Psychological effects of not having a father
A Father's Impact on Child Development | Child Abuse Prevention, Treatment & Welfare Services
Father’s Day is a time in which we recognize fathers and father figures and their contributions to their children, as well as society overall. There are tremendous advantages that are afforded to children who have active, involved fathers during childhood and adolescence. The Fatherhood Project, a non-profit fatherhood program seeking to improve the health and well-being of children and families by empowering fathers to be knowledgeable, active, and emotionally engaged with their children, researched the specific impacts of father engagement during the different childhood development stages.
Here are 10 important facts that were collected during their research:10 Facts About Father Engagement
- Fathers and infants can be equally as attached as mothers and infants. When both parents are involved with the child, infants are attached to both parents from the beginning of life.
- Father involvement is related to positive child health outcomes in infants, such as improved weight gain in preterm infants and improved breastfeeding rates.
- Father involvement using authoritative parenting (loving and with clear boundaries and expectations) leads to better emotional, academic, social, and behavioral outcomes for children.
- Children who feel a closeness to their father are: twice as likely as those who do not to enter college or find stable employment after high school, 75% less likely to have a teen birth, 80% less likely to spend time in jail, and half as likely to experience multiple depression symptoms.
- Fathers occupy a critical role in child development. Father absence hinders development from early infancy through childhood and into adulthood. The psychological harm of father absence experienced during childhood persists throughout the life course.
- The quality of the father-child relationship matters more than the specific amount of hours spent together. Non-resident fathers can have positive effects on children’s social and emotional well-being, as well as academic achievement and behavioral adjustment.
- High levels of father involvement are correlated with higher levels of sociability, confidence, and self-control in children. Children with involved fathers are less likely to act out in school or engage in risky behaviors in adolescence.
- Children with actively involved fathers are: 43% more likely to earn A’s in school and 33% less likely to repeat a grade than those without engaged dads.
- Father engagement reduces the frequency of behavioral problems in boys while also decreasing delinquency and economic disadvantage in low-income families.
- Father engagement reduces psychological problems and rates of depression in young women.
Overall, the impact that fathers and father figures can make is substantial. Just as there are many positive aspects to father involvement, the effects of father absence can be detrimental as well.Father Absence
According to the 2007 UNICEF report on the well-being of children in economically advanced nations, children in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. rank extremely low in regard to social and emotional well-being in particular. Many theories have been explored to explain the poor state of our nation’s’ children. However, a factor that has been largely ignored, particularly among child and family policymakers, is the prevalence and devastating effects of father absence in children’s lives.
For starters, studies repeatedly show that children without fathers positively present in the home suffer greatly. Even before a child is born, their father’s attitudes regarding the pregnancy, behaviors during the prenatal period, and the relationship between their father and mother may indirectly influence risk for adverse birth outcomes. In early childhood, studies show that school-aged children with good relationships with their fathers were less likely to experience depression, to exhibit disruptive behavior, or to lie. Overall, they were far more likely to exhibit prosocial behavior.
In adolescence, the implications of fatherless homes are incredible, as these children are more likely to experience the effects of poverty. Former president George W. Bush even addressed the issue while in office, stating, “Over the past four decades, fatherlessness has emerged as one of our greatest social problems. We know that children who grow up with absent-fathers can suffer lasting damage. They are more likely to end up in poverty or drop out of school, become addicted to drugs, have a child out of wedlock, or end up in prison. Fatherlessness is not the only cause of these things, but our nation must recognize it is an important factor.”
Narratively speaking, many individuals can attest to the fact that the lasting impact of a father in child’s life cannot be denied. Many would admit that they have struggled with feelings of abandonment and low self-esteem, due to the lack of a father’s love in their lives. Some have turned to drugs, alcohol, risky sexual activities, unhealthy relationships, or other destructive behaviors to numb the pains of fatherlessness.
Although the absence of their father is not an isolated risk factor, it definitely can take a toll on the development of children. This is important to take note of, as many would argue that one parental role is more significant than the other. That is simply not true.
