OBSERVATION: What if You Had a Bad Dad?

Some dad’s are/were genuinely great – worthy of praise and gratitude. Others were or are outright jerks or villains. Most fall somewhere between these extremes. How well you did in the dad lottery is something you had no influence on. If you got a good one, enjoy your good fortune and be grateful. If your father falls short or even far short of deserving Hallmark Card sentiments, at least don’t feel guilty either for his failures or for your feelings.

It’s okay to resent a bad dad and look back with regret rather than gratitude. Just don’t dwell on  what you missed and resolve to apply all you learned on what not to do so that you are the best parent you can possibly be. Maybe your children will owe a debt of gratitude to your bad dad since it made you such a better dad or mom.

Comments 3

  1. thank you for this! seeing the tons of ‘happy father’s day to the best dad in the world’ crossing my newsfeed on facebook, it’s great to see an acknowledgement of those situations where we had less than stellar fathers.

    1. Post

      I’m glad you found value in this I’ve posted quite a few other thoughts you might find interesting on this whole parent-child thing.

  2. My father was an alcoholic, abuser, bad role model in pretty every sense. I realize somewhere in his growing up, something was missing in his home, in is care taking, disciplining, in his emotional nurturing. When it came around to his turn of being a father, he had very little to give. It turned out that for my brothers and sisters (two of each from a previous relationship he had) that was the father we had. Obviously, note easy on our mothers first, then in ourselves. I count it then a miracle that we all turned out sane, emotionally broken, but sane. We each made our decisions in life and now it’s our turn as parents. I think of how I’ve failed as a parent and it hurts a bit, but I don’t live with the guilt. I live with the humble recognition that I was not so lucky but at the same time, I am so blessed.

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