The label of absentee father is not a desirable title to have or a noble badge of honor to wear. Society tends to frown upon a man who does not spend time with his child (or children). More traumatically, the relationships that are strained and damaged because of a father who was not there for his child create negative memories.
If you have been an absentee father, how do you improve your image and credibility with your child?
First, you must realize there are some emotional wounds that your child is dealing with as a result of not being able to count on or spend time with you. That's the reality. Like all wounds and traumatic experiences, it will require time to heal. So do not expect it to be a quick fix or overnight process for your child or you.
The change has to start in your mind and habits, then work its way into your heart through consistent accountable efforts. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes, in the most positive ways, to strengthen the relationship with your child, or begin a healthy relationship where one never existed.
How do you do that?
Start by working to become a father who is consistently reliable, supportive, caring, and genuinely loving. This does not mean you have to all of a sudden become perfect, but you will have to become actively and positively present. Keep your word, and begin to show up repeatedly as a positive father figure in your child's life. Your child (or children) will hold you accountable to your word and actions moving forward. If you say you are going to pick them up, do it. If you say you are going to come over to spend quality time, do it. If you say you're going to buy your child something, do it. If you make a promise—do everything in your power to keep and deliver on it. Do not make any promises to your child that you know you cannot keep. If you do, you'll once again tarnish your image, credibility, and relationship with your child.
Many fathers think that paying child support automatically absolves them of any other responsibilities with respect to raising their children. This is so far from the truth, and is disturbingly sad. Yes, you may buy school clothes for your child or pay for dental appointments and other forms of health care. What your child will remember most, is when you showed up to take them to get ice cream and you talking with them consistently in a positive way; or you coming to see them in a special program at school; or you coming to see them play on an organized sports team in the community. Consistently being there and being reliable will soon improve your image and credibility with your child. Just try positively hard, and try often, no matter what. Again, your child is ALWAYS Worth Your Positive Efforts of Being Their Loving and Caring Father.
It may be difficult for you in the beginning to learn and practice a new set of success habits for becoming a consistently reliable father. Just stay focused and motivated by thinking about how increasingly proud your child will be about you and your efforts. More importantly, your main motivation should always be the fact that your child (or children) are always worth your determined efforts as a truly loving, supportive, reliable, and caring father.
There are times when the relationship between the mother and father of a child does not work out, and the relationship comes to an end. Some mothers or fathers decide to take on a challenging and sometimes toxic position that prevents a father from being reliably present and active in their child's life. This article in no way is meant to start a "who's right" or "who's wrong" gender war between parents. Just know, it's the child who suffers most throughout this experience. My greatest hope with this article is to connect with, inspire, and empower one or more absentee fathers to return back into the lives of their child in a consistent, active, caring, and loving way.
Another way you can make some changes and improvements in your image and credibility is to have someone that you trust and respect hold you accountable; perhaps a spiritual advisor, life coach, mentor, family member, or even a good friend. Sometimes you may need an extra little push to start taking action and to keep the momentum going. Remember, we win in life with positive people and role models around us.
As an absentee father looking to turn things around, you must accept your past behavior and forgive yourself. Carrying guilt and regret will eat away at your fabric and possibly prevent you from expressing and providing the genuine love your child really needs. Acceptance and Forgiveness is a cleansing process. It is for you to release those shameful and harmful feelings so you can move forward in both a positive and healthy way. Whenever negative thoughts and experiences from your past come to your mind, immediately accept them and forgive yourself. Then continuously challenge yourself to take the necessary positive actions to be a reliable, present, supportive, caring and loving father to your child, moving forward.
Remember, your child did not ask to be here on this Earth, nor did they get to choose their parents. At the end of the day, you as a parent are responsible for keeping their "Love and Positive Experiences Tank" full. Look for loving ways to make significant deposits into their "Love and Positive Experiences Tank" each day, or whenever you consistently can.
It's been said, "All difficult journeys and new beginnings must start with a first step. And time, care and love can heal all wounds." Stay focused, loving, and persistent—and you will become the father your child needed you to be from the day they were born.
About the Author: Ty Howard,
Founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of MOTIVATION magazine
Ty Howard is an internationally recognized authority on personal, professional, relationship and habits development. He is the creator and lead facilitator of the trademarked Untie the Knots® Process, and the author of the best-selling book Untie the Knots® That Tie Up Your Life: A Practical Guide to Freeing Yourself from Toxic Habits, Choices, People, and Relationships, as well as dozens of published articles on relationships, healthy habits development, empowerment and peak performance worldwide.
For information on the author click on the following link: Ty Howard.
Improving Your Image and Credibility with Your Child, After Being an Absentee Father
1) When you are an absentee father, the relationship between your child and you is strained and damaged, and often creates negative memories.
2) The change has to start in your mind and habits, then work its way into your heart through consistent accountable efforts.
3) Start by working to become a father who is consistently reliable, supportive, caring, and genuinely loving. This does not mean you have to all of a sudden become perfect, but you will have to become actively and positively present.
4) It may be difficult for you in the beginning to learn and practice a new set of success habits for becoming a consistently reliable father. Just stay focused and motivated by thinking about how increasingly proud your child will be about you and your efforts.