According to Psychology Today, researchers have found these narratives to be true. The results of father absence on children are nothing short of disastrous, along a number of dimensions:
- Children’s diminished self-concept, and compromised physical and emotional security (children consistently report feeling abandoned when their fathers are not involved in their lives, struggling with their emotions and episodic bouts of self-loathing)
- Behavioral problems (fatherless children have more difficulties with social adjustment, and are more likely to report problems with friendships, and manifest behavior problems; many develop a swaggering, intimidating persona in an attempt to disguise their underlying fears, resentments, anxieties and unhappiness)
- Truancy and poor academic performance (71 percent of high school dropouts are fatherless; fatherless children have more trouble academically, scoring poorly on tests of reading, mathematics, and thinking skills; children from father absent homes are more likely to play truant from school, more likely to be excluded from school, more likely to leave school at age 16, and less likely to attain academic and professional qualifications in adulthood)
- Delinquency and youth crime, including violent crime (85 percent of youth in prison have an absent father; fatherless children are more likely to offend and go to jail as adults)
- Promiscuity and teen pregnancy (fatherless children are more likely to experience problems with sexual health, including a greater likelihood of having intercourse before the age of 16, foregoing contraception during first intercourse, becoming teenage parents, and contracting sexually transmitted infection; girls manifest an object hunger for males, and in experiencing the emotional loss of their fathers egocentrically as a rejection of them, become susceptible to exploitation by adult men)
- Drug and alcohol abuse (fatherless children are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol, and abuse drugs in childhood and adulthood)
- Homelessness (90 percent of runaway children have an absent father)
- Exploitation and abuse (fatherless children are at greater risk of suffering physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, being five times more likely to have experienced physical
- Abuse and emotional maltreatment, with a one hundred times higher risk of fatal abuse; a recent study reported that preschoolers not living with both of their biological parents are 40 times more likely to be sexually abused)
- Physical health problems (fatherless children report significantly more psychosomatic health symptoms and illness such as acute and chronic pain, asthma, headaches, and stomach aches)
- Mental health disorders (father absent children are consistently overrepresented on a wide range of mental health problems, particularly anxiety, depression and suicide)
- Life chances (as adults, fatherless children are more likely to experience unemployment, have low incomes, remain on social assistance, and experience homelessness)
- Future relationships (father absent children tend to enter partnerships earlier, are more likely to divorce or dissolve their cohabiting unions, and are more likely to have children outside marriage or outside any partnership)
- Mortality (fatherless children are more likely to die as children, and live an average of four years less over the life span)
Tips for Dads
Dads! It is vital that you make every effort to become actively involved in your child’s life – whether you live in the same home as them or not. Here are some great ways to create healthy, positive engagement with your children (adapted from the Modern Dad Dilemma):
- Speak positively to, and about, their mother. It is so important to be on the same page as their mother about what you desire your role to be, and what that will look like. This is especially important in situations where the relationship is severed through divorce or separation. Be clear and respectful, emphasizing your desire to be an involved father to your children. Also, speak positively about her in front of your children! You may have your disagreements at times, but your child needs to know that you respect their mother. They are just as much her child as they are theirs! Speaking poorly of their mother will only damage your relationship with them.
- Create a vision for fatherhood engagement. Twenty years from now, what do you hope your children say about you as a father? What do you hope they don’t say? Answering these questions will help you clarify your sense of purpose as a dad and guide you in important decisions with your own children. How can you get there?
- Be the bridge between your own father and your children. Whether or not you look to your father (or mother) as a model for parenting, the legacy of our parents, for better and for worse, lives inside each of us.This is why it’s important to explore and understand your family legacy, particularly your relationship with your father. How will you pass on the positive aspects of your relationship with your father to your own children? How will you avoid repeating the negative aspects of your relationship with your father?
- Establish a ritual dad time. One way to spend positive time with your child regularly is to create a Ritual DadTime. This is not meant to replace more frequent rituals like taking your kids to school or reading to them at bedtime. Get together as father/child at least once a month. Minimally for at least one to two hours and with only one child at a time (this may be difficult for larger families, but it is essential for building a one-on-one relationship). Choose an activity you both agree on. You may allow your child to choose or alternate who decides. We don’t recommend executive decisions, except in cases of extreme resistance. Make sure you talk during your time together. Using “action talk” (i.e., shooting baskets or playing video games while talking) is great, but men also need to model face-to-face dialogue for children of all ages. You don’t always need a distraction! Be consistent. The ritual does not have to be on the same day each month, but make sure it happens so your child can count on it. Try scheduling your next ritual time at the end of each time together!
