Parents can make us distrust ourselves. To them, we seem always to be works-in-progress.
A boy is not free to find a partner of his own as long as he must be the partner to his mother.
No one, however powerful and successful, can function as an adult if his parents are not satisfied with him.
Fathering makes a man, whatever his standing in the eyes of the world, feel strong and good and important, just as he makes his child feel loved and valued.
Each generation's job is to question what parents accept on faith, to explore possibilities, and adapt the last generation's system of values for a new age.
A man doesn't have to have all the answers; children will teach him how to parent them, and in the process will teach him everything he needs to know about life.
Why do otherwise sane, competent, strong men, men who can wrestle bears or raid corporations, shrink away in horror at the thought of washing a dish or changing a diaper?
We know how powerful our mother was when we were little, but is our wife that powerful to us now? Must we relive our great deed of escape from Mama with every other woman in our life?
Men who have been raised violently have every reason to believe it is appropriate for them to control others through violence; they feel no compunction over being violent to women, children, and one another.