While you and your child spend considerable time together, either playing or doing quality father-child activities, does it make you think about your relationship with your own father? If so, you’re not the only one! Sometimes, we can feel that we are neglecting our own relationship with our father, even though we are doing our utmost to cement the relationship with our child. People talk about that father-son bond being incredibly unique, but what about the one you have with your own father? Has it slipped by the wayside now? If you feel this might be the case, there’s no reason to feel guilty about it. But you need to make sure that you repair this before it’s too late. We can spend a lot of years focusing on being good parents to our children because we feel that we need to overcompensate for what we feel are a lack of misgivings with our own fathers. It seems that when you become a parent, you realize how much you father did for you, but also how difficult you might have been as a child! When your father gets older, we can feel the need to repair our relationship with them before it’s too late, so how can you do this, but also, how can we get our children involved, so they are taught lessons for later in life?
It’s hardly a difficult equation, but the more time you spend together, the more the bond will strengthen. Having the three of you spend time together improves your relationship with your child and your father, but it’s more than this. In having your child there, it’s the glue that binds you together. It can be a considerable task when you’re struggling for things to talk about, and you can use your child as leverage. This has good and bad points, especially if you are using your child to avoid talking to your father. This is not the right way to go about things. But, for example, if you are out in the park, maybe you and your father can help push your child on the swings, and play together. That way, if you are embracing an activity that involves the three of you, you don’t have to worry about prolonged periods of awkward silence, but it’s still physical time together. We can feel that we need to fill gaps of silence for it to be “quality time”, but you will have to get over yourself. Quality time together is still time together, as long as you are open to it.
Instigate More Communication
It can be a long time before you start physically picking up the phone and speaking to your father, because there may not be many things to talk about. Again, this is something that you can involve your child in. Speaking to your father on the phone might be a painful process, especially if your father struggles to use a cellphone, or if his faculties aren’t what they used to be. But there are cell phone plans and devices suitable for senior citizens, and you can get more details here; it’s one of those tasks that can feel very difficult at the beginning, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Think about it, when was the last time you spoke to your father over the phone? There’s nothing wrong with a little more communication, even if it is just for a couple of minutes every couple of days.
Naturally, the more you speak to your father, the more those age-old frustrations begin to creep in. If you are someone who spent a long time trying to escape your father’s shadow and have tried your utmost to be a different father to your child than what your father was to you, it can be very annoying and anxiety-inducing when those little comments begin to make their way to the forefront. Remember, you can’t change someone, as this is who they are. But what you can do is avoid rising to the bait. You’ve changed. You are a father, but you might be trying to do things differently so you can change yourself, but it’s impossible to change them. Old habits die hard, and if you are trying to repair some of the damage, you’ve got to learn to let something slide. Remember, you’re aiming to set an example for your child. And if they see you reacting with anger at such an impressionable age, they will believe it to be the norm. If this happens, history will repeat itself. So draw a line in the sand, and don’t rise to the bait.
What Can You Learn From Your Child?
We can spend so much time learning new ways of instigating communication with our father, that we completely oversee the purest example of how we should relate to all people. Our child hasn’t been tainted with a lifetime of learning how to lie or repress feelings, they take people as they are, at least to an extent. But they will look at your father and take them as they are. Sometimes we need to learn to get rid of all these preconceived notions, years of emotional weight and repression, and look at things with a bit more clarity. This is something you can most definitely learn from your child. And this will be the key to repairing your relationship with your father.
We can spend so long escaping our father’s shadow, but when the time comes to repairing this broken relationship, we can push certain attitudes onto our own children. Remember, you are setting the example for your child in how they go through life. You don’t want them to go through life angry and holding the same grudges that you do. When it comes to repairing your relationship with your father, we can look to our children, not just as the glue that might cement our relationship again, but use their innocence and perspective as the reason for us to reevaluate our relationship with our father.