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The Secret To Becoming a Real Dad
By Larry Bilotta
Most problems in our society really only come from ONE problem. The trouble in our past, present and future can be explained in one simple sentence... Failing fathers create challenging and troubled children!
I'll prove it... Let me take you on a brief tour of the history of 'failing fathers' so you can see what kind of children they've produced. Let's start with Saddam Hussein. When Saddam's father left the family, it was up to his mother to raise him. When she could not, he was given over to his uncle Khairallah Tulfah, an army officer and Arab nationalist. A deep bond between Saddam and Khairallah developed. When Saddam was still a boy, Khairallah was expelled from the army and sent to prison for 5 years because of his public sympathy for Adolf Hitler and the Nazi belief system.
With Khairallah away at prison, young Saddam was sent back to live with his mother who had remarried a poor and reportedly lazy man named Hassan Al-Ibrahim. Saddam's step father found him to be nothing but an inconvenience. When he was not neglecting Saddam, Hassan Al-Ibrahim would repeatedly abuse him. And what kind of adult did Saddam grow up to be? I don't think I even need to answer that.
Let's move on to Adolph Hitler... Adolph's father was more than strict. Adolph's older brother ran away from home to avoid the violent beatings from his father. Adolph's father then shifted his attention to Adolph who then received daily beatings from his father.
What about Joseph Stalin? Joseph Stalin's father was frequently drunk and often inflicted brutal blows on young Joseph. Stalin's years of cruel treatment from his father developed a vindictive attitude that created his desire for revenge against any figure of authority.
Now let's look at the children of FAITHFUL fathers... George Washington's memory of his father instilled a work ethic and integrity into George at an early age. Even though his father didn't live to see George's twelfth birthday, he fully imprinted his positive values on George during his most impressionable years.
Martin Luther King Jr. had one particular childhood memory etched into his mind regarding his father. He recalled his father taking him to Atlanta's segregated downtown to buy shoes. When the clerk insisted that both father and son move to the back of the store to be waited on, Martin Jr. watched his father speak firmly to the clerk saying, "We'll either buy shoes sitting here or we won't buy shoes at all." Martin Senior took Jr.'s hand and confidently walked out of the store.
One last example... Football coaching legend Vince Lombardi is quoted endlessly. His father, Harry Lombardi, regaled his children with philosophies about freedom and responsibility. He consistently lectured them on his triangle of success: sense of duty, respect for authority and strong mental discipline.
Which did you have? A FAILING father or a FAITHFUL father? To find out, give your father a "Real Dad Score". The first thing you need to do is scan your memories during the first ten years of your life. Throughout those years, rate your father according to the following definition on a scale of 1-100% (with 100 being the highest rating):
"My dad was consistently tough but fair. He took a genuine interest in the challenges, opportunities and joys of each of his unique children." This definition sets the standard for what a TRUE father must be in order to produce a positive and productive child.
Look back at your childhood years with your father. If your father's score is in the 90's, chances are, you're already successful. If you rated your father in the 80's, you're leading a content life with very few struggles. The 70's mean you may have some issues, but they're not anything you can't work around. Read Dad scores in the 60's indicate the beginning of life troubles. Real Dad scores in the 50's and below create a troublesome life unless you deliberately rebel against the way you were raised. When your Real Dad score drops below the 50's, the effects can be seen in your career, marriage, social life and the lives of your own children as well.
You've heard the slogan, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree", but now you can see how it applies to real life. And that's the profound truth. Fathers create the quality of "apple" (son/daughter) and with few exceptions, apples remain where they fall.
If you have troubles today, it's not your fault, but it is your responsibility to take control of them. Should you place blame on your father and be angry that he saddled you with these problems? Of course not. What your father did or didn't do doesn't matter anymore. It's history. There's nothing you can do to change your past. Since your father can't repair the damage he did, placing blame on him only gives you temporary emotional relief, but that will quickly wear off leaving you back to square one - stuck with your emotional pain once again.
Bottom line? Don't blame your dad for what he did back in your childhood. He did what he did based on what he knew at the time. (What he learned from his father.) This is the reason why generations of successful families produce generations of successful adults as seen in the Rockefellers. It also explains why there are "crime families."
If you didn't have a Real Dad yourself, you can still change the course of history for your children. Start by focusing on following the "Real Dad" definition and applying it to every situation with your children. Repeat the definition to yourself during those times when your children challenge you and test your patience. You must resist the urge to give in to your negative feelings that tell you otherwise.
Your children need you in order to succeed. They NEED a FAITHFUL father.
Now that you have a clear target or goal that you can strive to achieve, focus on the Real Dad definition. It will keep you going in the right direction and ensure that you raise a confident and successful child who will contribute to our nation's future.
And lastly, if you're a woman reading this thinking it doesn't apply to you... think again. Your job is to spread the word to the men you know, about what a Real Dad is and why it's so important to become one. By doing this, we'll be able to stop this vicious cycle of troubled fathers creating troubled children once and for all.