- Know your children. Every child craves the interest, attention, and presence of their primary caregivers.They need you to know who they are as unique individuals, not as vessels for our own grand plans or unrealized dreams. By becoming an expert about your children’s lives – knowing what a certain look on their face means, the best way to get them to sleep, who their friends are, what they’re doing in school, what causes them stress — you send a clear and powerful message that they are worthy of your time, interest and attention.
- Be known by your children. Letting your children know more about you through storytelling is a great way to strengthen your bond. What were you like at your child’s age? What mistakes did you make? How did you handle embarrassment? What were your friends’ parents like? Not only do stories humanize you and give children a sense of where they come from, but they can also be an effective way to initiate meaningful dialogue with your child.
Here at Children’s Bureau, we hope that you recognize your tremendous value as fathers! You can truly make a difference in the lives of your children, and the benefits will be long-lasting! Check out our Dads Matter program which provides fathers and father figures with vital tools, resources and support to raise their children. Dads, we appreciate you more than you know!
Father Absence, Father Deficit, Father Hunger
According to the 2007 UNICEF report on the well-being of children in economically advanced nations, children in the U. S., Canada, and the U.K. rank extremely low in regard to social and emotional well-being. Many theories have been advanced to explain the poor state of our nations’ children: most notably child poverty, race, and social class. A factor that has been largely ignored, however—particularly among child and family policymakers—is the prevalence and devastating effects of fathers' absence in children’s lives.
First, a caveat: I do not wish to either disparage single mothers or blame non-residential fathers for this state of affairs. The sad fact is that parents in our society are not supported in the fulfillment of their parental responsibilities, and divorced parents in particular are often undermined as parents, as reflected in the large number of “non-custodial” or “non-residential” parents forcefully removed from their children’s lives, as daily caregivers, by misguided family court judgments. My target of concern is those responsible for laws and policies that devalue the importance of parents in children’s lives and parental involvement as critical to children’s well-being. In most cases, children benefit from having access to both parents—and parents need the support of social institutions in order to be there for their kids.
Despite President Obama’s 2011 Father’s Day lament on the irresponsibility of “deadbeat fathers” footloose and fancy-free from taking responsibility for their children, in fact the two major structural threats to fathers’ presence in children’s lives are divorce and non-marital childbearing. More often than not, fathers are involuntarily relegated by family courts to the role of “accessory parents” instead of active caregivers. This view persists among many, despite the fact that fathers in two-parent families, before divorce, typically share with mothers at least some of the responsibility for the care of their children. This is both because fathers have taken up some of the slack while mothers work longer hours outside the home and because many fathers are no longer content to play a secondary role as parents. Most fathers today are keen to experience both the joys and challenges of parenthood, derive satisfaction from their parental role, and consider active and involved fatherhood to be a core component of their self-identity.
Whereas parents, in general, are not supported as parents by our social institutions, divorced fathers, in particular, are often devalued, disparaged, and forcefully disengaged from their children’s lives. Researchers have found that for children, the results are nothing short of disastrous along a number of dimensions:
- Diminished self-concept and compromised physical and emotional security: Children consistently report feeling abandoned when their fathers are not involved in their lives, struggling with their emotions and episodic bouts of self-loathing.
- Behavioral problems: Fatherless children have more difficulties with social adjustment, and are more likely to report problems with friendships, and manifest behavior problems; many develop a swaggering, intimidating persona in an attempt to disguise their underlying fears, resentments, anxieties, and unhappiness.
- Truancy and poor academic performance: 71 percent of high school dropouts are fatherless; fatherless children have more trouble academically, scoring poorly on tests of reading, mathematics, and thinking skills; children from father-absent homes are more likely to play truant from school, more likely to be excluded from school, more likely to leave school at age 16, and less likely to attain academic and professional qualifications in adulthood.
- Delinquency and youth crime, including violent crime: 85 percent of youth in prison have an absent father; fatherless children are more likely to offend and go to jail as adults.
- Promiscuity and teen pregnancy: Fatherless children are more likely to experience problems with sexual health, including a greater likelihood of having intercourse before the age of 16, foregoing contraception during first intercourse, becoming teenage parents, and contracting sexually transmitted infection; many girls manifest an object hunger for males, and in experiencing the emotional loss of their fathers egocentrically as a rejection of them, may become susceptible to exploitation by adult men.
- Drug and alcohol abuse: Fatherless children are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol, and abuse drugs in childhood and adulthood.
- Homelessness: 90 percent of runaway children have an absent father.
