Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sons and Fathers

  Posted by Picasa
I posted this blog a while back. I think it fits here as well.

I take great interest in father/son relationships; the 3 males who have defined me the most are my dad, my brother and my husband. My son is a bit too young for that, but eventually he'll enter that category. My husband says: A boy has to rebel against his father. It's the only way he will become a man. But he has to rebel right."

In the literature I love, rebellion and hatred are common themes among siblings and parents. I like to read it because I know it's true, and I get sick of people claiming that there is love where there is none. Yes, parents should love their kids and visa versa. Siblings should treat each other with respect. In some families this is true. It wasn't in mine. And I will go out on a limb to say that it is sorely lacking in many relationships.

My favorite novels are the following: The Brothers Karamazov, Absalom Absalom and The Sound and the Fury. In the first, a father is killed, presumably by his eldest son. In the second, one brother kills another. In the third, a son takes his own life because he cannot rationalize the romantic vision of the South, taught by his father, with his true emotions that he can never express--one being his incestuous love for his sister who gets pregnant after numerous encounters with males. The father in The Brothers Karamazov is a pig: none of his sons can stand him, and they try to avoid his gene pattern in different ways: one through debauchery, another through intellectualism and the youngest through religion. In Absalom, the son who kills his brother is the good son, obedient and the presumed heir to his father's fortune, acting on his father's wishes. By killing the brother who threatens to ruin the only world he knows, he throws that world away and never can return, except to die. The Sound and the Fury is possibly the most heartbreaking because Quentin Compson is a good man, a gentle soul, but he was born too late in a world that cannot accept him. He takes that truth to the grave.
  Posted by Picasa
Why are father/son relationships so troublesome? I believe it has to do with notions of manhood. My father was a difficult man, and my brother later on told me that he didn't know how to be a father to his kids because he had such a bad role model. My heart broke for him; in order to be a man, he had to unlearn everything he was taught from birth. My husband lost his father young; it damaged him and only the Army gave him a taste of what he wanted to learn from his dad. I have male friends who never met their fathers or cannot remember them. One told me in bitterness: men do one thing well; they leave. His father divorced his mother, and in turn, divorced his children as well. He struggles with wholeness to this day. I also know divorced men who want to be with their children desperately, but custody battles and family quarrels make something that should be simple into slaying the dragon. The world is a better place when fathers can truly be fathers: I know this from my own life.

One reason I love the movie, The Godfather, is because it takes on manhood in bizarre ways. Vito Corleone asks his godson if he is spending time with his children, even though he divorced his wife. Sonny cheats on his wife 24/7, yet he loves his kids. Michael becomes the eventual tragic figure because he gives up his humanity to preserve his family, and loses his son's love in the process. Vito says: "You can't be a man unless you are a father to your children." Some men kill to bring home food for their families. Some deceive others and backstab in the corporate world. Some behave like good people. You may not like them, but they are fathers to their sons.
  Posted by Picasa
But no son can be a carbon copy of his father. How many parents want their kids to become__________________, generally the same profession as them? How many of them want them to follow the same religious faith that they taught them? How many of them disown them if they find out they are gay? What do men want from their sons? Why can't sons be who they are destined to be, rather than what they are told to become?
I know my son will become a man, and he may do things that I absolutely abhor. I know that I must give him autonomy, even if he does things that hurt me, his father and even himself. Children are often boomerangs; they come back eventually, but in some cases they will be traveling a long time. Some may never return. Maybe there is no one to blame. Some people may be relatives, but that doesn't mean you are meant to get along with them. Call me cold, but I see this as reality. I never did like that one commandment: Honor thy father and mother, even though I always tried my best and my son does the same. It's another reason why people end up broken when they should be healed from emotional pain.

Friday, March 30, 2007

A Fatherless Boy’s Route Towards Manhood

A Fatherless Boy’s Route Towards Manhood
By: House of Hancock Inc.

It is usually automatic for children to look up their fathers for protection, support and guidance outside what mothers are able to provide. The role of a mother and a father is usually defined for whole families, but for the unfortunate people who are hard-pressed to make necessary adjustments in the absence of one, the whole ordeal would need adjustments on the part of the offspring and the parent left to handle them. Single parents can try to fill up the void, but it will come to a point where children will be looking for some things that can only be guided by either a mom or a dad.

In most cases, children can experience living with only a mother as early as their infancy stage. During these stages, they would not even notice that only one person is standing up to take the place of parents. It is in the growth stages where they would wonder, how come they have only a mother to show? This would soon inherit questions as: Where is Dad? When is he coming back? Why Don’t I see him? Where can I find him?

These questions are truly hard to answer for reality sake people who are left with only a mother to show. This is especially difficult for boys since in most cases, they would need the actual father figure to guide them in becoming men and understanding the path towards manhood. Mothers can only do so much, but for some boys, the words of wisdom coming from the mouth of a seasoned father still counts a lot. There is no better way to experience manhood other than that of a father who has already been there to share his experiences and beliefs.

