09 November 2006

Heartbreak

Yesterday my heart broke for the umpteenth time, but this heart break was by far one of the worst ever. The question posed to the children was, "what kind of role model do you think your father is?" The response of one child was, "I don't!" There was no hesitation; no pause; no room for doubt. Those two words tore into the core of me sharper than a Chinese chef with a Ginsu knife. How do you look into the face of a child and try to find words to make them feel better when they know that the man they're supposed to look up to; the man who is supposed to be their guide; the man who is supposed to be the cement they walk on for firm foundation isn't any of those things?

As a mother, godmother, aunt, and role model, I strive to do the best I can to set a good image for the children I'm around. I know I'm far from perfect and I know I don't and won't have all the answers, but hell, I can at least say, "I try". If nothing else, I try to be the best I can be for any child I have a relationship with. I want that child to know that I'm trustworthy, I'll keep my word/promise, and I'll do what I can to lead by example. Adults have a way of both inspiring and hurting children and I insist on being the former because I know first hand what it's like to not have good role models or positive influences. Hell, even if I had the greatness of good adults in my life, I would still want to be a good influence on a child. It's to the benefit of the adult and the child to form a bond that says, I can and will make a difference.

I digress to my opening paragraph. Does said parent not know or even give a damn that he's setting his kid up for failure by not providing her basic needs? Does said parent not think his role in his childs life is important for how she'll view and accept men in her life? Is said parent so caught up in his own selfish existence that nothing really matters other than keeping a roof over her head, buying some clothes, and whatever else?

Again, it hurts my heart as a parent to know children have to suffer like this. It hurts when the child knows that their parent is lacking what it takes for them to even look at their parent with the love, trust, and respect that shoud be inate to them. Damn! One would think that in this day and age where we see so many children suffering, that those of use who are parents or have some role in a childs life would be more compassionate and selfless. But I guess that's simply wishful thinking of my part.

I know I can't save all the kids, but I'll continue to be the best positive influence I can be and hope that others will step up and do their part too. We can't condemn kids if we're not arming them with the tools, support, love, and resources they'll need to grow.

12 comments:

SLUMP FACADE said...

Being a parent constitutes an abundance of issues, the most important of which is how do you prepare your child for parenthood? The best way is by being a great parent, not a friend to your child. At the end of the day, it is the responsibility of the parent to have offered the child twice as much as they had, if not, you have failed...

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see that there are some people who really care about children's welfare..I was reading the newspaper about a week ago and they told the story of this little african boy around 7 having to work like a slave for 18 hours a day. I cried so hard thinking about him....

MagicalSis said...

Very thoughtful post, M'Lady.

It is a social problem that has been here since the beginning of time...people having children because they can..not because they want them.

I had an absent father and I must say that it affected my life a great deal.
Fortunately~ I am aware of the hole left in me and seek to fill it in healthy ways now.
I am not the perfect parent, but, I try. Sometimes~ I must wing it since my examples were only human and self-centered.

They did the best they could with what they had and I have learned to forgive for my own mental health.
No need to continue to blame....that does not serve me or anyone.

Sometimes I think it was best that my alcoholic father was NOT in the picture, and God gave me a stepdad that was a GOOD MAN.

Susan Abraham said...

Some parents are weaker than others, Blu as they have their own unresolved issues or just don't have the ability to handle difficult situations or adversity.
That's why there talk shows with debating parents and children on 2 sides of the couch.
I think the fact that a child could be honest with you, is a good start, Blu.

love as always

The Mistress said...

I can't understand how men willingly walk out of their children's lives. I am so thankful my dad was ALWAYS there for me every step of the way. The impact your parents have on your life is so significant! I'm sad for this poor kid!

Amazing post though.

Organized Noise said...

Sadly, I would have given the same answer if my mother had asked me that question when I was 8. Anyone can have kids, but it takes a real man to be a father.

I don't know the joys of being a parent yet, but I can only hope that my lack of a male role model growing up can make me a better role model growing up. I wouldn't put that (lack of a father figure) on any child. They didn't ask for it and definitely don't deserve it.

