Reconnecting with an absent father is not an easy task. Being a father is no easy job. Being a single father is even harder. About 40 percent of children born are coming in the world to a single parent household. It is hard to pin point how many of these single parenting households are to absentee fathers and how many are to single fathers doing the best that they can while parenting from a household separate from the one their children are in.
What most experts would agree on is that the best option is for children to live with their married parents but sometimes that option is not available. Even worse, when a father is not there for his child that child is left with a childhood filled with despair, fear and anxiety. But that does not mean that redemption is impossible.
If you are looking to reconnect with a father who was not there during your childhood there are some things that you should focus on.
Give It Time
Time is important when reconnecting with a father that you have never had a real relationship with. Remember that this is probably new for both of you. Time heals wounds. Let your biological father know that you need time to deal with what you have endured. Take as much time as you need. Set the boundaries that you need.
You should also move slow because this person is a stranger to you even though you share a pool of genes. Treat him like any stranger. You would not bring a new coworker around your children so do not bring your father around your family immediately. Weigh the facts. Some fathers have a violent past and should be trusted much more slowly, others just were poor fathers who never thought they had anything to offer. Look into his background. Make a judgement based on what you feel comfortable with.
You have to realize that forgiveness is needed when meeting with someone who has wronged you in the past. Do not go to a meeting with an absent father to read a list of all the wrongs that he has done. Instead, forgive and move on. If you are not able to forgive an absent father then it may not be the time to meet with that father.
Think about times when you have have wronged someone or did the wrong thing. We all have. Realize that your father has done things as well. Realize that it will take time to know your fathers heart and his real intentions but there is no harm lost with offering forgiveness. Most of the times, the forgiveness is more about taking a weight off your shoulders instead of the other way around.
Two Sides of the Story
Realize that there are two sides to each story. There is no excuse for a father not being in a child’s life but the reason why he was not in your life may be surprising. You may have grown up hearing a story about why your father was not around but this may not be the case. Some fathers have no idea that they are the father to a child so they never had a reason to be around. Mothers sometimes are not sure who the father of their child is or they may not want to disclose to the father that he indeed is the father. Keep an open mind and listen. If the conversation is different than the story you have heard most your life do not turn around and blame your mother either.
Picture Credit to ppdlaporama