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.

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[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…

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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 more than 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!
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13831 comments
Gueneth
Gueneth

I agree with you, people judge and think they hold all the cards to raising awesome kids. I have birthed five, and am blessed with four who are finding their ways in this very difficult culture of supposed opportunity. I have buried one son, and in that experience I have stopped getting angry and indignant over the dumbass comments, no one knows me or us as a family. I have a son in India. One in L.A. Acting. One on drugs, trying to break through her own demons. The youngest I am schooling at home. Imagine the backlash I am getting? Guess what. They are all great. They will all impact our planet. Chief1999 keep on keeping on. And stick with Dan. He is one of the good guys.

Chief1999
Chief1999

Thank you for your advice. Now here's MY advice. MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS. It's not your kid. Raise yours however you want. You may not agree with the fathers methods but those are his methods. That's the problem with know it alls like you. You think you know what's best for people better than they do.

Momma Beth
Momma Beth

Human touch and love is a human basic need..Life will die without it.  Just as water and food.  Life will die without it.  Being a parent is the most important and rewarding job that you will ever have and being loved by your son or daughter is without conditions is the most exciting part of life.  No matter how much money you make in a lifetime, family makes us the richest on earth.  Wake up!

PatriciaLocks
PatriciaLocks

Great reading a lot of parents need to read this not just dads

LisaMarieNoland
LisaMarieNoland

BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN, I WISH MY EX-HUSBAND COULD SEE THIS....HE HAS NO CLUE HOW HE PUTS EVERYONE DOWN INCLUDING ME WHICH EVENTUALLY DROVE ME AWAY, MY SON CHRIS IS NOW 26 YRS OLD, A DRUG ADDICT AND ALCHOLIC BECAUSE HE WAS NEVER MADE TO FEEL HE WAS LOVED, A MOTHERS LOVE IS NOT THE SAME AS A FATHERS LOVE, NO MATTER WHAT PEOPLE MAY THINK, IT IS DIFFERENT , BOYS LOOK FOR THAT ACCEPTANCE FROM THEIR FATHER. THANK YOU FOR THIS STORY AND I WILL BE PASSING THIS ALONG TO MY EX IN HOPES HE WILL LEARN SOMETHING, ITS NEVER TOO LATE TO CHANGE .


I LOOK FORWARD TO FOLLOWING YOU ON FACEBOOK


LISAMARIE (RENO)

DavidGould
DavidGould

@LisaMarieNoland Your son is an alcoholic and drug addict, because he is an addict. Blaming others for your sons addiction is sad. You also shirk responsibility and place it solely on the father. That is just plain disgusting. Instead of using this ridiculous blog post as a passive aggressive jab. Try to use some introspection and stop blaming others for you and your sons problems.

Balin93
Balin93

@DavidGould @LisaMarieNoland Wow, David ... you must have been a terrible father to some poor kid.  Instead of owning up to that, you shirk responsibility and project your own disgusting failings as a horrible father onto this mom in this ridiculous comment ... knowing NOTHING of her background or situation.  Try to use some common sense and stop flaming others because you're an asshole. 

DavidGould
DavidGould

@Balin93 @DavidGould @LisaMarieNoland well interesting inference that I must have been anything, especially a terrible father. One admonishes another for knowing nothing and does the same in their rant. Hypocrisy is hilarious. You assume you know my age, what kind of parent I must have been, and that I am an asshole.


I on the other hand stated a fact. This ladie's son is an addict and it is no ones fault but his own. Blaming others for his addiction enables him. The only way an addict will get better is through personal accountability and not shirking blame. 


Past that you are correct I did make a personal inference. I did so out of an educated guess having seen this particular situation play out multiple times. Mom blames dad or someone and enables addict through pity. In reality the only one who can truly help the addict is themself.


Please try next time to not get all wound up just because you feel the "unjust" need to defend someone from a harsh observational criticism.

lividdoll
lividdoll

I have a wonderful dad. He wasn't perfect but he is a good man. He made his mistakes but he always apologised for them. My dad is the sort of man who goes out once a month and buys an entire weeks shopping then leaves it at the food bank, spent his whole life both at work and in his free time campaigning for the benefit of others. He was also a foster carer with my mum when they were together and all those they had he became a Dad to. They all love and admire him and live for his approval. He loves and encourages us all.

Now I Have a daughter of my own and I watch my partner play and cuddle with our 7 week old baby and I can't wait to see just how good of a dad he will be.

