In August, we were delighted to launch our brand new product - Men’s Essence. In light of this, we have thought it would be beneficial to look at the role and impact of fathers.
Did you know that there are over 20 different dates around the world that Father’s Day is celebrated? In this blog, we will be looking at how Fathering duties have evolved throughout the years and how stereotypes have changed.
Fathers being present at births – a timely change
Michel Odent, the famous French obstetrician, who along with Frederick Leboyer revolutionised modern birthing practices, did extensive research across all cultures to see if men were ever present at the birth. He could not find any evidence of it anywhere or anytime in the past, until around the mid to late 1970s when it became more accepted and common. In the early days there are a lot of similar stories of tough old hospital matron nurses being very disapproving of men being there at the birth, telling them not to get in the way and warning them not to faint!
Fast forward to the 21st Century, today if a man is not present at the birth of his child, then he's likely to be in serious trouble with his partner! One of the great benefits arising from men being present at the birth is that it helps them to feel more connected from the very beginning to their child.
Many men even say it was the most powerful experience of their life holding their child straight after the birth.
The Shifting Bonds of a Child
The most important first bond for a child is to the mother and this primary bond with the mother continues for the first three years.
From age 4 to 7 the main bond for the child shifts to that with the father, though the impact of the father is obviously still vital and important in those early years. By age 3, for example, 90% of a child's beliefs, which are stored in the subconscious, have already formed.
A big challenge for fathers is to stay very connected to their child – and their partner, in those early years. In many ways it's a lot easier for the mother and her child to bond as energetically, the child has been in the mother's energy field in the womb for nine months. Also, there are more triggers for the release of oxytocin, the love hormone, especially through breastfeeding, which enhances the bonding between the mother and her baby.
Earlier this year, at the beginning of lockdown this short, very funny video clip went viral, yet it would not have been received in this same light if it had been a mother responding to these two options!
The Impact of Absent Fathers
It's only in the last 50 years that divorce has become quite common. One of the very sad statistics associated with divorce is that in countries such as United States and Australia, five years after divorce, 30% of men have no contact with their children - which has such a negative impact in the lives of both the children and the father.
In Brazilian poor communities and orphanages where the Bush Essences are donated and used, so many fathers are simply not around as a result of drugs, alcohol or being in jail. The latter is also a common scenario in the United States with so many African American men incarcerated in that country. Whole generations of children are growing up without contact with their fathers with the nurturing and parenting being done by the mother alone. Boys in particular, especially in adolescence, need a good male role model, preferably their father.
As well as the physically absent father there is also the emotionally absent father who is more preoccupied and distracted in his own world and life than that of his children. The negative impact to the children of these two types of fathers is similar.
Strengthening The Bond
Red Helmet Orchid is such a great remedy for both a child and a father to strengthen the bond between them.
Boab is the Essence to help clear negative father patterns from being taken on by the next generation of children. This Essence is great to help clear passed-on negative male stereotypes around violence, inability to opening the heart, nurture and express feelings.
A Man’s Relationship with his Own Father
Our founder, Ian, runs a Men's Health & ABFE workshop. The first topic he covers is a man's relationship with his own father, as this is quite crucial in the making of who he is as a man.
There's a story Ian tells in this workshop of a man in his early 30s ringing his parents, who live on the other side of the country. His father, who is the main person he is ringing to speak to, answers his call. After saying, “Hi son, I'll get your mum for you” the son tells his father that he's ringing to speak to him, to which his father replies “Are you in trouble son?” The son replies that he's been reflecting on his life and all the things that his father has done for him, helped shape and make him who he is and that he's ringing to thank his Dad. He finishes by saying, “And what I really want to tell you is that I love you”. There is a long silence at the other end of the line and then the father says, “Have you been drinking son?”
This story always gets a good laugh at the workshop, but it's tinged with sadness as well because so many people in the audience can relate this all too well to either their own father or to many other men they know.
Thank heavens we've got remedies like the Men’s Essence, Red Helmet Orchid, Boab, Black-eyed Susan and Flannel Flower and that there are so many men who can see the need to embody the qualities that these Essences provide and are willing to take them if they require that little extra push to get there.