You know youre onto something when you type a word and it appears with a red squiggly line under it. Or perhaps its just a mistake in spelling. In the case of the word “fatherlessness” it is in many ways a mistake but certainly not a misspelling.

Fatherlessness: The ongoing state or condition a person experiences as a result of not being fathered. With fathering presented as a verb, not a noun, the complexity of the word shifts dramatically.  As an action word fatherlessness implies active participation in the development of a child, emotional connection, and a varying awareness of the modeling a man consciously and unconsciously provides to their offspring. Yes, some fathers are more attuned than others.

As a Family Therapist, working with the parent(s) of children ages 5-18 years old, I see the implications of children not fathered everyday. Many of these children have their fathers in the home and still experience the deprivation of fatherlessness. In a recent workshop I presented to mental, school and social services professionals it was brought to my attention fathers and the absence of the father in the lives of children is often not considered in the assessment process. When I did assessments with admitting patients the question of fathers and their active participation was always addressed. Without my knowing I was doing an unauthorized field study on fatherlessness. An Informal study, for sure, but as a naturally inquisitive person working in the lives of other people I noticed a trend. I wont offer numbers or percentages, nothing was tallied in such a manner, remember informal field study. The lasting impression favored the ideal many children experiencing some degree of diagnosable conditions are also in the midst of experiencing fatherlessness. In those cases in which the father is in the home the children experienced separation due to incarceration, emotional hostility as a result of drug and substance abuse, poor or near abusive parental relationships or a man who views his role as father from a purely disciplinarian perspective. Sidebar comment: If your child is truly ADHD, Depressed, Bi-polar or Opposition Defiant Disordered no amount of spanking, beating or punishment will address these conditions. Please also know I work with some very appropriate fathers confused and frustrated by the conditions and the mental health system they are powerless to fix. Like most “systems” once in they are almost impossible to break free of. The system feeds itself and always adapts itself to remain relevant and important. I could go on and on about my feelings surrounding systems, but I wont.

Fatherlessness predisposes a child to feelings of insecurity, poor esteem, and diminished self-worth. The “look” of a child not adequately fathered is repressed, oppressed and absent from the beauty of the world and the amazement of life. The unfathered child struggles in life’s greatest events. A child not appropriately fathered shies from mystery and cuts off discovery. The diminished self-worth child is fearful and attracts experiences into their lives that supports continued fear. Law of Attraction is always at work because it shapes our perspective. Its never the event that substantiates the fear, its how the unfathered child receives it. The brain locks in the happening and acts as constant reminder to be afraid, dont try, stay enclosed where its safe. For many girls the experience of fatherlessness is the model that precipitates every relationship to follow. For boys the internalized fear creates a disrespectful and dangerous being screaming to have their hurts addressed. Nothing is absolute in the human experience and these two self-effacing and self-fulfilling prophetic positions seem at odds with each other. As a result many are confused and rightfully so.

What I also know about fathers who are not actively involved in their children’s lives is they too were unfathered. As adults these men work diligently to prove to the world theyve gone unscathed by their experience of fatherlessness. This is done typically by reproducing the experience in their unfathered children.

Im building a brand. I will stay on task despite my inner voice telling me a need exists but no ones listening. I would thoroughly enjoy presenting this 4-hour workshop (CEU’s available) to those that share my interest. And to those who do not, its probably needed even more. Groups forming now in Douglasville, GA or at your site for men interested in developing their fathering muscle.  

Transformative Spirituality pulls back the curtain on the great and powerful Oz. Outside the realm of mental health resides an empirical ideology to change. Real change. Let Spiritual Family Guidance facilitate that change.

Categories: family, father, Uncategorized

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