"How can we know where we're going, if we do not fully know where we've been?"
There is no blueprint to parenting, but mere imprints from our own. So then what do you do, who do you turn to for guidance, when you had none?
So often, young black males who become fathers, begin the journey of fatherhood from a distorted path; an absentee father, imprisoned father, deceased father, etc.
Uncles, grandfathers, mentors, etc., are often the only male presence for these young men. But no matter how much love and guidance received, they still seek their fathers; the man they are a by-product of.
These men very own self concept are compromised, those standards of love, boundaries, respect, etc., are either severely underdeveloped or redeveloped from the traumas that arise in their lives, like juvenile delinquency, drug + alcohol abuse, promiscuity, mental health issues, etc., .
"So how can I stop the perpetual cycle of absenteeism?"
Be present! Seek the available resources surrounding the help you may need to first heal. You can attend therapy, counseling, support groups, seminars, read books, etc. Build a team of fathers! Surround yourself with other fathers that can motivate, support and hold each other accountable. Because you each may question how you can continuously be a better father than your own. Change the narrative and future for your children!
"Children are more viable and whole with the presence of their fathers."
There are statistically 1 in 4 children living without their biological, step, or adoptive fathers. Work hard to change these stats! Don't give up because of an immature partner that may make it difficult to co-parent with. Seek services such as legal advocacy if you need to have someone intervene so you can maintain and have a constant relationship with your children.
Fatherhood is only grown with trial and error, NOT solely on learned behavior. It is not best to become a reactionary parent, but a rational one. Formulate a safe place, one of love (shown) and open communication. Strive to end generational curses of abuse, violence and absenteeism.
Don't give up, even if your child may present that they do not want a relationship; it often stems from a hurt place, their subconscious is desiring for you to fight for them.