Father's Absence Figures Prominently in Family Dynamics
Separation, divorce, and even deliberate decisions by many women to enter into a pregnancy unattached or without communication to the baby's father have been on the rise for some time now. It's no wonder that we are seeing quantifiable effects in children as well as young adults who have grown up without having a "father" around. It used to be that children who were from single parent homes headed by a mother, were the minority but these days if you do live with both of your biological parents you are somewhat of an endangered entity.
Single parenting has become commonplace in our modern world to the extent that nobody even blinks an eye about it. The impact, however, from being raised in a primarily one parent family and one that is often devoid of a consistant father figure can affect a child in many ways as they grow up.
What is the Importance of Male Role Models for Boys?
It's generally accepted "counselor wisdom" that boys with absent fathers, have more concerns with depression, addictions and high risk behaviors in comparison to those males that have regular contact with their fathers or at least another male role model in their lives. Suicide rates are also much higher for these young men and our jails are filled with males that didn't have adequate male role models during their younger formative years.
The youth justice system and prisons are full of males without adequate male role models. Boys of all ages need and prefer the company of their fathers or other males during various stages of their childhood. Whether they see a father figure as a playmate, the maintainer of order or a symbol of security during adolescence, without a positive male father figure to guide them through their journey, many boys have difficulties that follow them into adulthood. They may turn to gang involvement and acts of violence because they didn't learn other ways to cope and communicate as a male in the world.
What About Girls Without a Father Figure?
So many little girls adore their fathers and not having daddy around can have a huge effect on growing girls as well. Those that have no male figure to look up to often subconsciously reach out to any male attention as a means of compensation. A positive male role model in her life assists her in learning how she should be treated by men when she is older. Generally speaking and as a result, girls without a father figure tend to be more promiscuous than girls with a strong male or caring father figure. Many women that had little or no contact with their father when growing up often develop relationships with significantly older men, which is primarily believed to be due to not having their dad around.
How Do You Lessen the Impact of no Father Figure?
The best way to combat the negative effects of having no father figure which is undoubtedly rampant today is to ensure that your children have plenty of positive male role models in their daily interaction at school, home, play, sports and social groups. Although it will never replace the deep feelings of loss that fatherless children may have, other good male role models may assist in creating a positive male father figure relationship experience that these children may otherwise be missing.