- Exploitation and abuse: Fatherless children are at greater risk of suffering physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, being five times more likely to have experienced physical abuse and emotional maltreatment, with a one hundred times higher risk of fatal abuse; a recent study reported that preschoolers not living with both of their biological parents are 40 times more likely to be sexually abused.
- Physical health problems: Fatherless children report significantly more psychosomatic health symptoms and illness such as acute and chronic pain, asthma, headaches, and stomachaches.
- Mental health disorders: Father-absent children are consistently overrepresented in a wide range of mental health problems, particularly anxiety, depression, and suicide.
- Life chances: As adults, fatherless children are more likely to experience unemployment, have low incomes, remain on social assistance, and experience homelessness.
- Future relationships: Father-absent children tend to enter partnerships earlier, are more likely to divorce or dissolve their cohabiting unions, and are more likely to have children outside marriage or outside any partnership.
- Mortality: Fatherless children are more likely to die as children, and live an average of four years less over the life span.
Given the fact that these and other social problems correlate more strongly with fatherlessness than with any other factor—surpassing race, social class, and poverty—father absence may well be the most critical social issue of our time. In Fatherless America, David Blankenhorn calls the crisis of fatherless children “the most destructive trend of our generation.” A recent British report from the University of Birmingham, "Dad and Me," confirms Blankenhorn’s claims, concluding that the need for a father is on an epidemic scale, and “father deficit” should be treated as a public health issue.
We ignore the problem of father absence at our peril. Of perhaps greatest concern is the lack of response from our lawmakers and policymakers, who pay lip service to the paramount importance of the “best interests of the child,” yet turn a blind eye to father absence, ignoring the vast body of research on the dire consequences to children’s well-being.
What is the solution to father absence? Many fathers’ advocates have stressed the need for fast, low-cost, effective ways for non-residential parents to have their court-ordered parenting time enforced. While access enforcement is important, legislating for shared parenting would be a more effective measure to ensure the ongoing active involvement of both parents in children’s lives. A legal presumption of shared parenting would affirm the primary role of both parents, and make clear that even in the absence of a spousal relationship, both mothers’ and fathers’ parental responsibilities to their children’s needs are “sacred,” and therefore deserving of full legal protection and recognition.
How the absence of a father in the family affects the psyche of a child - Knife
According to the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center, in 2017, 72% of Russians believed that a father could take care of a small child and run a household just as well as a mother. At the same time, in the same 2017, there were more than 5 million families in the Russian Federation in which children are raised by single mothers - this is almost a third of all Russian families. Raising children in a complete cell of society, where household duties are divided in half, is a blue dream that one wants to strive for. But the reality is that women more often than men take 100% responsibility for raising the younger generation, which, in turn, has to maneuver in the world without relying on a father's shoulder.
Sociologists and psychologists who study families with and without fathers come to the conclusion that the absence of a father has many social and psychological consequences for the child.
For example, Western studies have shown that children who grow up without a father tend to get pleasure quickly, which can allegedly negatively affect their future success. Also, these children are more likely to experience depression and anxiety. As teenagers, they may consume more alcohol and are more likely to end up in prison. But many of these risks are increased for children and adolescents who have a poor relationship with their mother, or who are of low socioeconomic status, or who live with mentally ill mothers.
Most Russian studies of single-parent families focus on the relationship between mother and child. Doctor of Psychology Natalya Kharlamenkova points out that "the stereotypes that exist in society regarding a male parent sometimes distort and level his role in raising a child." Therefore, some researchers, in addition to the figure of the father directly, drew attention to his image that has developed in the mind of the child. In the work of the candidate of psychological sciences Oleg Kalina, for which he interviewed 415 teenagers, it is said that the absence of a father in the family does not significantly affect the masculinity of young men, if at the same time their father's image is positive.
But despite the fact that Russian psychologists confirm that a child’s development can be quite harmonious even in an incomplete family, there is evidence that Russians growing up without a father are more likely to have health problems that turn into chronic diseases (disturbances in the work of the central nervous and cardiovascular systems, gastrointestinal tract). The authors of this study suggest that the reason for this is not only the absence of a dad, but also the unstable emotional state of a single mother and her workload. Another Russian study showed that young men and women who grew up without a father do not imagine their future family to be complete. Experts explain this by the fact that teenagers are having a hard time with the absence of their father in the family, especially if this circumstance is accompanied by financial difficulties. And 28% of single-parent families that are below the poverty line face such difficulties.
