Reaching Out for a Father
I’ve spent quite a bit of time talking about dealing with Father Hunger. There was so much more I’ve wanted to say. I mean we could spend hours talking about this important issue. So I want to add a couple more thoughts about it. Make sure you read this blog, How to Deal with Father Hunger. It will help this blog make more sense.
1. If you are suffering from Father Hunger, then it’s important, if at all possible, talk to your father about it. That may be impossible for you because you may not even know who or where your birth father is. But if you can contact him and it’s safe, it’s really important you communicate with him. I received a comment from Sandra this week that made a lot of sense.
Someone who is suffering from father hunger should have a talk with their father about their feelings. However some fathers don’t even want to take the time to listen to [their] child who is [dying] inside of pain I can’t guarantee that it will work, but most of the time it does, and he will probably take the time to think about all this and will want to retry the father-daughter or son relationship.
I agree with Sandra. Trying to talk to your father may not work, but it’s worth a try. Maybe he won’t respond to you the way you hoped he would, but at least you will have a clear conscience knowing you have done everything in your power to make peace with him.
When you communicate with your father, you need to first build him up and thank him for whatever he has done for you, even if it’s something very small or insignificant. I am a father, and I know from experience every father craves to be respected by their children, even if they have done horrible things. I mean, think of it. Your father has a lot of hurts too. He, no doubt, didn’t have the best relationship with his father either. That is not to excuse what he has done or failed to do. It just means he needs your compassion and love too.
You may want to write out how you feel about your hurt and your relationship with him. Sometimes it’s easier for fathers to read about how you feel rather than hear it directly face to face. You may want to ask your mother, or another relative, what they think is the best way to confront your father. Confronting your father will not be easy, but it could do wonders for your relationship, and help you grow as a person.
2. If you suffer from Father Hunger, begin to look for a stand-in father. You may think a stand-in father won’t work for you, but I have talked to many students over the years where a substitute father or mentor has made all the difference in the world. Just knowing someone really cares for you can make a huge difference. Laura’s comment says it all:
I have gotten the chance to get closer to my band director at school. He has helped me so much this year. He is like a dad to me
But how does one go about finding a father figure? Morgan sent me some great advice:
I think they should take a good, long look at their Father Hunger and ask themselves, “Is this solvable?” If it’s possible to talk to their fathers about their Father Hunger, do so!! If not, I think they should go to a grandpa, uncle, or even an older brother they know loves them, and just spend time with them. Chat with them. Go to lunch with them. Everything that those suffering from Father Hunger would want to do with their dad (like go out to lunch, play sports, play a board game, etc)..It certainly wouldn’t replace their dad, but it would bring some love from a male father figure into their life and fill some of that void.
Another idea in finding a stand-in father is to go to your church or place of worship. Find an older woman whom you trust and ask her to help you find a father figure. She will more likely know who would be the best stand-in father figure at your church you can trust.
Have a great week.