A boy can only resort to relying on facts, relatives and friends for advice. It is in these cases where the absence of such would relegate them to being lost in their growing stages. Moms can educate them on the proper things to know about males, but these would surely have limitations considering that not all women would be actually exposed to how boys grow into men.

Overall, it would be frustrating yet challenging to go through life without a father. A person would usually challenge himself to grow up independently and just take things as they come en route to becoming a successful father some day. Children will forever be thinking of how fathers could make a difference in their lives. But to dig up the past may prove to be costly and devastating to people who may not fully understand such issues, especially if it entails some things to which seasoned adults can only understand.

Growing up without a dad may be disheartening but at the same time a yardstick in trying to discover how it is to be a dad for most boys. Ideally, they would tend to prove that fathers are an important person in their families, no matter what the cost or issues surrounding them may be. No one is perfect and fathers fall under this as well. It all depends on how children would accept the fact that fathers may not be visibly around, but this can all change once they are ready and on the verge of stepping up and building their families completely unlike that of theirs.

A Call To Arms In A Father's Absense

A Call To Arms In A Father’s Absence
By: House of Hancock Inc

Regardless if a father’s insolvency is due to a need to work away from his family or due to early demise, children are tasked to step up and keep the family together despite his absences. Ideally, it would be the male children who would be groomed to take his place in the fold since the man of the house carries loads of responsibilities to cover.

The role of assuming a father’s part in the family is no easy picking. It would endure a lot of sacrifices, longer patience and responsibility in a different aspect. Leading by example and responsibility, including the need to mature faster has always been something that most people would be asked to do since a family cannot stand on its own without proper focus and alignment.
Mothers will always be there to guide and try to take the place of a father, but the presence of a man is still entirely different. Raising children and assuming all the household needs is too much for one person to carry. Many would call it a burden, but a simple glance at the family he has resting on his shoulders should be enough motivation for a person to heed such a call.

On the part of a father, it sometimes boils down to a matter of choice. This of course points towards fathers who have to be away from their family to earn a living. It is not something that they would want at times but rather covers the area of being able to provide for their family.

This is a big issue in most families especially when a part of their essential needs cannot be met. It may sound financial or greed in a sense but taken altogether, they are really more on fulfillment to provide on the part of a parent, particularly a father.

On the other hand, fathers recalled by our Lord also have a purpose. A test on how a family can be able to stick together given the circumstances, is the best way to assess such a predicament. Of course, this should not be viewed as something that was meant to make a family suffer. Incomplete families were made for a purpose. It was meant to make a family realize how to bond and go on with life despite inconsistencies. Fathers occupy a critical position in the family. Family members can only imagine the large shoes they would have to fill in.

There have been a lot of families that have made it through despite going through such dilemmas. But partnered with a test of faith and belief in achieving certain goal is an accomplishment in its own. But in order to attain it, extreme sacrifices and setting priorities aside from personal lives will certainly be a need. This best typifies how families should bond and stick together throughout their existence. Success in being able to do so will rub off on people, especially when the time comes for them to raise their own families. Such experiences can be adapted and used as well into creating the ideal complete family that everyone has been so used to having.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Fathers who take on Dual Roles for their Child

Fathers who take on Dual Roles for their Child
By: House of Hancock Inc.

In today’s world, single parents have become abundant. While for separating couples, it has been customary to expect children to choose to be with their mothers over their father. Even though, there are still kids who end up being with their father by choice. This usually occurs for moms who would not value the presence of their children. The usual excuse is immaturity, psychological incapacity and deprivation of happiness during their single life.

Regardless, fathers would usually step into the shoes of a responsible parent by assuming the dual role needed to ensure that a child would grow up into a full pledged responsible person. The task may not be that easy to undertake, but there are fathers who would give it their all to make life worth living for such valued children.

Fathers are normally known to be the bread winners and not the household kind. But fathers can assume the other attention and duties that an ideal mother would give their children if they are given the chance. Some may call it awkward or girlish, but for some men, ensuring that their child would grow up to be responsible and successful is the ultimate battle cry.

The world today has indeed changed dramatically. Fathers were usually tagged as being the reason for a family break-up. But given the opportunity, fathers can be good parents if given the proper briefing and understanding. Priorities in their lives will change and one shining attribute that most dads would do is to dedicate all their hard-work, time and efforts for the children who will some day become parents as well.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Why I Hate Father's Day

Note: This is a post I wrote on my main blog last Father's Day. There are a few from there that I would like to post here, then I plan on writing new work. I am glad to be on this blog. If you've ever read The Wounded Healer, you'll know that we are in a spiritual crisis because we live in a fatherless society, even among those men who try to be dads and don't know how.

