Since returning to the airwaves on the OWN Network with “Oprah’s Lifeclass” and “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” Iyanla Vanzant has been healing relationships and families one show at a time. On a recent broadcast of “Fatherless Sons” she explored the pain and pathology of men who grow up without their fathers as well as what leads those fathers to abandon them in the first place. Last night, the follow-up “Fatherless Sons: The Reaction” covered the passionate response to the original show.
“The reaction was incredible,” Iyanla told The Tom Joyner Morning Show. “For me the good thing is people are saying what can I do? How can I go back and get my children or how do I stop being angry at the father so I can let him in? So people got the message which is about healing.”
Vanzant will next cover “Daddyless Daughters,” on Sunday, July 14 at 9 p.m. on Oprah’s “Lifeclass,” where daughters will talk about the pain of losing or not knowing their dads. But what are the lessons that can be learned from children who are disconnected from absent fathers? Vanzant offers some guidance. If you are a parent who wants to reconnect, Vanzant says, you must take the first step. Even if you are financially unable to do things with your child, basic communication is a start.
“It’s absolutely an epidemic and we’ve seen it go on for so long and we’ve accommodated it and we’ve tolerated it. And now that we’ve seen how our children are so damaged and wounded and hurting, we’re finally saying we need to do something about this. The first thing is fathers need to go back and get their children. They just have to. And the mothers have to stop being angry and let them come back. And the relationship between the rather and the mother needs to be completed. Sometines the relationship broke down and there’s hurt and anger.
And then you drop money in the mix and then you have the hot bed of mess. When the father is not or cannot pay child support [then often] the mother feels overwhelmed or slighted. If you’re breathing, you can call your child, text your child. You’ve got to get back. And particularly to the boys. You’ve got to get fathers and sons back together.”
For fathers unsure how to reclaim a relationship with their children after years of absence, Iyanla says that it’s best to take it slowly. But consistency, she says, is what’s most important.
“You can be gone for nine years an show up with a toy and a check and the kid is going to be willing to accept you. That starts with basic communication. How about a birthday card? How about a text? How about a letter or email? But as someone said last night on the show ‘Let’s not let technology replace the physical contact. And then small things you can do if the children are in school. Find a day to help with homework. Sign up to go on a class trip. Begin to create something that you do consistently. That’s the key. You cannot have children sitting on the porch the stoop, the step, the window waiting for you and you don’t show up. We’ve got to make our children a priority.”
The impact of fatherlessness is felt by different genders in different ways, says Vanzant, who hopes to shed light on the issues of women with the new special on “daddyless daughters.”
“When the father leaves, he takes his son’s self esteem, but when he leaves his daughter, he takes her worth. That’s why so many sleep around looking for that love. What a father teaches his daughter is non-sexual intimacy.”
Vanzant’s new season of “Iyanla, Fix My Life,” begins on July 27th with R&B singer Syleena Johnson, who stars on TV One’s “R&B Divas,” trying to repair her relationship with her own mother. Given all the work she does with people in need of healing, what is the hardest part of her process?
“The bardest thing is getting people to admit their mistakes and not feel guilty and afraid. People do not like to admit they are wrong,” says Vanzant.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
1 of 30
2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
2 of 30
3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
3 of 30
4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
4 of 30
5. Jus haaaanngin out
5 of 30
6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
6 of 30
7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
7 of 30
8. new new
8 of 30
9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
9 of 30
10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
10 of 30
11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
11 of 30
12 of 30
13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
13 of 30
14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
14 of 30
15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
15 of 30
16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
16 of 30
17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
17 of 30
18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
18 of 30
19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
19 of 30
20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
20 of 30
21 of 30
22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
22 of 30
23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
23 of 30
24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
24 of 30
25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
25 of 30
26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
26 of 30
27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
27 of 30
28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
28 of 30
29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
29 of 30
30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
30 of 30