a human, I try to learn something, I never do so thoroughly, I try to achieve something, it ends in my weeping, I try , I try , I try. Yet, never do I succeed. It seems that I am hopeless, unloved, and uncared for. What am I? A tool for other people to use me, not someone who has emotions nor any “real” agony and pain. I understand I am not the most suffering person out there, there are people who lost loved ones, die too young, and overall suffer in inhumane ways. But I sometimes feel like I am in a trap. What can I do? I can choose to be unhappy and fail trying to achieve anything, or slightly less unhappy and not try to do anything, but feel the guilt of failing myself and everyone I know. And the most unfortunate part is that most of my ambition is not even driven by my parents, It is fueled by me. I'm not looking for anyone to say that I am "good", "smart" or anything. I want to know how I can deal with my own inner struggles


Please help.

Anonymous someone who is confused, angry, and hurt.


newandrada
newandrada

Please don't grow up feeling you have to make your parents proud. Please don't grow up thinking you are worth less then others. Please don't grow up unhappy because you're not the best at something. Please don't grow up angry, frustrated and sad. It makes it so much harder to find your place in the world.Just remember everything you are going though is normal and everybody felt it at some time or another. You cannot bring good to others if you are not good to yourself. You cannot bring happiness unless your are happy with yourself. Listen to yourself, I did it because your are worth it!

Beentheredonethatalso
Beentheredonethatalso

@Please Help 

Find an Al-Anon meeting and go to it.  Don't be concerned if "alcohol" isn't the problem.  Go anyway.  Commit to going to at least 6 meetings with an open mind, without "expecting" anything...good or bad.  Work the program because you are worth it!

hopeful
hopeful

I am dating a wonderful father. He's not perfect, but he gives his time, attention, love & priority to his kids first. I wouldn't dream of begrudging him that because that is the very thing I wish for my own children. Their dad has essentially abandoned them & I know they ache for those things. I hope that we stay together & they get to meet him & have him in their lives so that they will get to experience through him what they have been robbed of by their own father. There are good dads out there & I'm proud of my boyfriend for being one of them.

J
J

Just to be the Devil's Advocate, that kid could have been just horrible all day up until that point.  I have had days where, after my kids have been just unbelievable, I can feel myself being just incredibly hateful because I'm seriously at my wits end.  That doesn't make it right, but also not every single days is like that, either.  Most of the time I'd say I'm a decent parent...and then there are those days where they've done everything short of fling feces at each other, or burn the house down...I'm just saying, don't judge an entire father son relationship from the one day you got to look behind the curtain...lol.  We all eff up from time to time. 

Hopeful214542
Hopeful214542

I grew up without a dad, so my mom had the burden of breaking me. Now in my late 30s I am still trying to put myself back together. She was very thorough... 


Don't be sexist. Women break young boys just as often than dads do.

ChildWithin
ChildWithin

As I read this, all I kept saying aloud in my head (moms too) and replacing Dad with (or) Mom. Women are just as guilty! And where the ones who are suppose to be sensitive, care more and have "motherly instincts" yet some are so cold hearted :( makes you wonder.

LafenMom51
LafenMom51

You do know that some people enjoy bullying their kids, right?  ===50 and still fixing myself...

megan19930719
megan19930719

edit* me and my daughter are so close, even after me having another little girl 1 month ago. im a single mom so my 'me time' coincides with the time she wants to play the most, the time where i just need peace and quiet. nonetheless, im learning everyday to be more involved with her, all while caring alone, for a new born, myself, and her. im not the horrible mother my mind, and this post probably makes me seem.. i guess one of my points was the mental illness plays a huge role in how we raise our kids. poor mental health is NOT an excuse for not TRYING harder and WANTING to change, even tho it can be or seem near impossible. assholes like the 'father' mentioned in this post are people i have NO sympathy for since getting help could be as easy as dialing a phone number and reaching out to friends, family or a therapist anyways.. im done now.

megan19930719
megan19930719

i was that kid who sat alone and had no friends. i was broken. and still am.

im guilty of ignoring my kid, emotionally hurting my kid, worrying about bills and my own personal problems than playing with her. i ignore her pleas for emotional and physical touch and love. i fuck up, alot. but its because im still broken. not because im not aware of this.

i googled 'how can i repair my child after emotional abuse' because all i can think about after my sweet girl goes to sleep is how i fucked up so badly. and whats wrong with me, and is she broken for life , and am i? mental health is a huge deal and problem in this world, especially this country (america). guilt has helped me grow so, so much. but i still hurt in side. i hope to recover, and heal and do the same for her and never ever let her become the broken child with no friends, who sits alone.. thank you for this post. 

CharlesDonald1
CharlesDonald1

Do you need help email us: [email protected]

JenniferMarie2
JenniferMarie2

ChildWithin, I was touched by your story. You have done a lot of soul searching and inward focusing on your childhood, which I know must have been painful. I commend you for not giving up and standing firm for what you, and your future kids, deserve. I think you will be an awesome parent one day! I am glad to hear you are going to work on healing yourself. Therapy and parenting classes will really help, I am sure. I firmly believe anyone can benefit from these helpful interventions. I have. Your Mom's excuses are lame, in my books. People can learn, grow and change - they just have to want to! Prove your Mom wrong with your actions. Best of luck for the future!

brendao
brendao

@megan19930719 

If you have realized you have screwed up after your child has gone to sleep then wake your child up and make it right while it is still on your mind.  Give your child a hug and apologize.  Promise to be better and keep that promise.  Tell him you love him.  Then hold that child close to you while it goes back to sleep. You will have created a wonderful moment and a loving memory.  Something you can make yourself stop and think back on when you are ready to screw up again.  You can break the cycle your parents started.  Be the difference in your child's life.

