It’s good for a father to tell his children “I love you.” In our society we men tend to easily tell our girls we love them and they should be told this, but what about our boys? The National Center for Fathering tells us that those three words, spoken with sincerity and backed up by behavior, can demonstrate support, encouragement, tenderness, and caring as much as anything else we do as fathers.
As I dug into this subject I found myself having flashbacks to my childhood. I started remembering the lack of love in our home, in fact, I told my wife that growing up in my home was like growing up in an orphanage. Only in this case, all of the children there were my actual brothers and sisters. In other words, there was no love connection or atmosphere of a family existed in my home. This did have a very negative effect on me as I grew up. I was always craving for approval. Throughout my adult life I was looking for a another man to mentor me because of what I missed in closeness and support. I was looking for validation of some kind. My life might have been different if I had received that support. My father was a dysfunctional father, for his own reasons. It’s a cycle of loveless behavior. He rarely paid attention to anything I was involved in from speech contests, to school functions and did not even come to my 8th grade or high school graduations. This sadness and lack of validation affected me for years.
Fortunately for me, I did get some help and was able to do some recovery. Now that I have my own children, I regularly tell all of my children and especially my teenage boys how I love them and am proud of them.