The incompleteness of the parental family also affects how people build their own social units. Educational psychologist Svetlana Dokuchaeva says that women whose parents are divorced are less likely to indicate “the ability to take care of a loved one” and the desire “to have a caring spouse who ensures a comfortable existence” as the goal of their marriage, and more often “are ready to do any work without sharing it into male and female." Most men and women from single-parent families note that a necessary condition for good relations between spouses is the presence of common views and interests; respondents from intact families more often believe that this is a willingness to compromise. Dokuchaeva’s survey participants, who grew up without a father, rely more on the help of others and are ready to accept someone’s support, unlike the rest of the respondents, who prefer to rely on themselves and not make dirty linen in public.
Incidentally, being open to others is not the only positive effect of being fatherless. According to sociologist Isabella Dementieva, when choosing a profession, children from single-parent families show more practical calculation and less romantic impulses, they have higher demands for wages, guarantees against unemployment and environmental safety. She also notes that boys whose father has left the family tend to have "independent work" rather than work "for an uncle." The expert concludes that this desire indicates a higher social maturity of such children.
No dad - no self-confidence
Denis, whose father left the family for another woman when his son was a year old, connects his shyness and touchiness precisely with the lack of fatherly upbringing. Andrei, whose mother divorced his father, faced a similar problem even before the boy went to school. However, his sibling has the opposite situation with self-esteem. Emotional closeness, inability to take risks and ask for help - these are the consequences of living without a biological father, another heroine of this article, Alice, notes. At the same time, she believes that thanks to this she became independent faster than her peers.
“It is believed that the male prerogative is to introduce the offspring into the pack, to acquaint him with its rules, to make the pack accept him, then the probability that the offspring will survive increases. Another direction of influence of the father figure is the development of the ability to take what is yours, to achieve something, to bring things to the end, in general, the development of the ability to cope with the mammoth. Accordingly, when there is no father, children may have a problem of self-doubt, their strengths, it may be difficult for them to realize themselves in society, ”explains the negative consequences of fatherlessness, psychologist-consultant Alexei Bochenkov.
He also argues that the absence of a father affects boys and girls in the same way, but emphasizes that everything depends on how society perceives these consequences. Society does not expect special initiative, super-achievements from girls, so the absence of paternal upbringing in this case will be less noticeable. And from boys, on the contrary, they require success, assertiveness, determination - because of this, it is more difficult for guys who grew up without paternal care to maneuver in life.
It is also important to note here that initiative and self-confidence are not exclusively male traits. They are considered as such in a heteronormative, patriarchal culture. This means that it is impossible to unambiguously associate a person’s lack of self-confidence with whether he has a father or not. A child from a complete family can also have low self-esteem, in which, for example, he receives approval only if he does what his parents consider right.
A gaping void within
Some of the men and women I interviewed described the absence of a father in their lives using similar metaphors. For example, the daughter of an alcoholic Lena, whose mother kicked her father out of the family, speaks of a "huge hole in her chest." “Daddy’s daughter lies in the middle of the void and screams heart-rendingly so that at least someone will hear, so that someone will come, help, take away, reassure. Loved. But no one came and never will come. Dad never loved me and never will love me again,” she writes in one of her many therapeutic letters to her father.
And the hero of this material, Fedor, talking about the naturalness of having both parents, mentions that the absence of one of them is like blindness: "as if you do not see a large part of this world."
“People can talk about emptiness, probably because they lacked a certain support, experience, that socialization that people who grew up in families with two parents ”comments on the words of our speakers, the psychologist consultant Alexey Bochenkov.
Alexandra Grieva, an embodiment practitioner and author of the telegram channel “Healthy lifestyle in the morning, revelry in the evening,” believes that people can call “emptiness” not the absence of a father itself, but what it eventually became for a person: “Imagine that you have pulled some part of your body with a tourniquet, deprived it of blood flow. What will become of her? And if you do it at an early age, without letting her grow up? Approximately the same thing, it seems to me, is happening with the theme of the father. Some part of us could become numb, not grow up, become dead. And like any such part, it will remind you of itself every time until it gets a chance to heal.
