It is midnight and I have been reflecting on this year’s Father’s Day. I got home yesterday morning, and wished my dad a Happy Father’s Day. I really appreciate him and I love him so much, albeit, I once thought he was too hard on I and my siblings.
Most of our fathers are the better version of their fathers, they are giving us what they think is best, because majority of them never had a good relationship with their fathers.
Do we talk about their fathers who happened to be our grandfathers who died while our fathers were barely 7 years of age?
Do we also talk about how men in the last century were taught to brace up, work hard, never stay home, leave the house chores and parenting duties solely for the wife, so as not the degrade their authority?
I am quite emotional about this, which is also why I have decided to write to every teenager today.
Your father is your father, and I believe he loves you. You might not just see it, perhaps he does not know how best he can show that he loves you.
My dad was not always around, he traveled a lot while I was growing up, and he still does. He made sure he spent some time with us when he returned home.
As a teenager, I had a big problem with him, I was not always happy when he returned home. The reason being that, when dad is around, friends stop visiting, the home feels choking, I have to give detailed explanation to everything that concerns me. I wanted to be a free teenager, I did not want a choking lifestyle. How my dad wanted to know the friends I meet on Facebook, my new class mates, and just everything.
I really had a problem with it, then I started shutting myself out from his arms. I did this till I was in 200 Level at the University.
Looking back right now, I know a lot of teenagers out there cannot have a decent conversation with their dad. It is not because he is harsh, it is just because they can’t start such without a basis of ‘I need so and so amount’.
I have a lot to write about fathers and how you can improve your relationship with yours. I believe I will need to take you through this bit by bit.
How Do You Improve Your Relationship with Your Father?
As simple as this question seems, there is a lot of complexity in it. I mean, how do you improve a relationship with a man who seem immune to love, or emotions?
1. Stop complaining about him
As a child, I had a speedy growth. Attained puberty at 9, and I guess I was forced to move into maturity. At age 11, I had different guys within different age ranges expressing their feelings to me. I knew dating was a no for me, I was only 11 years old.
I had my relationship goals too, even as child. I have heard stories of virgins who waited until marriage and I had a perfect picture of what I wanted as at then.
Despite my personal determination, I felt my dad was not helping matters. I knew he wanted to protect his girl, but he was too harsh and kind of over protective.
At a point, I stopped my male class mates from calling me on the phone when my dad is around because the only thing he wouldn’t stop saying then was that I should stay away from boys.
I also had some bad and embarrassing moments from receiving calls from male friends, or crush. Some nights I cry, and wish my dad could just believe me for once.
In 200 Level, I was 17 years old and I realized that my dad was not a bad man, he just wanted the best for me. So, I stopped complaining about him. He always called and talked to my friends, I stopped murmuring about the calls. That moment, I started seeing what my dad was preventing me from.
2. Appreciate everything he does for you
A lot has to be said on appreciation. Some teenagers do not feel grateful for having a dad who pays their fees, buy them books or clothes them. Some just think it is his obligations, and he has to do it.
Hey! Take a deep breath here.
Yes, it is his obligations and responsibilities. You also need to be a responsible child by appreciating him.
I know how hard it can be for you to say a ‘thank you’ to someone who didn’t pay your last school fees early enough, hence you failed your last exams. I also know how difficult it is for you to say ‘thank you’ to someone you think is the most wicked person on earth.
Text your dad right now with words similar to this:
‘Thank you Dad for all you do. My siblings and I appreciate you.’
It doesn’t matter if you texted him yesterday, you should do the same today.
After doing that? How did you feel? Better or worse? A simple ‘thank you’ and ‘God bless you’ will do so much
3. Turn a blind eye to whatever is happening between your parents
I have written posts on How Teenagers Can Cope with Divorced Parents and How to Deal with a Parent that is Not Always There. You can read up on them.
It takes strength, maturity and God’s love not to judge your parents when they are going through tough times.
Some years back, my dad was threatening to divorce my mum. It was very bad, that every single argument ended with ‘I will divorce you and nothing will happen.’
I am a very sensitive and emotional person, so whenever I heard those words with my mum’s reply, ‘I can do without you’, deep within me, I would cry. I was downcast. I was depressed.
Through it all, everyone was right. Nobody wanted to take the blame, mum says what she thinks is wrong, while dad says his. Leaving my siblings and I to judge who is right or wrong.
This event took a turn in our lives as children, because we knew our parents’ weak side as at then, I was tempted to blame someone too, then I realized both parties should take the blame.
I feel drift between parents causes trauma on the children. In most situations, mothers are wonderful with children, hence the child hates the father for whatsoever reason and lives with wrong notion of the father.
4. Respect your father
I feel sad when I see children with no form of respect for their fathers. Most of them justify their disrespect by saying, ‘why should I respect a man who does not care for me?’
You should because he is your dad.
Have you ever taken time to think of what he faces?
His fears, struggles, goals?
There are blessings attached to obeying your parents and respecting them.
Never disrespect your father.
Very few points have been raised here, I will like to do a series on how children can improve their relationship with their fathers.
I hope you find this helpful.
Remember it is our anniversary month and we are encouraging every young person to Leave Prints On Hearts, can you make it a goal to buy your dad a gift before the month runs out?
What is your relationship with your father like or how do you intend to improve it from this day onward? Do leave a comment below and don’t forget to subscribe to this blog to not miss a post.