My father never accepted that any of his three children were ever in pain or that they’d been genuinely hurt. If any of us fell over he’d ignore any bleeding and call us names like ‘silly softy’. I remember once occasion when he told me my grazed, bleeding knee didn’t hurt and that I needed to grow up. I was seven at the time.
Once my ten-year old brother Tom fell off a climbing frame in the local park and landed awkwardly on his arm. Dad shouted at him for always spoiling our outings. When we got home Dad refused to let our mother ‘fuss’ over him and she didn’t dare disobey. But once he had left to work, Mum took Tom to hospital and an x-ray showed he’d broken his arm.
Now we are all grown up we keep our distance . He however tells us firmly we have to spoil him on Father’s Day. What should we do?
We suggest that as you are already keeping your distance you can do the same for Father’s Day. You are adults now and are entitled to decide how each of you wants to mark this day. If you feel that he does not deserve to be spoiled then don’t spoil him. You can acknowledge the day with a card that has a simple message of Happy Father’s Day. If you choose to send a gift again it can be a small token that he would like. You do not have to visit unless you choose to. If you visit and he is rude or unpleasant then you could make an excuse and leave sooner.