<span class="s5_h3_first">Thompson </span>
Written by patricia  

Father

Father“Any man can be a father.  It takes someone special to be a dad.”

Most men have somewhat tumultuous relationships with their fathers. We love them, admire them, hate them, rebel against them, and ideally end up with a great friend where a parent used to be. Making that transition can be challenging, though. Regardless of your age, it’s hard to treat your father as just another person.

I know what you’re thinking — you don’t want to sit down with your father, hugging pillows and crying about old times. Don’t worry, nobody’s asking you to do that.

Getting to know your father can be a tremendous and fulfilling experience, even if there are a few hiccups along the way. Here are some tips to help you approach your father on a man-to-man level.

First of all, you don’t have to get too emotional. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of baring your emotions, chances are pretty good that your dad feels the same way. You simply need to take the right approach, one that allows you to talk with your father and learn about him, but without making everything feel like a TV drama.

Hobbies are a good place to start. If your dad taught you any of the pastimes that you currently enjoy, dive right back into them and show him what you’ve learned. Your hobby will serve as a good launching pad to help you develop a healthy friendship. Don’t immediately jump into time intensive activities such as camping or fishing trips; try just taking in a game of billiards or poker or watching a few football games. Try to set up a regular time to just hang out. Let’s say you don’t have any hobbies in common with your father. Many guys are in this position. This is where beer comes in. Just meet your dad at a bar to throw one or two back, or if you don’t drink, get a casual dinner somewhere.

Don’t act like a kid.
Remember that if you want your dad to treat you like the adult you are, you’ve got to show him that you’ve grown up. This sounds simple and obvious but many guys will shy away from adult subjects or real conversation just because their fathers are in the room. Be willing to talk about things such as money,

sex and other taboo subjects that you regularly discuss with your friends. Your dad can take it. He’s been doing this whole “life” thing longer than you have. Just be frank and honest, and make it clear that you’re not out for advice or help. You just want to talk. Most fathers will respect that.

To build a relationship with your father as an adult, you need to show him respect and invest some time. It’s not the easiest thing in the world, but it’s important. There are thousands of guys out there who’d love to be able to talk to their fathers; make ‘em jealous. Take the first step.

In building a new relationship with your father, you are trying to recapture the original design for fathers and sons, but not as a child. You’re a man now, a competent adult, acting on what is true now, not what should have been true when you were six or sixteen.

Just relax and let the relationship re-define itself. Persevere through difficulties; share new experiences; learn to express love to your dad.

But at the very least, I urge you, build that connection while you have the chance. Finish that unfinished business. (excerpt from
Phil Dotree 2010)

Children learn to smile from their parents.

Father

Research shows that fathers are very influential in their daughters’ eyes, especially when it comes to self-esteem and decision making. Whether you feel abandoned by your dad or just don’t know how to be closer to him, here are some tips for improving your relationship.

 

Ask for what you want.
There always comes a point in time where you have to say, ‘I’m going to stop complaining. I’m going to stop living in the past, and I’m going to ask for what I want.'”

FatherFind the courage to confront your father, and be honest about telling him how you want the relationship to move forward. Remember, he can’t read your mind.

 

Ask only for what you are willing to give.
If you are holding on to anger because you do not t think that your father respects you, ask yourself this: “Do I respect him?” You want something you haven’t given. You as an adult living in the here and now have to be willing to step up and take care of your end of the relationship. Don’t ask your father to give you something that you can’t give in return.

 

Take care of unfinished emotional business.
Oftentimes anger and resentment toward your father may indicate that you need to get emotional closure. You may be struggling with abandonment issues because your father left when you were 5. Those same issues may be currently affecting your current relationships. You have these unresolved raw feelings just below the surface and as long as you have that raw wound, then it hurts every day. Figure out your Minimal Effective Response — the least you could do in the relationship with your father that would allow you to get emotional closure. Maybe it’s to forgive him. Maybe it’s to write him a letter … Maybe it’s 10 different things. You have to find that, and you have to do it, so you can say, ‘OK, I have stood up for myself. I have expressed myself. I have unburdened myself.’

Give yourself what you wish others could give you.
Some relationships can’t be reconciled, either because the father is deceased or the daughter is uncomfortable about approaching her dad. Perhaps, write a letter to yourself mentioning all of your positive qualities. Maybe you need to say, ‘Look, I am OK. I’m a loving and caring and giving person. I’m intelligent. I’m attractive. I’m a good mom.’ Sometimes we have to give ourselves what we wish we could get from others. If your father has left you feeling inadequate, you need to deal with the feelings and change how you feel.

Change your Automatic Thoughts.
Automatic Thoughts are like taped messages we repeat so much until they become automatic. First, you need to recognize what your tapes (automatic thoughts) are, and then you may need to change them.

You may have these tapes about men based on your experience with your dad: ‘They’re no good. They can’t be trusted. They will abandon you.’ These automatic thoughts or tapes are likely ruining your relationships, because you may be viewing your partner through your father’s filter. If you’ve had problems with your dad, don’t base your opinions of men on that relationship.

Consider his point of view.
Your dad has a point of view and he looks at things through a certain filter. Your father may think that he’s done a good job of raising you, even though you may look at the same history and think that it was horrible. Your perception is only how you see things. He sees it differently.

Rediscover each other.
Chances are, you don’t know everything about your father. Take the time to explore things that you’ve always wanted to ask him — such as what makes him laugh or how he was raised. Once you get to know your father better, you will have no unfinished emotional business, because you will start to view each other in a different way.

(excerpt from Dr Phil McGraw)

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Patricia Thompson

Counsellor Psychotherapist healthy mental health

Psychology today

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