BluJewel said...

slump - while you offer good points, you're forgetting that being an effective parent is in part to be a role model. Children learn from what they see and if a child sees that their parent lacks the essentials they'll need to develop, it can start a plethora of bad habits in the future.

tjeanise - i never wanted to be a parent and for some reason i changed my mind. I have no regrets and accept the good and bad of it. To hear children (with hesitation) speak of a parent who is selfishly lacking in his responsiblity is heartbreaking as i said.

magical - agreed; however, the sad part is that there are so many resources available now more so than when many of us were coming up, so parents do have a means of improving themselves and/or their relationship with their child. An unhealthy parent is probably best away from the child, but if you're gonna be unhealthy and want the child in your life, you need to get right.

su - you are so right on that, but as i've said to other comments, there are ways and means to remedy many issues before they end up on national tv shows with the kid in tears and the parent wondering what they did wrong.

mistress - i know you're not a parent and have chosen never to be, but at least you know and have the appreciation for good ones. Kids need that.

org - thanks for sharing your story and for wanting to make good on what you didn't have when you were growing when you become a parent. That says a lot right there.

Anonymous said...

I always try to teach the children that I am around on a daily basis, to be good and honorable, and to be fair with others as they would want others to be fair to them. I try to instill in them the importance of standing up for oneself - especially in the face of adversity. There are millions of predators (of every type) in this world, and I want children to be able to look and see who is and who is not such a predator.

I think we as women don't even see the need to encourage our childrens' fathers to be a part of their lives. I tell my kid's father all the time that I don't need him in my life, but my child needs him in her life, and I try to encourage him to be there for her. He doesn't have to love me; but he HAS a duty to love her. In cases where the father is abusive or destructive, then I can understand not wanting him in the lives of the children if he cannot control his emotions or abusive nature, but if he is not blind, cripple, or crazy (LOL!) and can therefore participate fully in every way in the lives of his children, then he knows he must do his job.

But I think the problem falls back on us women; we don't do enough to encourage our men to live better lives than what they do; and we don't encourage or require of them to rise above and think higher than the petty, mysogynistic, degrading thinking that they do. We just accept them the way they are as long as they show US some kind of attention. That's not right. I'm sorry, but I don't need a man THAT bad if I have to sit up and pat him on the back for the nonsense he's been doing - just so I can keep him in my life. I know I am not perfect - far from it - and I've made mistakes along the way in my parenting skills, BUT, I pray everyday that the grace of God shines on me with forgiveness of those mistakes, so I can then go on to be the right influence that my child needs in her life.

(Sorry for the long response, okay?)

jus.b.fli said...

Wow...

damn, i'm sorry i'm coming in so late on this one! great topic, momma!

let me jus say:
you made some extremely valid points.

it's no secret to the people who really know me that i was the BIGGEST "Daddy's Girl" in the world, so it is terribly heartbreaking to think that our children are growing up with negative views of the men in their lives... ESPECIALLY their fathers.

that having been said, i have absolutely NO patience when it comes to dead-beat sorry ass daddies (or mothers for that matter). it's like they don't realize that their children are... and will be in adult-hood... the product of EVERYTHING they were exposed to while growing up!! it kills me when adults are so fuckin' irresponsible that they leave it to society and/or the streets to attempt to "nurture" their children.

you know what? i'm going to end right here before this gets any longer. jus know i'm feelin' you on this. again, great post!

Peace.

T.C. said...

I really think that's all you can be is be the BEST parent/role model you can be for your kids...I am really in the mindset that it takes a village to raise a child...so you keep being their NOT just for your child, but all the children that are around you...in the end it WILL make all the difference in the world...

Children know when someone really cares for them and really loves them...as Mistress stated, my Dad wasn't always the GREATEST of DAD of the YEAR...but he was ALWAYS there and it made all the difference in the world to me...so I can totally dig it...

Love the post, and continue to strive to just be the BEST you can be...I am learning that, that's all we really can do in this life, just strive to be the best...

JC said...

aww shucks! Sorry for the late response, but ironically I've been with my son. I had a partially deadbeat dad. Meaning he wasn't there was I was initially coming up, but showed up when moms had already did the ground work. I was lucky enough to tell him about himself and even though he was pissed at first, he realized I was right and he stuck around for good.

Being a dad wasn't something I was ready for, but I knew I had to man up and do right especially after seeing what moms went through to raise me. And for what my father didn't do at first. I do whatever I can for my son so he knows ME & NOT Kobe, LeBron, or someother cat is the first and foremost man in his life.

I beef with cats all the time who don't do right for their kids. I hate that shit. Anyway, good post Blu and thanks for keeping it real.

blaqrayne said...

Wow, this breaks my heart. I don't have children of my own, but I have many who look up to me and I do my best to support and nurture them. I've dealt with children like the one you're speaking of and it truly hurts to see them go through that. I always tell them, as I have learned myself, relatives are those who you are related to through bloodlines. However, family is who you choose to be in your circle. That's how I live my life.