Your post speaks to me both as a person with parents who foster and as a sibling of some who need to read this and wake up to what they do to their children - both mothers and fathers. I hope this gets spread far and wide and makes a difference to the lives of children everywhere.

Noelle Barron
Noelle Barron

Wonderfully written and obviously straight from your heart. I work in a classroom and deal with broken children often. I'm glad to know there are still wonderful fathers, dad's and daddies like you out there. Thank you for taking your time to write this. I'm certain it will help some men out there, and maybe some women too.

manilavices
manilavices

Thanks for writing this. I'm a dad to a wonderful baby boy and I feel you...I mean here in the Philippines I see a lot of what you witnessed and it breaks my heart every time. I love kids and thank God I was given the chance to be blessed with one. The world needs real dads! real men with real backbones who will take care, nurture kids the way they should be cared for.

kerenben
kerenben

Hi Dan. To you loving your son, playing with him, taking sometime off of work, computer or cell is something obvious. To me too. There is nothing I wouldn't do for my child. I remember one time time the teacher called me to say that she adores me for what I'm doing to my child. The love I give him, the attention. Calling from time to time to  see how is he doing in school. I told her "Atara, I don't feel like I'm doing something special. I'm doing what every mommy and daddy who cares and loves their children needs to do. I'm being a MOM. That made me think that there r some parents who don't act like that. And it's sad. Let me tell u a story. I'm separated from my husband for 4 month now. There was a lot of  violence at home. Mostly mentally but also physically. When we lived together he didn't pay attention to me or our child. Got home from work straight to his studio to play with his guitar. NO conversations, no trips together, no play soccer or teaching him to ride a bike. You know the usual  things a parent does with his child.But to give punishments he was available. To yell and scream- he had the time. to lower him down- for that he had plenty of time. Now he is away from home. being charged in domestic violence he can't see his son, until the court decides. So now he cries on the phone that h misses Yarden. Where the hell have u been for the past 3 years.  

So I understand what u r saying. It freaks me out that parents to think before they yell,punish, or humiliate there child. They hurting him and damaging his little soul.

Keep loving your child.

Keren

jin_kazama_d
jin_kazama_d

Well... i dont know what to say but maybe you should add that children are sensitive and if you stop them from expressing themselves they might not feel confident enough to say anything at all and just get distant from their parents, they will bottle up their feelings, problems, and almost everything they need parents for... its disappointing how parents dont want to understand that everything they do or say affects their child... its just sad

Mira
Mira

I am going to play devil's advocate and say that these children learn boundaries and rules at a young age. They grow up understanding the way the world works and about appropriateness in both behavior in public and around strangers. These are the people to be able to keep jobs and understand rules and obey them as they get older. 

I'm sure we have all seen the children in the grocery store that wont stop screaming and the parents do nothing to stop them or control them. Some children are so out of control, you may find them running around knocking things over and running into people- in the middle of an inside store! These are the children that don't know or understand rules or boundaries. They grow up believing the world revolves around them and don't understand or listen to the word "no." 

You may call discipline "breaking" a child, but teaching a child early on what is good behavior and bad behavior- even if it means scolding them for humming- will save you a world of trouble in the long run. I had pretty strict parents, and I am thankful for it. My friends whose parents allowed them to stay children are still acting like children late into their 20s and many of them still live at home as adults.

Donette
Donette

@Mira I don't think he was calling discipline done properly breaking a child.  There are ways to teach children with out belittling them as the father in this case did.  And a large man poking a child in the chest is going to leave bruises.  And having been a child of mental and physical abuse growing up I'm going to bet those aren't the only ones that child has.  I learned to fear the raised voice, as I trudged up the hallway to my doom mentally reviewing everything I had done to warrant the punishment I knew had to be coming.  I once had a weekend with favorite cousins canceled after I was dropped off because in cleaning the bathroom that morning (the price for getting to go to my cousins house) I had not rinsed the bathtub properly and left some comet residue around the drain.  I was made to start over until I got it right and then I got to sit in my room the rest of the weekend to think about my wrong doings.  I was 8.

This was just one of thousands of instances at the hands of my grandmother who proclaimed to love me.  (she adopted me from my mother when I was a baby telling her she would have her proclaimed unfit)(it was early 60's she would have done it)  I firmly believe this is the reason I never had children of my own.  I was terrified of becoming her.  

