Once a man took the day off to take his son fishing. His son was thrilled that his father would take a day away from important work to spend time with him. The son considered this day as one of the best days of his life. A number of years went by and the father passed away. While the son was going through his father’s possessions he found a diary and began reading it. When he ran across the day that his father had spent with him, the entry read, “Took off work to take son fishing. Day wasted.”
Essays written for an FTF essay contest about fathers often described a warm and loving relationship between father and child. Some children were courageous enough to write about the strained relationship they had with their father. They described difficult circumstances and even questioned their father’s love. However, each of them seemed to hold out hope that their relationship with their father would someday be better.
Many people, young and old, find themselves in a father-child relationship that has become difficult at best. Words have been spoken and deeds have been done that continue to drive a deep wedge in the relationship. Deep down they would like things to be better, but they don’t know where or how to begin to change the situation from bad to better. In too many instances, one party is holding out for the other to apologize.
If you find yourself in a similar circumstance, here are steps you can take to restore your relationship.
Distressed relationships do not happen overnight. Through a series of events people become wounded, a tally sheet is kept, bitterness grows into anger and relationships are broken. It only takes one person in the relationship to take the first step toward mending what has been broken. Even if the other person doesn’t respond, allow healing to take place in your own life. You will know that you have made an effort to change the situation for the better.
Don’t let this Father’s Day be “a day wasted.” If you have a great relationship with your father, be thankful and show it. If your relationship with your father or child is less than what you would like it to be, take heart and know that you can be the one to take the first step toward repairing that which is broken.
As you begin this journey it will be helpful to remember the three P’s: Be practical, patient, and persevere. You never know what might happen. A bad relationship can become better and a good relationship can become great. Never give up. It may take longer than you would like, but when you least expect it, your relationship with your father or child could take a turn for the better.
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