ChildWithin
ChildWithin

This thought often enters my mind and I fear that I will raise my child the same way I was, it bothered me a lot less, until my mother told me why she treats me the way she does. She has sat down with me and answered a lot of questions I had in regards of how she treated/treats me because I would not be broken if she didn't break me. So I had to assume it was because she was a broken child too.

In regards to not giving me attention, affection, or allowing me to act like a "child" and not "allowing" me because I, now 30 years old, shouldn't act like that!

She told me it was because I acted and reminded her of herself as a child. I was needy. And so was she. The best way to explain it maybe, would be in 3rd person. If my parents were never there for me, what makes you so special that you expect your parents to be there for you!?

She said the reason why she did not hug me, compliment me, engage/interact with me or even comforted me or showed love, was because her parents withheld this from her and her giving me what she didn't receive, would prove that I was better than her! More deserving and worthy! More loveable! The nerve to ask these things from her put her in such a state of....hurt? She was clearly upset, stated basically, who did I think I was!? Like I was so ungrateful! "You think you can act that way!? You think you deserve to be held and accepted?! If I acted that way, I'll tell you right now! Grandma would have none of it! My mom didn't act like that towards me, what makes you so deserving? So much better than me! If I didn't get it, you're sure as hell not going to either!"

So because she suffered, I must suffer with her.

I told her, No Mom, because you are able to give those things to your child that your parents couldn't give to you, doesn't make me better and worthy! It means that you're better than her! A better parent than your parents will ever be because you were able to be there for your child and fulfill their needs, when your parents never would, never could and never cared! Plus, your way better than me Mom because I'm not yet a Mother, and when I am, I will strive to remember that not being there for my child, doesn't mean they're less deserving, I will remember that I want them to be better than my Mother! And I shouldn't be jealous that they are receiving all the love and attention I needed and didn't get. Because they are also fulfilling my needs, by loving them and spoiling them, they in turn, are loving me back. Giving me hugs and affection that I craved and yearned for for years! My mother should be happy when she receives love from me, but doesn't know how to return it! She says, she is unable to show me all these needs I have because no one ever showed her. I was appaled!? And so confused!? If you didn't teach me, then how could I know, and you didn't!?

And this is where reality sets in and the truth hurts. That they know, and you know they know, but they don't truly care enough (about you) you start to believe. The thought that you weren't good enough to have your parents treat you better than they were. Then this breaks you all over again, only now, you're an adult broken. But maybe if we had just a hint of self-esteem left within us, we'd know that it wasn't because they felt we weren't good enough or not worthy, but that they, themselves, weren't good enough as parents.

At the age of 12, my mother had me write a list of how I "needed" her to be. Not once, but twice. A couple examples included, "when I get home from school, ask me how my day was. Even if you don't care, please pretend that you do."

"When you see me studying and doing homework, even if you don't understand, please ask me what I am working on. Pretend that you understand, and say good work/keep it up (something of that nature) before leaving".

She was unable to meet the demands on my list. Her rationalization, "I guess because no one asked me how my day was, why should I ask you!? Or again, "I wasn't taught!" In which I yelled back, at 12 yrs old, "I was never taught either but I sure as hell know how you should be! Why is it that you don't!? And I do!?!?

And you know what!? When I have children, you can guarantee that I will remember everything I needed as a child and everything I needed from my parents!

I should just be happy knowing that I am changing history, and my children will make the best damn parents and will know how to fulfil their child's every need, because I'm telling you right now, knowing what your "needs" and "wants" are and not getting them fulfilled, sure makes you an expert in knowing "how" and "what" children need and how to fulfil those needs because every time one of my needs wasn't met, I sat there, tears running down my face, wishing my mother would "do this" or " say that". See, I knew how I needed and wanted her to be, and because of that, I can only thank her. I can no longer be mad. Because in the end, I ended up learning, and she, in the end, was the one who, ironically, "taught" me. She taught me in her own way. So I can either hold onto the resentment and pain and refrain from meeting my children's needs. Or I can embrace my mother for the mother she is, and fulfill all the wants and needs my children will have and know that my mother did the best she could. Some may call it "tough love", but no matter how you look at it, "love is love."

Loving them doesn't mean they're more worthy than I, loving them the way I wasn't means that they don't have to be "broken".

It taught me how I didn't want to be as a parent. I only hope this is the parent I will become. Because I also see myself hating my children and hurting them :( mostly because I am worried, like my mother saw in me, that I will see myself in them. What if they act like me and remind myself of all the things I hate about myself, that I now have to accept and love in my children!?

My mother couldn't do it. But that's because my mother never learned to like herself, never mind, love herself. How could she know to fix herself, if she didn't even know she was "broken"?

I think you're right. Mental health plays a huge factor! If I am going to conceive and make a replica of myself, I need to be healed. I need to love and embrace all my traits and qualities that my child will inherit. I am apart of them and they are apart of me. If I am going to love my child, then I need to learn to love myself first. And that is nothing to be ashamed of!