Yes children need discipline and boundaries, but they do not have to be broken to learn them.  You just need to be a parent, not a friend.  They have enough friends.  and I'm sorry every child is going to have a meltdown moment.  They are kids.  Shit happens.

Darren
Darren

@Mira Have to agree a lot of what Dan says has value but honestly the whole article came of as an attempt to "belittle and bully the bully". Add to the fact fact he is unaware of this mans personal circumstances. Over the years I have had friends whose children were challenged with aspergers, ADDHD, Ocd etc and have seen how difficult it is to always be appropriate even for parents who are fully committed to doing he right thing.


Mira
Mira

I am going to play devil's advocate and say that these children learn boundaries and rules at a young age. They grow up understanding the way the world works and about appropriateness in both behavior in public around strangers. These are the people to be able to keep jobs and understand rules and obey them as they get older. 

I'm sure we have all seen the children in the grocery store that wont stop screaming and the parents do nothing to stop them or control them. Some children are so out of control, you may find them running around knocking things over and running into people- in the middle of an inside store! These are the children that don't know or understand rules or boundaries. They grow up believing the world revolves around them and don't understand or listen to the word "no." 

You may call discipline "breaking" a child, but teaching a child early on what is good behavior and bad behavior- even if it means scolding them for humming- will save you a world of trouble in the long run. I had pretty strict parents, and I am thankful for it. My friends who allowed them to stay children are still acting like children and many of them still live at home as adults. 

avioth
avioth

@Mira That's not teaching, it's bullying. The man is a bully and a jerk,  This child wasn't out of control, he wasn't doing anything wrong.  There was no justifiable need for the father to act like that. You said you had strict parents; that doesn't necessarily mean they were bullies, one can be strict and loving.

MarySueNelson
MarySueNelson

So STAND UP and SAY SOMETHING! We don't have to be rude, but for Gods sake, don't just stand by. Ask parent if they need a break, a mentor, a babysitter for a day or even something more. "I can see you are so stressed over something, by the way you are treating this child who so desperately loves you and needs your acceptance .... what can I do to help out?" Why just make a quick judgement and leave? Don't spend an hour on fb condeming and wondering why.....make a move, try to help! It takes a village. Just singing your own 'I'm a wonderful father and you're not' tune will help NO CHILD.

Tortoise
Tortoise

At a market, a boy touched a wrapped muffin, looking at it. His mom slapped him sharply and said "don't touch anything!!" She smiled apologetically at me as if the boy was a problem. They walked off quickly.

ThadJosey
ThadJosey

I'm sorry about how you grew up Paul. It's very sad to have a parent or parents who negelcts the one they brought into the world. 


I do understand that in your scenario, it was your father and not your mother. PLEASE DO ALL OF US FATHERS THAT ARE GOOD FATHERS! Don't point the issue at Fathers, use the word PARENT. Because of this stereotype of fathers being the one that is the problem laws are stacked against Fathers in custody during divorce.


I love my son, he means everything to me. Yet, the law grants so much advantage to women and thats good when the father is  abusive. Problem is, the good guys are punished as well and get pushed out of the kids life and bribed by a monthly payment. I'd like one person to explain to me how thats ok. To me, its causing the same problem. Kids growing up with dads only around every other weekend. So yeah, I get pissed off reading all of this dad this and dad that. 


It's easy to do guys, PARENT'S! NOT Fathers.

RobinWayne
RobinWayne

I heard every word of what you where saying as if you were talking straight to me. I`m a Mother... and I have seen just as many women like this. It angers me so much that I have to fight off the want to grab them by the hair and bring them down to the level they have brought their child to. But when I see these things, I always wonder id I should C.P.S. because i`m afraid if this is how they treat their children in a store full of people, what happens to this child in the privacy of their own home. I feel sick in my stomach, I feel guilty for not making those calls.... I`m confused as to what the courts would now consider child abuse.... But I am hoping the next time I see something like this ... That I WILL MAKE THAT CALL !! 

k
k

It's not just dads, it's moms too. My dad wasn't very present in my life when I was a kid but I can't count how many times my mom told me "I brought you into this world, I can take you out of it" and how many times I was told I don't have any common sense and I don't listen. I started showing signs of depression as a teen but it was going on a lot earlier than that. I'm 29 now. I deal with crippling social anxiety and I can't make it through the day without Prozac. I wonder why.

