Did your dad pass away while you were growing up, or did he just decide to walk out one day and leave you and your mom behind? Regardless of how it happened, the grief of growing up with a father can be very profound.
All those times, you saw other boys with their dads and wished he was there, but instead, you just had a dad who never showed up.
They say, “with great fatherhood comes great responsibility,” and in your case, the responsibilities are all yours.
Several studies suggest that children whose fathers are absent may suffer long-term consequences. The chances of them ending up in poverty or dropping out of school, becoming addicted to drugs, having an out-of-wedlock child, or ending in prison are higher.
While that’s a serious problem we need to address as a society, there are many things an individual can do to overcome their grief that does not involve bad choices!
That person taking a bad path in life does not need to be you.
There are ways you can help yourself. If you can move past the loss of your dad, you can become a better man than your dad.
Keep reading and learn how to become a man who is not a burden to his wife or children but becomes a provider in your community.
What are the Challenges of Becoming a Man Without a Father?
The major challenges of becoming a man without a father are:
Low self-esteem is one of the significant challenges of growing up without a father.
It is prevalent for boys who do not have a father figure in their lives to develop low self-esteem early on, as they are unable to obtain an adequate amount of positive reinforcement from their fathers. This can make them feel inferior or inadequate and believe that they cannot fully achieve purposes in their lives.
A father figure is important because he helps set the standard for a child’s future relationships. When a child lacks a father, he may be more likely to have difficulty bonding with other men or maintaining a relationship. This can lead to problems with understanding how relationships work, including marriage.
A child without a father may also lack the emotional tools necessary to develop friendships with people of both genders. As a result, they may face difficulties in intimate relationships.
When young boys lack male role models, they tend to act out or rebel. They will often seek out negative influences in their lives, such as gangs or drugs. They may also become uncontrollable at school, leading to substantial problems later in life.
Fatherless boys are at greater risk for behaviour problems than those who grow up with their fathers. Without male role models to guide them, they lack confidence and experience more anxiety than their peers who have fathers in their lives.
They also become more easily frustrated, depressed and angry than other boys because they don’t have anyone to teach them how to deal with negative emotions in healthy ways.
How Can You Overcome the Absence of a Father to Become a Better Man?
Build Your Mental Strength
Developing mental strength is a crucial step to overcoming the absence of a father. Mentally strong people don’t let their emotions control them. These people have self-confidence and trust themselves. Mindfully strong people make good decisions based on their actions.
The best way to become mentally strong is by learning how to control your emotions. You can do this by identifying what triggers certain emotions, gaining an awareness of yourself, and handling anger appropriately.
You can build self-confidence by learning to believe in yourself. Self-confidence comes from acknowledging you are a good person, even if you make mistakes.
One of the best ways to gain self-confidence is being around people who help you grow.
Find Another Father Figure or Mentor
In the absence of a father, look for another father figure. It could be your uncle or another family member, family friend, or someone else who can take on your father’s position. You may also find a father figure at church – if you are religious – or in the community, such as a pastor, teacher, or even a professional life coach – there’s nothing wrong with seeking professional help.
Having a new father is not easy, but good things don’t come easy. The new father will not replace your biological father, but he can guide you to becoming a better man.
Identifying another father figure will not only give you someone to turn to when you have questions that fathers usually answer. But it will also help you overcome the loneliness and guilt you may feel when thinking about your relationship with your biological dad.
Be a Great Dad to Your Children
Being a great dad to your own kids may sound like a bit of obvious advice, however, many men who grew up fatherless end up becoming self-conscious or resentful of their children. The presence of children may trigger painful memories and they don’t know how to relate to them
If you’re a dad you can overcome the absence of your own father by being a dad to your children. This means being there for them and providing emotional support, teaching them right from wrong, maintaining discipline, and helping them become emotionally mature adults.
Forge Your Own Path to Success
It’s natural for men to want to emulate their fathers. For example, if your dad is a businessman, you may wish to pursue a similar path yourself. But if your dad isn’t around to show you how it’s done, you need to forge ahead on your own.
You can succeed at anything — even if it’s vastly different from what your dad did. The key is hard work and determination.
Banish the Victim Mentality
One of the biggest reasons many men who grow up without fathers never reach their full potential is because they see themselves as victims. They think that life owes them something just because their father wasn’t around.
While this isn’t true, you can’t blame someone for thinking this way. It’s all they know. However, if you want to become a better man, you need to banish the victim mentality and embrace the reality that you will have to work harder than other men to achieve your goals.
This means no excuses and no blaming others when you fail. Instead, look at what you can do differently next time and how you can improve yourself as a man.
Forgive Your Father
Look, this is going to be hard. But it’s necessary — for you and him. If you’re holding onto anger and resentment, then you’re allowing your father’s actions to have power over your life.
You might think that by forgiving him, you’re letting him off the hook or condoning his behavior. But you’re not. Forgiveness is a choice that has nothing to do with the other person. It’s something you do for yourself.
When you can forgive someone who has hurt you, it frees up energy in your mind and body so that you can focus on being more productive and living more fully. This doesn’t mean that you have to become BFFs with your father or drop everything to help him when he needs it (although if that’s what happens, then great).
It just means that you let go of the bitterness and anger so that it no longer has any control over your life.
Final Thoughts on Growing Up Without a Father
In conclusion, it’s never too late to overcome the absence of a father, whether it was due to divorce or death. You can become an emotionally stronger man by building your mental strength, finding a new father figure, creating your own path to success, banishing the victim mentality, and forgiving your father.
This is just a small step towards building the kind of life you deserve. But it’s a big step in the right direction.
Good luck, and congratulations on your journey towards becoming a better man!