ERMA's desk...: Thoughts to ponder: The cognitive dissonance of Fathers Day

A home with young children/young family and the father who is absent may appear normal in our world today, but the truth is a father figure in the home is foundational. We have seen so many families without a father in the home that it no longer gives us cause to ponder why anymore. The culprit of this new norm is the term “Cognitive Dissonance”. It is a deceptive condition which has been dominating society for over fifty years. Today we also have Ancestry DNA. How sad it that? It’s sad because it is not the answer to single parenting. The truth is, there is a need for that type of intervention, but some searches could have been avoided.  I think the idea of Ancestry DNA is a service representing an afterthought not a correction to fatherhood.

It is no longer a strange phenomenon when a home is devoid of a male figure known as dad. The idea of an extended family sounds crowded but I believe the idea could be accredited to real family structure. Historically/biblically, when a couple gets married the in-laws were an intricate part of the new arrangement. The extended family usually lends itself to the longevity of a marriage which meant the couple would be cared for and the idea of a broken union was very unacceptable especially if there are children involved. With in-laws present, the marriage/couple is somewhat shielded from some of the reality of the surprises in the new union. Husbands/fathers have their places/responsibilities in the home because they were seen as a provider. One who provides also leads and that was seen as a good thing for children growing up. In this family structure, the couple usually realizes that marriage has too many moving parts so the challenge of thinking or navigating your way to a separation/divorce is almost impossible. In these cases, fathers knew their places and remain in the union of marriage until the children become adults and then the role of grandparenting gets joyful and the couple make history.

On the other hand, where extended families co-existed there were also challenges in many different areas but what they had was home with fathers and sometimes grandfathers. Today the norm is displaced men/fathers in society and children not knowing who their fathers are. Something is wrong with the equation of no father or husband in the home but there are a pregnant woman and a number of babies being born to this woman. Where are the fathers? This scenario represents trouble on all sides. Kids are shortchanged; teachers struggle to help them and society talks about them and deliver the final blow to their self-esteem and the torch of fatherlessness is passed on. Where will it end?

There is a high degree of moral decay that has woven itself into our society that it is no longer an eyebrow-raising concept for a woman to have no husband or common-law spouse but she is having children. Sad to say that most of these households almost look normal. Emotional stability is sometimes overt but covertly, these situations appear as a blended community with the right balance. The obvious connection is that most of these women have no sense of the missing link, meaning the children need and deserve to have an available father. When did we get to this place where the absence of a male in the home makes no difference to the women or fathers finding it easy to walk away? Fathers I say to you if you can return to your children do so as remedial action for the next generation.

This pattern appears to be more prevalent in big cities than in suburban areas. Is it that these women could not thrive in a small town nor in deep suburbia? Apparently, the busyness of big cities brainwashed us in thinking it is normal for a woman to be pregnant and parent her children like a double lumen line which has the capacity to infuse two different solutions at the same time. It doesn’t work because it is out of alignment with the idea of family life. These women appear to be more tired especially if they have a job (s) and are playing the role of mother and father to their children. This is just nerve-racking and utterly impossible to give the children a balanced life and the assurance of a male figure to cheer them on in life. This is not always the woman’s fault and least of all it is not the children’s fault. The joy of a child saying daddy is something these kids that grew up without the natural component, a father, will not experience event though those words are some of the earliest and most comforting words to hear in the ear of a father who understands the power of identity. The lifestyle of these families looks like a jigsaw puzzle but because of the mindset of Cognitive Dissonance, no one bothers looking for the missing pieces. Cognitive dissonance allows our senses to be dull. To accept the unnatural. To see people on the street and think they are there by their own choice. Religious leaders explaining away the acts of misdeeds. These things are wrong. The real scale of justice doesn’t change to approve our behaviour, our behaviour is weighed against the scale of justice. As a society we are all guilty of Cognitive dissonance is different areas of our lives.

As women, we owe it to the children to make sure our children know that family is made up of a mom and a dad. On occasion, things happen but let us re-introduce the idea that a father is the head of a household. One of the major culprits is the media. There was a time when we had the joy of was great family shows such as Little House on the Prairie, Leave It To Beaver and Happy Days. These were wholesome family shows that demonstrated the values of family and the richness of having that accountability piece in place. Starting back as early as the 1950s there was a paradigm shift in the structure of home and family where the world became more tolerant of individualism. That resulted in women going out to work and making some stride financially, resulting in women managing to make a life on their own without a husband. This resulted in the idea that singleness is the way to go. Women are persuaded that it is best to have a career or a profession resulting in an increase in their earning power. In some cases, this new found freedom resulted in a new era of women being breadwinners, singles mothers and in some cases an increase in infidelity which created an atmosphere of displaced fathers with no real commitment. No pressure to get married or to be committed because there are options on both sides.

Look at the consequences of those decisions. No father coming home tonight. Today the missing link is being connected by Ancestry DNA or is it? Ancestry DNA mostly provides information after the damage is already done. Most children want and need a father in their early years. Nothing is wrong in trying to find a parent or child but the most significant time in a child’s life is while they are growing up. Why not avoid the search for your own flesh and blood by doing the right thing.

We owe it to the fathers displaced or otherwise to correct this mega problem. One family at a time; this is a teachable moment. Not every father can return for obvious reasons but let every man examine himself and attempt to do what is right for the children and yourself. The most effective method is to use social media/television to bring back some healthy family shows that depict the idea of family with a mother and father in place. Television glamorized the idea of many different compositions of the family. The idea of a typical foundational make-up of family lifestyle is almost frowned upon. We are going too far. Fathers need to stand up and let their voices be heard and their corrective actions are obvious. Fathers, we owe you that much. Years of free pleasure has certainly weakened the bond of family value but it has not been eradicated. There is hope for our children and grandchildren. This is the right time to acknowledge the absent fathers and to validate them by inviting them to take their rightful places in our homes, lives and communities.

Fathers, we invite you to return home because a home without a father is incomplete. As mothers we tried to give the kids a good life but when there is only one parent the equation is unbalanced. This is not a message of blaming fathers it is an invitation for you from your family. Your family is hanging over the cliff of life and needs your protective arms and rescuing genius to save us from the trappings of the deception of Cognitive Dissonance that said all families are created equal.

This is your day.
Return to your stead.
Make it a Happy Father’s Day and a valuable family day!
Welcome, Home Dad!

Erma
June, 2019

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