In 1975, at the age of 10, my parents divorced. In the mid 1970's, the word divorce was still hardly uttered unless you were a celebrity; let alone resources out there to teach both parents how to parent from two different households. It simply did not exist.
My dad, while I knew he loved me, struggled to be proactive because the pain he felt as he returned to the house he once lived, coping with the divorce and his choices, found himself being inconsistent in his parenting skills. It was common place for "experts" to tell you to heal yourself, and the children will be fine. It was a learning curve for society as a whole; yet nearly 30 years later, many dads still struggle with being proactive single parents.
At the age of 22, I became a un-wed father. I knew that marriage was not an option for me. I felt as soon as the "new baby" euphoria ended, I would be divorced. Therefore, I made the choice to be a single dad. Not an easy task on so many levels. I made so many mistakes and had just as many triumphs. This would include finishing college and my son moving in with me full time by the time he was in high school.
Now, 58, with nearly two decade of teaching under my belt and my son has an established career. The relationship between me and my son is strong and continues to grow. The love, frustration, conflict and struggle to communicate has paid off!
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