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Kids Without Dads

23 May

When I was pregnant with my oldest the last thing I wanted was to get his dad involved. We weren’t talking, we weren’t dating, we didn’t even like each other all that much by the time the relationship ended. I was pretty convinced that I could handle it all on my own. And for about 8 years I pretty much did that. But it was hard and I made my fair share of mistakes, including thinking that I could just find a replacement dad in someone new without the due diligence of making sure they were a good dad.

My dad adopted all five of us children, but what I failed to think about that many years ago as I just assumed that any guy could step into that role, was that it took my dad three years and my parents a lot of patience before that adoption took place. All I knew was that this guy was my dad; and a dang good one at that. So when I was a single mom dating I thought it would be an easy thing to find.

Boy if I’ve ever been wrong!

And by the time I realized that not just anyone can step in and be a good dad and by the time I decided that single parenting was better than introducing someone new to your kids before doing your due diligence, I noticed that my son was acting out and asking a lot of questions about his biological father. And yet, I still hesitated to contact him. We had only spoken a handful of times over 8 years and I really had no desire to co-parent.

But one day I took a good look at the situation and I decided that since his dad is not a criminal or drug user as far as I knew, that my son deserved and needed to know who his dad was. He didn’t have a step dad that treated him like his own son like I had growing up. And he was angry that he was attending school without a dad to show off or talk about. He didn’t know his dad’s name, hair color, whereabouts, etc. And so he blamed me.

My son now knows his dad. They have met several times, they talk on the phone occasionally. While their relationship isn’t magical (his dad lives all the way across the U.S.), my son is no longer angry and he has accepted the situation for what it is because I allowed him the chance to make his own choice regarding his father. And he knows he has one, and he likes the extra birthday gifts. He likes the extra attention he gets when he talks to his dad, even though he won’t admit to it. But I can see a change in him when they talk, his mood lifts a bit to know that there is someone who cares about him other than myself and grandma.

I’m sure someday I will still meet the “right guy” and he will be as good to my kids as my dad is to me. But I know I did the right thing by allowing my son to have a relationship with his dad.

The Deseret News reports that 1 in 3 kids are without their fathers. Do any amount of research and you will see how much that has hurt our society. Be around a boy who grew up without a dad and you will see what a struggle it is for the child and the parent. My three-year-old has been far easier to raise because he has a very good relationship with his father.

Moms, if your ex is not your favorite person but is not a criminal, a danger to you or your child, you owe it to the dad and your children to allow them to have a healthy relationship. If you are keeping your children from their dad for selfish reasons, you will only hurt your children. If you are living on welfare and avoiding collecting child support because you think you won’t have to give dad visitation that way, you are hurting yourself, your child and the taxpayers. Do the right thing. Don’t wait 8 years like I did.

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Posted by on May 23, 2011 in Family

 

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