After reading the last two posts, many people have asked, “What about the men?” How do men respond to the father wound? Of course, everyone’s response to any disconnection is different, so the core thing to remember is that there is usually a sense of not being WORTHY of the time, love and attention of the father.
As children, we are not mature enough to see our father’s depression, alcoholism or selfishness. We feel rejection and pain and assume it must be something we are or do that is causing it.
Boys from the age of six to fourteen start to look more and more to their father, or other male role models, for fun, activities and time. “This is the age when a boy becomes happy and secure about being a male…they want to ‘study how to be male” – Biddulph, 2003.
If a father is unavailable to his son at this age, the child often makes desperate attempts to get his attention. It could be acting out, becoming a bully or destroying the house. Kids can be creative.
If they don’t get the attention they crave, they will eventually stop trying and often turn to their peers to learn about being male. This is risky because they are learning from children, not adults.
The son might find it challenging to express emotions as an adult, having learned to be emotionally numb from his father. He might also grow up to be an absent father, either physically or emotionally, as this is the pattern he has learnt from his father. He has learnt that fathers don’t need to be present or interested in their children.
In my practice, I see MANY young fathers who are very involved with their children and committed to being better fathers than they had. Know you CAN break the cycle if this behaviour runs in your family.
(Note – this post is written for people who predominantly identify as male).
Feel free to share this post – it’s an important one.
Big love, Jen