The story of a deadbeat father

The story of a deadbeat father

Some years ago while coach of a cricket team in South Auckland I had a boy in my team whose parents had recently divorced.

Mum had custody of this boy, but he got to spend every second weekend with his father.  Which equates to 4 days each month spent with his Dad.

So picture this scenario.  A father gets to spend every second weekend in the month with his son.  You would think he would want to spend as much time with his son in the time he had him.  Right?  Well not this father.

On the Saturday mornings when he had an opportunity to watch his son play cricket, this deadbeat Dad would drop his son off to the game….then promptly leave. And we wouldn’t see him again until near the end of the game.

The first time it happened I gave the father the benefit of the doubt, figuring that he must have had something important to take care of.

When the father went AWOL the second time I thought he must work Saturdays. So anyway, the 3rd time Mr Deadbeat dropped his son off to cricket, I asked him if he had to go to work.

“No” was his response.  He then added that he wasn’t really a cricket fan and wanted to take care of some errands on the days his son played cricket.  Plus, he wanted to spend some time with his girlfriend.

My reaction?  I over-reacted a little, giving this dickhead Dad a verbal spray, telling him in clear terms what I thought of him. I said he needed to support his son more often and be a caring and loving father instead of galavanting around with the girlfriend.

Suffice to say, we never really got on after that.  However I did make sure that Deadbeat’s son felt valued as a member of the team, and went out of my way to see that he was supported – not just as a cricketer, but as a unique individual.

I wonder if that young lad – who is now an adult – feels resentment towards his father for the way he abandoned him.  Wouldn’t surprise me if he did.

Parents, show your kids you support them. Watch their sports games.  And cheer them on.  Go to their parent teacher interviews.  And let them know you are concerned about their progress.   Be actively interested in their interests.  And let them know you’re a part of their support squad.

Give your kids your time…and your attention.