Father’s feelings: why not everyone has them?


Personal things. Start

Maria: “My dad spent most of our life communicating with us through my grandmother. She literally forced him to see us. He was bored. So he said that he loves us at a distance, that he does not need closer and that it is more interesting to communicate with adult children.

Mostly he talked about himself. About his mistresses, business, failures … He listened to us insofar as – and interrupted impatiently. I could say: “You, my daughter, are a genius, and Vanya (my brother) is a moron.” Then he spoke exactly the opposite. Charming, brilliant and unpredictable, hysterical, he seemed to be showing off in front of us.

I remember my friend burst into tears when she found out that my parents had divorced. I was 13 then, and they had not lived together for 7 years. I was so surprised at her reaction. And she loved her dad very much, for her a divorce would be a drama. And for me – you think, but why is this dad needed at all? Somehow I didn’t recognize him when he came for me to the kindergarten. “

Lera: “What my father looks like, I only know from the photo. He left when I was about 5 years old. I understand that people can converge and diverge. But how can you divorce your children? Nobody forbade him, but he did not at all seek to communicate with me. When I was 15, I called him myself. We lived all the time not very far from each other. She said that I want to see, to get acquainted. It was important to me. But he didn’t want to again … It hurt me a lot – and I only realized many years later how much ”.

Vadim: “My father left my mother when I was born. He just didn’t come to pick us up from the hospital – he disappeared with his things. Then he hid from alimony, we did not know about him. Mom worked two jobs at the same time, raised me alone. She didn’t arrange her life – there was no time, and then she didn’t want anything. “

Instinct or convention?

Everything is clearer with the maternal instinct than with the paternal one. A woman is carrying a child for 9 months and is connected to him physically. Then she feeds him and, as a rule, takes care of him, that is, in a healthy relationship, her parental feelings are not only conditioned by nature, but also reinforced by daily emotional contact.

What about your father? Why not all men show parental feelings and what does it depend on?

Bertrand Russell, author of Marriage and Morality, writes that the father’s attitude to the child is rather hypothetical and comes from the head – in theory, it is based on his confidence in the faithfulness of his wife. However, in real life this is not always the case. We all know many examples when a stepfather could raise adopted children with love and warmth. And the inhabitants of Melanesia do not know the concept of fatherhood at all, and yet men love children, considering them their own.

British anthropologist Bronislav Malinowski wrote about the inhabitants of the Trobriand Islands, who did not know for certain who their biological father was. Moreover, for them this question did not arise in principle. And if the husband, after more than a year’s absence, returned home and found that his wife had given birth, he rejoiced and considered the child his own. The children, according to the islanders, were brought in perfume. And the “blood” relationship of the father with the younger generation was determined by the female line – who is the mother’s husband is the father of the child.

Role templates

Erich Fromm wrote that paternal love, unlike maternal love, is not unconditional. That is, the child “deserves” it, and in a man it is gradually formed in the first two years after the birth of the baby.

In a patriarchal society, a man had to provide for children and a wife, who was economically (and often physically) dependent on him. The father was the personification of authority and set the rules of conduct. First of all, his parental role included the upbringing of his son as an heir – traditions, profession, social roles.

But a lot has changed over the last century. First of all, this concerns the social role of women. Now the mother can work and be financially independent or in an equal partnership with the man. Increasingly, children stay with their dad when their mother is not at home, which changes the quality of contact and makes their relationship closer and more meaningful.

The development of psychiatry and psychology gives new food for thought to those who intelligently approach creating a family and raising children. For example, it has been proven that fathers who were present at childbirth and had the opportunity to pick up a child in the first minutes of his life subsequently felt a deeper emotional connection with him. And such babies, as psychologists write, growing up, showed a higher level of mental and physical development in comparison with their peers.

Today gender patterns are gradually dying away – for example, that a man should be “restrained and stingy with feelings.” Empathy, the manifestation of paternal tenderness and love for the child are increasingly perceived by us as something right and natural. More and more dads do not perform the “abusive and punishing” function, but give the child love, combining both the traditional conditional paternal feeling and unconditional maternal acceptance.

Father's feelings: why not everyone has them?


As experts note and confirms everyday experience, fatherhood at an older age is generally much more emotional. The person has “walked up”, gained life experience and is ready to share – himself, his resources. Fatherhood is usually of value to him. “Early” dads are not always ready to give their children their time and attention, sometimes they are not able to enjoy fiddling with them.

However, psychological immaturity is not always associated with age. In some, fatherly feelings never wake up. And then, no matter how much a man tries to start a family, he will never become a father for his children, running away from responsibility or not wanting to spend his resources on someone other than himself.

Mothers transfer all their love to their sons and protect them, shouldering the entire burden of household and other concerns. So selfish and immature men grow up, for whom it is quite natural to divorce not only a wife, but also a child.

Father’s role

“In modern psychology, especially in dynamic directions, great importance is attached to the figure of the father and its role in the formation of the psyche of a child and an adult is being investigated,” explains clinical psychologist Lidia Fedorova. – There are several aspects of studying the role of the father: in society and culture, in real family relations, marital and child-parental, as well as the symbolic role of this figure in the mental development of the child. And this third aspect determines a lot.

The father is the one who breaks the symbiotic bond between the mother and the child, thereby helping the son or daughter to discover the world around him and begin to interact with it, build new relationships, master the language and be cognitively active. It is a figure that helps to understand the hierarchy of relationships and forms internal ideas about law and boundaries.

The father will help the boy in male identification, and for the girl he will become a guide to her femininity. The child is the fruit of the desire and love of a man and a woman, as well as the personal history of these two people. The images of mom and dad live in each of us and have an impact on our entire personality and future relationships. “

Personal things. Ending

Maria: “This is the end of the story. My father has grown old, survived a difficult operation. And I suddenly had a dad. He realized that now he is weak, disabled. That he needs support and being alone is scary. We got close abruptly on the same day, when my grandmother died – then something in his head shifted. I ran with him everywhere – in morgues, cemeteries, not even for his sake, but for the sake of my grandmother – she loved us very much, and we loved her. And, probably, then they got to know each other more than in their entire life. “

Lera: “My father died almost 20 years ago. He had a different family. For his younger children, he is a completely different person. And in me, unfortunately, the pain, anger and resentment towards him live. And, most importantly, I will never have the opportunity to talk to him, ask a question – why … “

Vadim: “When I grew up, I found him on Odnoklassniki. Wrote. He was delighted and, without asking about my life, began to complain about his own, and then asked me for money. “

Everyone chooses for himself

Of course, if a man did not have an example of a good, caring dad before his eyes, it is more difficult for him to become one “automatically”. But this does not mean that, growing up, he cannot form his own idea of ​​what he wants to be for his children.

Today, many sons of bad fathers consciously become caring dads, even if they do not live with the mother of their children. They are probably an example of the fact that paternal feelings can be the result of the personal choice of an adult, his responsible approach to life and a sincere desire for happiness – for himself and for the one who, thanks to him, was born and will once utter the word with love “ dad”.

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