Candice
Candice

Dan-Your post seared several emotions for me: anger, sadness, happiness, and pride. Pride because I already do and my husband does with our kids. Happiness because I do think that dad's need to read your message, even if they are amazing dad's just so that they get a jolt to remember how influential they are in their child's life. Sadness and anger because I have myself said some things you posted about and told my 4 year old to stop it, knock it off, etc because he has pushed and pushed me to a breaking point. I don't believe in degrading children, but I have been pushed by my 4 year old many times and my first thoughts about your story were that maybe there was a lot you didn't see. You jumped to being judgemental, but have you NEVER been pushed to your breaking point by your child? I consider myself to be a reflective person both in my personal and professional life. Maybe I need parenting classes because my son has a very long way to go before he will be "labeled" a "good listener". I don't know where I have gone wrong. ...maybe spoiled him too much, but I wake up everyday and hope to do better than the day before. I thank you for your story and for your reminders, but also hope to spark a thought for you. It's easy to be judgemental when you are the spectator, but maybe also keep in the back of your mind that you don't know what events transpired before what you saw. Or maybe that doesn't matter because your child has never done anything that pushed you. If that's the case, please send me some of your secrets because I would love to learn from you (seriously, not sarcastically). Thank you for your story.

-Candice (a decent mother who strives to do better :) )

MarySueNelson
MarySueNelson

Candice-thanks for sharing....parenting is the hardest, most stressful job a person will EVER have. Keep trying to do better....we all have regrets, but don't beat yourself up, just keep trying.

AlexandraBotham
AlexandraBotham

@Candice Hi Candice, I am not a mother, so I cannot pretend to understand your experiences, but I have taught in schools and observed lessons where children are 'labelled' as 'naughty' or 'badly behaved' etc.. I often observed that the children who were labelled in this way believed themselves to be that child and yet, spending time with them, I found that they were intelligent, lively and talented.


My younger brother was often labelled as a 'noisy' child, who didn't 'pay attention' or 'listen effectively'. My mum attended a parents' evening where a teacher pointed out that although my brother didn't appear to be listening - he would often be moving around a lot or not looking at the teacher - he was learning. The teacher said that he simply learnt in a different way and therefore there wasn't anything to be concerned about - his written work was evidence of this. My brother is currently studying for a degree and is currently in line for a first.


You seem to be a loving and caring parent - just like mine - so I think that it is natural for you to assess what you are doing and to strive to do better by your child each day. Don't lose sight of your child's brightness and liveliness - encourage him to do what he loves! 


Best wishes, Alex x

kimijo39
kimijo39

I am glad that you stand up for what you believe! A child is definitely a blessing!

CharlieMannix
CharlieMannix

I think you are preaching , I also think its important to note that there is no handbook for getting it right. Parents do the best they could and should. When there is a bitter divorce you will no doubt see a bitter ex wife and or ex husband bashing the parenting skills of the other. This is what should be avoided in front of children and you make no mention of that here.


MarySueNelson
MarySueNelson

Oh, gag me. LeBron is sooo full of himself it makes me want to puke....saying to his team mates:climb on my back and we'll take this thing. Really, LeBron....lol.....you can't win it by yourself you stupid baboon.

Sarahm97
Sarahm97

You obviously haven't followed lebron's career because if you did you would know he's the most underpaid player and the most selfless player. He's all about team ball. So whatever your "saying" he said was supposed to be interpreted a different way I'm sure. He was prob referring to the fact that he is the only one on the team with championship game experience. I hate when people are completely ignorant on certain subjects but will make statements that are they're opinion rather than actual facts. Mike yes lebron is a great father and is a huge influence on multiple men in this world, posting that link was a great idea.

VelmaWorley
VelmaWorley

I thank God for the men who are real dad's. I took pride everyday my husband came from work and my children would race to get " the first kiss" . He would travel from out of town to make it to a game his son had. The whole team lit up saying " your dad's here." He passed away last year, but not without leaving strong, but humbled legacy of what to be like as a dad.

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?

VelmaWorley
VelmaWorley

@LottaDramma You missed the point. If someone made a comment to you about how you were treating, or mistreating your child, chances are they would suffer repercussions once they got home.  What could you tell a stranger that you don't know their mindset at the time..  your username speaks for itself. Let's see how reaction alone follows.

Sarahm97
Sarahm97

VelmaWorley you took the words right out of my mouth, like you said the name says it all. I doubt she would go up to any parent in a grocery store to discuss the way they discipline their children. The ignorant comments blow me away.

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!