Today is Father's Day, but I find that I am not thinking about my dad. Instead, I am focused on the results of bad parenting. I've never been fond of celebrating this Hallmark created day; I had conflicts with my father most of my life, and I resented that my religion told me to honor him when it was clear than he had no respect for me in turn. Thus, I began a lifelong hatred of hypocrisy in any form.

As some of you know, I made my peace with my father a year before his death. After he died, I found I wanted to learn about the man I never knew. Through conversations and emails with my aunt, stepmother and brother, I was able to piece together the part of his life that I never knew. It helped me to understand why he was such a terrible father, and why I needed to forgive him. Through my journey into my father's memory, I am learning the hard work of redemption and grace: the sins of the father will be passed onto the children and grandchildren unless we discover the path to forgiving our parents.

My dad grew up dirt poor in Chicago. His mother married at age 16; she was wild and promiscuous, a disgrace to her parents and sisters--she married to get out of the house. Her husband was a drunk who beat her regularly and never had any money. By the time she was 22, she had two children she couldn't afford to raise, nor did she know a thing about parenting.

My father went through 14 foster homes. He was brilliant, intense and loving, but he had a violent temper that often got him kicked out of these places. His sister was more agreeable, so she didn't have to move around as much, but they rarely lived together. He adored his mother, but hated his father. I remember as a child when my grandfather died: that moment began the decline in my dad's mental health: he became addicted to drugs and repeated the same behavior with my mother that he saw in his own father. All of my siblings grew up conflicted and twisted because we couldn't reconcile our feelings for this difficult man.

I write this with tears in my eyes because I now know that forgiveness is not enough. The pattern of addiction that began with my grandfather came to my father, then his children and now I see it in my nieces. But it goes further than a destructive habit; it means that the hatred that keeps us feeling self-righteous and invincible soon will visit itself on the children we parent. I am working very hard to ensure that my son will not endure any of this; it is my daily prayer. I see first-hand how one of my nieces has been damaged because her mother cannot face our legacy of abuse, addiction and hatred. For her, it is easier to ignore it and blame others for her problems. Even when our parents die, they still live inside us. I have learned to embrace my father because it was the only way I was ever going to free myself to be a good mother to my son. I still have a long way to go.

So many parents think they can cure their children's ills through money, therapy, better schools, material objects, trips to Europe--you name it. I am not in a financial position to provide my son with most of these things. But my husband and I agree on one thing: our child must know unconditional love. He must see two parents who love each other and face up to their own demons so that he will not inherit those traits as his lifelong legacy.

I write this thinking of my niece who is becoming a daughter to me. Can I help her break the cycle of dysfunctional patterns that became her identity because it was the only thing her mother knew? Am I strong enough? Will my husband, who had to wrestle with the memory of his alcoholic father, find a way to continue to be a healthy male figure in a world devoid of fatherhood? What is Father's Day to most people but a card and an unwanted gift? Why can't we dump these stupid holidays? All year long, it should be Children's Day, and we fathers and mothers must fight the past in order to redeem their future.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Children Without Fathers Statistics


By: Kerry Dale Hancock Jr

Picture Source: LibertyPark.Org

Just to think that we were all once children. Those who had a father know the benefits of having one and those who didn't have a father know the pain of not having one. Even though we each know individually what the benefits and problems of either having a father or not having a father while growing up, we still individually make choices to not be in our children's lives the way we should be.

If you are convicted by these statistics of children without a father or if you know someone else who would be then please do something about it. All of us need each of us and each of us need all of us in order to put a stop to this world epidemic of fatherless children.

  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census) – 5 times the average.
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
  • 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control)
  • 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes --14 times the average. (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (National Principals Association Report)
  • 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes – 10 times the average. (Rainbows for All God’s Children)
  • 70% of youths in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (U.S. Dept. of Justice, Sept. 1988)
  • 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Fulton Co. Georgia, Texas Dept. of Correction)

Clearly, fathers represent a lot more than just a paycheck to a child; they represent safety, protection, guidance, friendship, and someone to look up to.

It is one thing when we do things out of complete ignorance; not that it makes it any better. It is another thing if we can continue abandoning our children after knowing these statistics and after also knowing how our personal childhood experience has affected our life.

Take this moment to reach out to your children. You can write a letter, you can call them, you can take them to lunch, you can just hug them and tell them how much you love them and most importantly, if you are a father who hasn't spoken or seen your child/children in many years then just remember this. It is never too late! I am a 29 year old man with four children of my own and the truth is this: I still long for the relationship with my earthly father that I never had.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Acquire Wisdom and Live With Passion: You won't understand unless you are one!

Amazing things are going to happen as we come together and do the good work.

Glory to God,

Kerry Dale Hancock Jr
messenger in Christ