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The Legend Of The Father - Society
The Legend Of The Father - Society

Video: The Legend Of The Father - Society

Video: The Legend Of The Father - Society
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What to tell the child about the father if he has not been around for a long time and the situation is likely not to change? Do I need to come up with beautiful fairy tales, or say "everything is as it is"?

Pilots and others

I remember one childhood story well. I was about five years old when a friend in the garden told me that her dad was a pilot and died in the war. She spoke with such admiration that we all involuntarily began to envy. Killed - it's terrible, but he was a pilot, took part in the war! There was something solemn and meaningful in this. Arriving home, I could not help but share with my mother: “Imagine, Sveta's father was a pilot, he died in the war. Therefore, he does not come to the kindergarten for her! " “Ha, helicopter pilot,” Mom said dismissively, “what kind of war? The war is long gone. " Mom said something else to make it clear to me: Sveta is lying and her mother is lying too. The next day, in the garden, I said so ingenuously, because I thought it was wrong to lie. Sveta grabbed my cheek …

It is very important for a child to have a father, or at least his image. More than once in my practice, I came across a situation when a mother, who asked for advice, nonchalantly said: “But he doesn't even ask about his father! You better help us with fears (aggression, restlessness, etc.) to figure it out! " - and on the diagnosis it turned out that the child has a funnel of trauma on this issue.

Now the times of "pilots", "cosmonauts", "polar explorers" are a thing of the past. At the very end of the last century and the beginning of this one, the topic of “soldiers killed in the war” was stirred up in connection with the military operations in Chechnya. But now this is not the case either. Times have changed, and have changed fundamentally. Of course, the explanations "left for another country" remain, but now everything is much more interesting. When even a five-year planner knows what skype is, one has to come closer to more truthful explanations.

Crocodile tears

French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, figuratively describing the behavior of a lonely mother towards a child, offered the following metaphor: “The mother is like a hungry crocodile, eager to swallow the child, return it to its womb, and only the father's phallus, inserted into this insatiable mouth, is able to save the child from absorption her! " With these words "French Freud" echoed his teacher, who saw the main father's function in teaching the child to be independent, strong and say "no" to certain temptations. However, it is not at all necessary for the father to fulfill this paternal function. Moreover: not even necessarily a man. Lacan himself, urging mothers not to be like a "crocodile", says that the mother is the primary Other for the child. That is, initially she herself must establish the first spatial,time and body boundaries of the child. It is she who must always know the measure in her desire to completely possess the attention of the child. To love so as not to dissolve on oneself and not to absorb the other is the most important experience that a parent can give to his children.

When will he ask?

The topic of what to tell a child about a father if the parents do not live together has no fewer facets than a diamond. But today we will focus on the situation when the father is not present in the child's life for various reasons, that is, the child does not know him, does not see, does not communicate, is not familiar. Of course, in this case we are talking more about children who, from the earliest years, live without a father, grow up without his influence.

Until a certain time, the child perceives completely naturally everything that happens in the family. He just doesn't know yet that, besides mom, maybe dad. The first questions may arise about three to three and a half years old, when the child, as a rule, goes out into society. For example, he goes to kindergarten, where sometimes some men who are called "dad" come for the children. Also, the child begins to watch cartoons, as he is already able to keep their plot. And there families of people and animals meet, where both mom and dad are present.

"Where is my daddy?" - the question is asked for the first time. It sounds obligatory, and it is better to be ready for it in advance. That is, by this time you need to have your own “legend about the father”. It is interesting that at first the child wonders exactly where dad is, why does not he live with him. The question "Who is my dad, what is he like?" occurs much later.

Having received a simple, but positive explanation, the child, as a rule, “calms down” for a while. But the questions will sound again, and more detailed answers will be required from you. Questions about the father will be different at 5, 7, 10, 13 or 16 years old, but they will all have one goal - to clarify the image of the father and the relationship with him.

Mistakes to Avoid

“When my mother and grandmother started discussing my father, I stopped respecting them, so the effect was the opposite, and it was doubly difficult for me,” says one of my clients. And here is another opinion: “I am already 35 years old, in childhood I did not know my father, I found him already in adulthood, although my mother was against it. Sometimes my father begins: "Here is your mother …", and my mother - "Here is your father then … I am all my life, and you are now." Every time I feel hurt and unpleasant. And this is for me, at my age! What can we say about little children, whose ears are blowing from childhood, what a scoundrel father!"

Before we talk about how to do it right, let's discuss what to say and not to do. After all, the fundamental difference between the time of the "pilots" and today is precisely in the fact that now women are so "truthful" and concrete in their explanations that this energy should be directed into a peaceful channel.

The first mistake: to "their" side

You should not manipulate the child's feelings by telling what his father is a scoundrel (he quit, does not help, does not appear). From experience we can say that it is often very important for a woman that the child is on her “side”: mom is good, dad is bad. Such "honesty" is of no use at all. In addition, it is often embellished according to the principle "my truth is more truthful." Remember your own responsibility: it was you who chose this man at some point in time. “As a child, our mother, with her stories with the“truth”about her father, achieved only one thing - I hated him and was angry with her. Only when I grew up and met my father, I realized that “the whole truth” is only a biased look from one side. It was painful to face it."

Mistake two: "closed" topic

Sometimes there is a temptation to "close" the topic completely. For example, when the child is asked, it is obvious to be frightened, cry, yell at him, grab his heart, or tell him harshly not to ask such questions. In general - to give any strong reaction except normal. Some children understand the first time, some - the second: the topic should not be touched. The image of the father turns out to be not just not built, but as amorphous as possible and then can be filled with anything. The danger lies in the fact that this image is filled with negative-romantic traits and the child begins to follow it.

