There are uncompromising, abusive, indolent parents. Let’s not talk about them. This is for you, who really want to be a good father.
I don’t know if you saw the Flintstones movie (1994). If you didn’t see it, don’t worry: you didn’t miss much. I remember her for a scene in which Pablo Mármol loses everything for his friend, ends up sitting in a prehistoric pig pen and, when he sees himself in the middle of the smelly mud, that is, when he has hit rock bottom, he says to himself (with something that is halfway between resignation, frustration, resentment): “I have become my father.”
The fear of becoming your father
The idea is not gratuitous: all men want to be our father at his best, and we all yearn to never become like our father at his darkest or poorest side. It is not fortuitous that in Greek myths usually the son, to be a man, has to kill his father: Oedipus Laius, Cronos Chaos, etc. But perhaps the relationship between generations is best recorded in Virgil’s La Eneida : there the hero, Aeneas, flees from the fire of Troy dragging his son by the hand and carrying his father on his shoulders. We are all Aeneas: we carry on our shoulders, whether we like it or not, the genetic and cultural heritage of our father. And at the same time, we lead the next generation by the hand, guiding them through our steps, transmitting everything we are.
I don’t know if this also happens to women, but almost all men have been frozen with terror, not knowing what to do sometimes, for the fear of not being a good father, for the fear of making mistakes . And the bad thing is that the supposed specialists in education, pediatricians, counselors, do not agree: some advise us to be softer, while others demand that we be tougher in education. What to do?
Son, I want to be better for you
The answer was accidentally given to me by a friend. She tells me that when her first child was born, and the doctor gave her to her and held her in his arms, she told her baby and herself: “I have to be a better person, and not for me, but for you.” I imagine you agree: with the arrival of the children, a new stage in life begins, and that is the key to how to be a good father, even if one is not perfect. It is something that I have learned from life, and that I call it in the following way:
The Sincere Effort Theory
I suggest that you and I do a little exercise, dear reader. If you love your parents, nod your head slightly. If you think your parents tried hard to be good parents, with their few or many lights, nod again. Now, if you feel like you have things that you just couldn’t forgive your mom or dad, nod and smile. And I bet you a good breakfast in a restaurant that, yes, you’re smiling right now, right? And that is what paralyzes us men: that we know that we want to be good parents, and we are afraid of making mistakes like those of our parents.
Learn to apologize to your children
Now, how to avoid such mistakes? Simply by doing this: life has taught me that if you do your best to be a good father, even if you make mistakes many times, if you really try with all your energy, despite your mistakes, God will give you wisdom, or strength. , or intuition, or perseverance, so that your children are good children, happy, healthy, of good. That is the idea of divine grace, if I understand correctly: that when you have done everything that was on your side, then He will complete what you lacked, even if you have to learn to ask your children for forgiveness.
Not long ago a man, drowned in tears, told me about the physical and emotional beatings and violence to which his father subjected him. And so, crying, he told me that despite this he always wanted to be close to his father, because in the midst of those blows he could see that his father loved him, and that his love, monstrous and meaningless, was genuine. And when he mentioned that, I was thinking of a good father of two children, who has never beaten them, who has raised them with discipline but without punishment, and that his children claim that he was not the father they wanted. I don’t know if I am expressing the three things I want to say:
All children will complain about their parents.
Almost all children will have a little love for their father, no matter how he was.
All parents have something to ask our children for forgiveness for.
Have the courage to break cultural patterns
I am convinced that to be a good father you should not be perfect at everything. I know you are going to make mistakes, but the good thing about that is that you are going to learn and be better. I know that if you do the best you can within your power, you will meet the needs of your wife and children. No, you can’t be perfect, but you can do your best.
Trust yourself, let go of the phrase: “That’s how they educated me,” and arm yourself with an extra dose of love, patience, responsibility. Try to set the best example, to be the father that you would have liked to have. Put limits and rules in your house, rule with love and then the next generation of your last name will not have fear, but a huge desire to become like you. And not because you have to pretend that you are someone else, but because in the process of being a good father, your children polish you, don’t you think?