Alexandra also suggests that some people's feelings about the absence of a father may be reflected in the physical state and depend on the type of stress response: "fight", "flight" or "freeze". If a person experiences anger and tension, this can be seen, for example, in a clenched jaw or diaphragm. And if he feels sadness and longing, they can be expressed in the form of problems with the gastrointestinal tract. But bodily reactions in different people can vary as much as possible, or they may not exist at all.
Abuse, unrestrained sex, or fear of relationships
Childhood without a father can have a big impact on how a grown child develops romantic and sexual relationships. Although the absence of a father can affect the well-being of children of both sexes, much of the literature has focused on the impact of fatherlessness on girls' sexual development and reproductive functions. For example, psychologist Bruce Alice found that teenage girls raised by single mothers were twice as likely to have sex and were seven times more likely to become pregnant by age 17 compared to girls whose fathers were present early in their development.
And family therapist and author of Daughters of Divorce, Terri Gaspar, observed that girls who were raised without fathers have several scenarios in which they build relationships. First, they may not trust men.
So, Alice, who has never seen her biological father in her 42 years, recalls that in her youth she was very afraid of guys. For her, they were associated with "aggression, cruelty and senselessness."
Therefore, she built relationships mainly with girls. With age, the fear of men has come to naught, but Alice avoids long-term relationships like fire and thinks that she has a strong aversion to marriage and the birth of children.
Second, girls raised without a father may seek care and approval through sex. Anya, who has never seen her dad, has just such a story. For a whole year, she compulsively went on tinder dates (she could visit two or three dates a day) and did not understand why she could not stop. And only after several months of psychotherapy, Anya realized that all this time she believed that she would be loved only if she became an excellent lover. In addition, she did not know any other intimacy with a man, except sexual.
Terry Gaspard's third observation was that girls who grew up without a father often get into co-dependent relationships because their low self-esteem makes them difficult to resist manipulation. Valeria, whose dad died when she was a teenager, didn't have a healthy relationship. Her first romantic experience turned into a five-year abuse for her, after which she had to treat depression. “Firstly, in my family I used to endure scandals and listen to“ double ”messages. Secondly, after the death of my father, I had a huge fear of loss, and the relationship with the guy who was jealous of my own shadow helped me cut off all close contacts, ”says Valeria.
Several heroes I interviewed also mentioned that they chose older people as partners to fill the gap left by their father. “I wanted someone to take care of me, to have a strong male personality that I could lean on. Now the difficulties in relationships are the same: I often behave quite infantilely and expect that they will take care of me. I need a lot of unconditional support, which not all men are ready to give,” says Lena, who was raised by her mother and grandmother. Fedor was also "looking for daddy." For example, at 15, he started dating a 25-year-old guy who looked very much like his father and even had the same name.
“We don't know who we are until we have an observer in our lives through whom we can see and identify ourselves.
Among other things, parents are those who give us the first experience of interacting with our own sex and gender. Looking at my mother's relationship with her feminine and the way she looks at me, I build a relationship with what kind of woman I am.
Looking at my father's relationship with his masculine and the way he looks at me, I also build relationships with my feminine, feminine in the eyes of a man, and take it further into my adult life, into my partnership. And vice versa, respectively, ”comments Alexandra Grieva.
How to make trauma non-injury
Although research confirms the importance of having a father figure in a baby's life, today there is a growing demand in the world from lesbian couples and single women to have children with the help of donor sperm. In 11 European countries, this right is enshrined in law. France has recently joined their number.
According to Irina Dudenkova, Candidate of Philosophical Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of General Sociology and Social Philosophy of the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology of the Institute of Social Sciences of the RANEPA, this trend could have developed under the influence of several factors at once. Firstly, it is now difficult to determine the period of maturity, the concept of a profession is blurred, the idea of continuous education is gaining popularity - more and more people are postponing the birth of children until later. At the same time, the idea of a “ticking clock” puts pressure on women with the same force, so they decide to have a child “for themselves” at 27–28 years old (the average age of Russian women giving birth for the first time), when they achieve economic stability (we are talking about residents of large cities).
Aleksey Bochenkov recommends that women who decide to raise children on their own, if necessary, try to compensate for the male figure. It could be a grandfather, an uncle, a family friend, or a coach. In addition, a child in such a family can draw information about how men behave from films and books.
Embodiment practitioner Alexandra Grieva says that in such a situation, it is important for the mother to tell her honestly about why there is no father in their family. Otherwise, a person who has been deceived or not told something may spend more years in therapy to get to the truth. “And truth and agreement with it is what ultimately makes trauma non-trauma. If we can withstand reality and not fly away at the same time, not crumble into a thousand pieces, then we are healthy and whole. And this is already a sufficient foundation for all the good things in life.”
