Raising children exposes the parent's maturity -
We help people solve emotional and relationship problems.
For over 20 years I have helped people untangle their relationships with family members - especially
with their parents, children (emotional incest) and
siblings. If you find my descriptions and
conclusions about family relationships uncomfortably familiar
- if you feel strong unpleasant emotions - please consider contacting me.
My father was a boxing champion and
wanted me to be a fighter, but I hated fighting.
He called me horrible names and was preoccupied with his motorbike. He left
when I was twelve. When we met as adults, he celebrated by getting drunk and
talking about his glory days. This is
exactly my shadow side. Wales
Masculinity, Role Models and Becoming a Man
It seems that masculinity, however you define it, can only
be taught by men. Masculinity cannot be taught by women, not matter how
mannish they may act. Although some single mothers tell me that they can
teach boys how to become men - I find that boys need, seek and find adult males
to be their
Look at the posters in a teenage boy's bedroom. Common role models are men from television, cinema,
sport and rock music ... these men may not be the best role models for adolescent
boys but they seem better than none.
Boys who grow up without mature male role models
may not know how to mature - and continue life as aging adolescents or
teenagers. If their role
models were their mothers, especially mothers who were trying to fulfill male roles,
seem at risk of becoming effeminate, bisexual or homosexual.
Sometimes it seems that in the West, mothers teach girls
how to become women,
while fathers teach boys how to become teenagers.
Few men intend to abandon, abuse, neglect or mislead their sons.
Most men have good intentions ...
but good intentions are hardly enough. We help men "grow up" and build healthy relationships,
which may reunite fathers with their sons, especially following
family relationship trauma.
Father-Daughter Bonding .
Fixation . Mothers & Daughters
Sons follow Fathers
Some men recognize the difficult behavior of their fathers, and want to give
their own sons the love that they never had themselves. Other fathers only show interest
in their sons if their sons are interested in their father's preferred sports or careers.
Some men see their sons as proof of their masculinity
and try to make them as tough as possible, rejecting gentler qualities
as effeminate or weak. They might try to separate their sons from their mother's
influence as early as possible, perhaps attempting to make their sons
independent and strong by emotional deprivation.
When these sons reach puberty, their fathers might encourage
them to treat girls with little consideration or responsibility.
Such sons may grow up ashamed of any warm and loving tendencies, replacing their need for love with need for power.
They may be taught to believe that they can best care for their wives and
children through abuse, criticism and control.
Later, these men may give emotional demands to their own sons. They may advise their sons to be realistic
by preparing them for unfulfilling lives, or they may want their sons do something
great that they, the fathers, could not achieve. Fathers who identify with their sons, especially if their own lives are unfulfilled, may damage
We help people solve trans-generational
entanglements ... even family habits that have been repeated
for many generations. Have you suffered enough?
I meet men who feel
attracted to women yet they feel shame about submitting to women.
They may say that they love all women ... yet hurt their partners dreadfully.
There are many potential father son issues ... a few are:
- fathers who are jealous of their sons
- immature fathers who act like children
- addicted fathers who hook their sons into addiction
- fathers who wanted daughters and reject their son's
A father who sexually bonds to a son can be
devastating for boys. Later, as men, they may feel unable
to bond with female partners. They may fear
being perceived as homosexual; or if homosexual, they may wonder if their
sexual orientation (and much of their lives) only reflects their fathers' abuse.
Sons and Rivals
A strong man arguing with a strong female partner can be healthy
if their argument is respectful and responsible.
Unfortunately, many parents draw their children into their conflicts
(see parental alienation). If the
parents cannot manage their own problems, their children may
try to protect one parent from the other.
A mother may tell her son that she is a victim of his
bad father. If the son agrees with his
mother's criticism of his father, he and his father may reject each other; but if he
disagrees with his mother, she may rejected him. Some children seem to solve
this dilemma by (unconsciously) displaying psychosomatic symptoms.
or later, the son may ask,
"Is it possible that my father is OK?" The more a son
perceives his father as OK, the more the son may be criticized by
his mother, e.g. "You're just like your $%^&* father!"
and distance himself from her.
If the son identifies with his father, as an
adult, the son may seek a partner who is like his mother,
and treat her in much the same way as his father treated his mother. He will
typically blame his female partner for making him act this way.
Many men and women have told me that they
heard their parents' arguing and fighting a lot. They often learned that
complaining and criticizing are normal female communications;
and that irritation and anger are normal male communications.
"Who can be happy?"
can be a political issue in unhealthy families. Unhappy parents
jealous of their children's freedom. Entangled or enmeshed children may
sabotage their own lives to avoid being happier than their depressed parents.
After a child is born, a mother
might focus on the new child and feel too tired to care for her
husband. Fathers who feel abandoned may show childish
emotions and behavior.
My Dad cursed my mother and called her horrible names. He
was physically abusive since I can remember. When my brother threatened to
call the police, we got into a huge fight ... Dad left and hasn't talked
to any of us for over 8 years. Chicago
Only mature men are likely to enjoy the responsibilities of fatherhood.
Immature men may complain about their lost freedom, justify childish
behavior and abandon their families. Some immature men
reject their own children, especially their sons.
Few men seem motivated to
talk about emotions. But if men try to hide their emotions, or perhaps act them out in childish ways,
their female partners might start to perceive those men as problematic children
in adult bodies.
My father had no time for me,
but he was good to my older brother. He always
talked about his
perfect son, but he avoided talking about me and my life ...
You helped me get my father out of my mind. Birmingham
A son's transition to adulthood requires male sharing. Mature fathers
and uncles can support boys - especially during
adolescence, partnership and parenthood. If mothers prepare their sons to be mature men - too often the result are
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Martyn Carruthers 2009-2018
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