“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.