07 September, 2010

The Father Relationship (TOUCH)

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 The "T" in FATHER stands for Touch

...which is nonverbal communication. The most powerful communication is touch.

Ephesians 6:4 (TEV), says, Parents, do not treat your children in such a way as to make them angry. Instead, raise them with Christian discipline and instruction."

And the greatest instruction that parents can give their children is to pray with them.

Fr. Robert De Grandis, SSJ, author of Healing the Father Relationship, says that in his research, fewer than five percent of Catholics have had family prayer. This is often where touching, communicating, and sharing really take place. The lack of family prayer is more true in the present time because of working mothers. Every home needs family prayer. This is the role of the father, as well as the mother, is to communicate, nonverbally as well as verbally, and through touch.

A woman told Fr. De Grandis that she craved her father's love, attention, and affection, but he gave her none. When she turned twelve and began to mature at puberty, he just cut off from her totally. It is very common for a father to feel attracted to his daughter but then to cut her off from his masculine interaction. The father leaves the rasing of the daughter and children to the mother.

Father De Grandis added, in Italy, which has the reputation of being a place where people get a lot of love and affection, a 50-year old son entered a room, went over to his 70-year old father and kissed him. It was a sign of a healthy relationship. Psychologists say that a child, even a newborn, can sense the father's attitude toward the child by the way he holds it.

Sometimes, when the father does not have deep interaction with his daughter, the daughter may tend to become sexually active very early. Whereas, on the other hand, when the fathers do interact with a lot of hugging, touching, and kissing, the girls see affection as a part of family life, as a good thing, and a normal thing. They're used to it and they respect it.

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photo: dreamstime.com

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