Let me tell you what my daughter’s dad does. He picks Emily up from school in the afternoon. He ensures her homework is done. He reads to her. They make "volcanoes" together when he cleans his thermos. He volunteers at her school, as do many of the fathers. He knows her extensive medical history, and arranges his schedule to accompany her to appointments as often as I do. He is there to cheer for her during sports. He helps her explore the world around her. He has been up many nights with her when she has been ill or upset. He takes her shopping, to the movies, and to the park. He accompanies her to the birthday parties of her friends. He demonstrates being a good citizen. He shows how to give of herself. He shows her how to respect our elders. He shows her how to respect our leaders. He and I set boundaries for our daughter. We enforce them together. He sets a good example of what a father, and husband, should be. Is he perfect? Not hardly. Is he a great dad? Without a doubt! The bond between the two of them is every bit as strong and important as the bond between my daughter and me.
Now, let me tell you what my step-daughter’s dad does. He talks to Bethany three times a week; because that is the mimimum court-ordered telephone visitation. Typically, he is competing with the television, a snack, neighbors, or other distraction for her attention, or she’s super-tired. He sees her for court ordered visitation during school breaks. Typically, she is promised enticing activities upon her return, or reminded of the exciting things she is missing while with us. He also has court-allowed visitation several weekends a year, during which time we take our younger daughter out of school and travel 700 miles for a forty-eight hour visit. Typically, she is missing some activity that she would have been able to do if she didn’t have to spend the weekend with her father. Immediately prior to two of our last four visits, she received a new pet. He receives copies of her report card three times a year and that is the extent of his allowed involvement in her education. If he takes her to the doctor during her visits, he is interfering with her healthcare. If he doesn’t take her to the doctor during her visits, he is denying her medical care. He waits for the next accusation of physical, emotional, sexual, or mental abuse. He has spent thousands upon thousands of dollars to defend himself against repeated, false allegations. He willingly pays child support, and has never been late with a payment. He is a banker. He is a father. He is not allowed to be a parent, let alone a dad.
Hardly sounds like the same man.
Thanks for letting me share.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
What Dads Do, continued
This is an entry from a lady, via Glenn Sacks. For those of you who don't know him, Glenn is an advocate for fathers' rights, especially those whose wives or ex-wives have made it difficult for them to be fully involved dads. This woman's story highlights some of the problems.