Mistake three: obvious lies and unrealistic promises

In one “psychological” article I came across a recommendation of such a plan: “Tell me that dad lives somewhere very far away, in another country and loves you immensely, but he has a serious and responsible job, so he cannot be here. Be sure to assume that someday the father will be able to reunite with his family, but when exactly this will happen, you do not know. You know, the child is not a fool. And the older you are, the more you are not a fool! He is able to ask questions: if he loves immensely, is it possible to talk to him on Skype or phone? Can he send me something from a distant country? And to promise reunification is on the verge of good and evil.

Mistake four: "something happened to him"

In the same article, I was lucky to come across another bright thought: “Tell me that dad once left and did not return, we do not know what happened to him, we worry, we wait, we hope. Then you can move on to the story of accidents that can occur on the street and lead to such sad consequences. " Please do not make your child the target of your aggressive fantasies! Such an explanation, with a sophisticated educational motive included in it, can lead to fears. Starting with the fact that he will be afraid that something will happen to you too, and to the point that he wonders why his mother only “waits, worries, hopes” until now, but did nothing to find, take care of hospital and help you return home. For his life, he will also begin to be afraid, and his mother will wonder for a long time why he is so afraid of trains, airplanes, and maybeand just darkness, heights and the fact that a person can disappear forever, just leaving the house.

Mistake five: he "died"

You can tell a child that his father is dead only in one case - if it really is. Then the child goes through the process of mourning and gradually comes to terms with this fact. In this case, the image of the father is integrated into the family system and can be positive and supportive for the child. But all other options, when a living person appears to be dead, are very bad. Life is a difficult thing, and “father's place” is a tense topic. A grown-up child often wants to find at least some information about him from other sources. If he finds out that the father is alive, this causes a huge resentment against the mother. If he finds out that he died, but not at all when his mother said that there could be years for communication with him, which are now irreparable, this is an even greater trauma.

Either good or nothing

What to say to a child in order to delicately satisfy his interest in the topic of his father? The main thing to remember is that children are not inclined to dramatize the situation, especially if adults have a calm attitude towards this topic. They weren't emotionally involved in the breakup situation, how and when it happened. For them, “where is daddy, who is daddy” is rather just information that they are quite capable of accepting and processing in metered volumes. Here are some ideas to help you answer tough questions …

1. Families are different

Even a small child can be told: “Look, all families are different. Someone has a dad, and someone does not. Masha has two grandmothers and one grandfather, Petya has a brother, and Katya has a sister. The most important thing is that there is love in the family. " That is, the main idea is to show the child that the composition of the family can be different, while not concentrating specifically on the theme of the father.

2. Use the correct wording

It is not necessary to say: “he left us” - this already creates a negative emotional saturation. It is good if your words include a division of responsibility: “we quarreled and could not live together”, “we parted”. It is permissible to say that now you do not know where dad lives, because you have not communicated for a long time. If a child asks why you fought, you can answer: "people offend each other, but sometimes they realize it later." This will defuse tensions if there is a resentment against the father. If a grown-up child finds a father, it will be easier for him to communicate with him.

3. Create a positive or neutral image

The images of the father and mother influence the child's sense of self and self-esteem. If a child grows up in the belief that his father is an unworthy person, this greatly affects how strong he will be internally. If a woman has a strong resentment (for example, her partner beat her), then it is better for the child to learn about this reason for parting as late as possible, when he already has established mechanisms for processing traumatic information. Even if you had at least a short period of communication, then for sure there are at least small details that can become the basis for a positive image. So, for example, one girl, whose mother was with her father for only a few months, proudly said that "all of her hair is in him." You don't have to make the father's image glossy and beautiful, but sometimes just a few neutral or positive traits are enough for a child to build a positive image.

Don't make the father issue more of a problem than the child thinks it is. Sometimes there are examples of how the mother is so afraid of the father's theme that she tries to protect the child from going to kindergarten (“there he will see other dads and there will be a trauma”), and from cartoons and films where the characters have fathers. It turns out that the mother herself creates tension where it could not be, and artificially causes anxiety in the child. Think in advance what you will say. The main thing is calmness, the closeness of the explanation to reality, positive features in the image.

Instead of completion

I would like to finish with one inspiring story found on the Internet, which illustrates how resourceful the image of a father can be, even if he was not there almost immediately.

“My daughter was nine months old when we parted with her father. And it was at this time that I found out that she had cerebral palsy … I decided for myself that, no matter how painful and upsetting it was to me, the child should love his father. Precisely to love, even if not knowing. There should not be any negative so that it does not pass on to all men. It so happened that now our dad is no longer in the world … but there is love for him! My daughter and I went to the cemetery, we pray for him every day. And now, knowing that her dad is in heaven, she is trying to cope with her illness so that he would be happy for her there."


Let's be honest


Each mother is free to decide for herself whether to tell her child a “fairy tale” about a father who is absent for various reasons, or to tell the truth. But I would like to emphasize once again the importance of the very fact of talking about the image of the pope. In any family, relationships between people are very important, and even more so in an incomplete family. And the conversation about the father should take place at least in order to emphasize the mother's openness in relations with the child, her readiness to conduct a dialogue, to perceive the child as a person. Thus, it is no longer so important what the mother will say. It is much more important that, in principle, she will not refuse to discuss a difficult topic, she will not abandon her baby in a state of lonely misunderstanding.


gestalt therapist

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