Lamar Odom’s Self-Work Needs To Include Being A Better Father

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"Dancing With The Stars" Season 28 - September 23, 2019 - Arrivals

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Earlier this week, Lamar Odom announced his engagement to his girlfriend of four months, Sabrina Parr.

“Introducing my new fiancé!! Soon to be Mrs. Parr-Odom. She the ONE!!!! @getuptoparr,” the former NBA star gushed in an Instagram caption beneath an image of himself and Parr posed up, flaunting her ring.

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Unfortunately, Lamar’s children learned about the news just like the rest of us did — while scrolling through the ‘Gram. In a now-deleted Instagram post, the athlete’s teenage son, Lamar Morales-Odom Jr., lashed out at his father for failing to inform his children of this life-changing decision.

“Not a txt or phone call to see how people who’ve known this dude his whole life to see how we would feel or react knew shawty for 4 months and already got you twisted, fam n friends already don’t approve of homegirl but she already got your a** ina sunken place,” he captioned an image of his father and Parr. “Shame family gotta find out on social media but that’s been how life been all the time as a son of an odom.”

The teen later removed the post and apologized to his father. He explained that he was “hurt and caught off guard” by the news, but added that he supports his father and only wants to see him happy.

”Last night I was emotional seeing my father got engaged through social media. I was hurt and caught off guard. At the end of the day, I am a teenager, that is becoming a young man. I have to be responsible for what I post, I have nothing but love for my dad and want what’s best for him,” Lamar Jr. wrote.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4xIYYzFPQj/

It’s beautiful to see that Lamar Jr. was thoughtful enough to double-back to apologize for lashing out because parental disrespect is not okay. Clearly, his mother, Liza Morales, is doing something right. At the same time, I would hope that Lamar Sr. has also apologized to his son and daughter as well and that moving forward, he gives his children the same thought and respect.

What we witnessed in Lamar Jr.’s initial Instagram post was raw emotion because his father’s actions were hurtful and dismissive, to say the least. Before telling complete strangers that he was getting married, the least he could have done was picked up the phone and reached out to his children. Under no circumstances should those children have learned of their father’s engagement by way of the Internet. Regardless of his intent, his actions sent the message that his children don’t matter and they’re simply spectators in his life as opposed to active participants. It’s not surprising that they’re angry.

Lamar’s kids have not had an easy time over the years and it’s been publicly documented how his romantic decisions — including marrying Khloe Kardashian four weeks after meeting her— have placed a strain on their relationship with their father.

“I tried for my dad,” Odom’s daughter Destiny Odom told People in 2017 of her experience during her father’s marriage to Kardashian. “I wouldn’t say it was a matter of my dad loving Khloe more than me. I think that my dad has an addictive personality, so he was addicted to the attention he got with Khloe more than me. It was a very toxic relationship.”

To add to that, the marriage thrusted the children into the spotlight, which led to bullying.

“The bullying started when he married Khloe,” Destiny continued. “There were regular snide comments at school. And when his addiction became public, then it became a social media thing. Even people that I thought were my friends were saying stuff on social media. It was humiliating.”

Children are people too and we should take their feelings into consideration when we make major life decisions — whether we’re with their other parent or not. While Lamar Sr. is out here doing all of this self-work and changing his life for the better, he also needs to take a step back and  consider how he can help to heal old wounds that he inflicted on his children when he was out here living recklessly and take careful measure not to reopen those wounds again.

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @jazminedenise and visit her blog, Black Girl Mom

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