Last week we started a series on the Inadequate Father...culled from a teaching I heard on wounds fathers unconsciously inflict on their children. Last week was focused on the Missing In Action Father.... if you missed it, please click here
The Critical Dad
This is the father who does not accept himself and is projecting his poor self image on his children. He is the father who hasn't achieved in his own time and is taking out his frustration on his children. There was a certain man who tried to study medicine but couldn't, so he forced his seven (7) children to read medicine...most of them ended up spending 12 years in the university because they had no idea what they were doing. Another example are fathers whose kids come second (2) in class and they yell and scream: 'WHY DID YOU COME SECOND, THE PERSON WHO CAME FIRST DOES HE HAVE TWO HEADS? HOW DARE YOU WASTE MY MONEY LIKE THIS'.... instead of simply saying 'well-done, you did well...next time try and come first'
The legacy Critical fathers leave for these children (who grow to be adults) include:
1. Poor Self Image: Children from a critical dad who grow up to be adults, project poor self image, they have a distorted image of themselves and their abilities
2. Under-functioning: The men in particular from such a father, under-function. This is because while growing up if they do it one way today, daddy would say its wrong...if they do it the other way the next day, daddy would say its wrong. So they end up sitting on the fence which is by far safer than either sides. For instance two (2) people are quarreling in the office...a group of people take side with one of the fighters, the other group of people take side with the other person, and when you ask them 'Dude, what do you think?' instead of picking a side, he goes to one of those quarreling and says:
'Eh en, Ngozi, what happened'....Ngozi tells him a story and he says 'ha!! you have a point ooo'.
He then goes over to the next person and says:
'Dele, what happened'...Dele tells his own side and the dude goes 'ha!! you have a point oooo'
So when you find out he has told two of them they have a point you tend to accuse him of knocking people's head together...but in actual fact he isn't, he is just afraid to take a side.
He grows to be the kind of man who has a conversation with his wife and it goes somewhat like this:
Wife: Honey, the children would soon start school, which one should we send them to
Husband: Darling choose
Wife: Honey its our annivesary, what should we do'
Husband: Anything you want dear
Wife: Honey its your mum's birthday, what should we buy'
Husband: ah you are a woman na, you choose'
This is what daddy has done to him, daddy has stolen his voice, daddy has stolen his right to choose... he is sitting on the fence so that if mama does not like the gift, it wont be on him...if the children's school picked out turns out not to be a good one, he won't be held responsible for it...he is afraid to go right or left so that he isn't criticized
3. Control Freaks: People from such fathers are control freaks...
4. Defensive: They are unnecessarily defensive, you approach them with an observation and immediately they begin defending themselves and explaining without end 'Its not me, it nkechi ...if it was me you will know na haba' ...they are always on defend mode and this is because when daddy starts to accuse (which is every time) they quickly have to come up with a defense...no matter the situation.
Are you a product of a critical dad? Or are you a critical dad or mum yourself? You might want to do a self evaluation based on the characteristics listed here so you can rescue yourself on time.
The next episode on this series will focus on: The Boundary Buster Father. Stay tuned