How having a father in a family affects the psyche of children June 26, 2020How having a father in a family affects the psyche of children June 26, 2020 | Nizhny Novgorod truth
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He will always be the main man in life
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Last weekend, June 21, was International Father's Day. True, this holiday is quite new for our country, and therefore it has not yet gained much popularity. Moreover, the significance of the pope himself in the formation of the fate of the child is not fully understood by many. It is no coincidence that many mothers after a divorce try to completely protect their beloved child from communicating with their father.
In the meantime, psychologists of all stripes have already worn their tongues to the bone, trying to explain the importance of a father in a child's life. Moreover, even the further fate of the mother herself largely depends on her attitude towards the father of her son or daughter.
So what role does dad play in the life of children and their mother?
Until about three years old, the most important person in a girl's life is her mother. But somewhere from the age of three or four, girls develop an urgent need to communicate with their dad, which usually lasts up to six or seven years. It is during this period that daughters adore their fathers.
At this time, if, of course, dad communicates with his daughter, she develops such qualities as will, purposefulness, logic, imaginative thinking, memory, attention, diligence, responsibility.
It is in communication with dad that girls develop confidence in their own attractiveness. And if he was not around or he did not pay attention to his daughter, then she will grow up notorious and insecure.
And, in the end, for girls, dad is the ideal of a man, which forms the basis of the idea of a future life partner. By and large, her own female happiness depends on how her daughter developed a relationship with her dad.
If the father left the family and did not communicate with his daughter, then she will lack basic communication skills with men. Without having a family model in front of their eyes, without having received the necessary stereotypes of behavior with a man in the house, many women simply do not know how to communicate with the opposite sex, build relationships with him.
If dad seems to have lived next to his daughter, but at the same time did not indulge her with attention and warmth, then in adult life the girl will be drawn to cold men, whose attention and love will have to be fought for. It is from girls who are not loved by dads that women most often grow up who are prone to co-dependent relationships.
The girl develops a lack of love, a feeling of abandonment, unfair resentment, which, having matured, she subconsciously tries to recreate in relationships with men.
And no matter how painful the breakup with a failed life partner may be, the next time such a woman will still fall in love with a man of the same type.
Son for father
For a boy, a father is the main model of masculinity. And, without having it before your eyes, it will be very difficult for the child later.
The boy will not learn the basic rules of male behavior. And in the future, most likely, he will grow up either as an infantile deadhead or an aggressive boor. It's no secret that many consider aggressiveness to be a manifestation of masculinity. If a boy does not have before his eyes an example of real male behavior, he will adhere to external manifestations. But at the same time, he will remain an insecure person and will easily become the prey of some powerful bitch.
Sons need paternal affection no less than daughters. It is the tenderness, protection and care on the part of the father that is the prevention of any psychological deviations and distortions with orientation.
No, of course, and mother's affection is very much needed. But my father has a very special role. Mom's caress gives the child a feeling of coziness and comfort, and dad's allows the girl to feel absolutely protected.
If in childhood the baby saw tenderness and care from his father, then with age he himself will be able to combine strength and tenderness, and this will not seem unnatural to him. He will grow up strong and feeling at the same time. Otherwise, he will become either strong, but insensitive, or sensitive, but weak and incapable of action.
The unloved sons, without realizing it, carry a deep longing for fatherly love throughout their lives.
How much a father is involved in a child's life can be judged by his behavior. Violation of attention and memory, inadequate self-esteem and bad behavior of the child is a sure sign that his soul is sorely lacking in his father.
This lack often even leads to intellectual and mental retardation of the child's development. Moms and teachers in kindergarten attribute everything to the shortcomings of education, but in fact the problem is the lack of a dad.
In adulthood, the lack of a father often leads to infantilism. Such people start a bunch of things at the same time, start a lot of projects, but they don’t bring anything from their plans to the end. They are afraid to take on something new, they experience problems with social self-realization.
People who can't refuse anyone, don't know how to say "no", or, on the contrary, never keep their word and constantly lie, also most often grow out of children who lacked communication with their father. This lack also becomes the reason that a person is either afraid to have his own point of view, agrees with everyone against his own will, or, on the contrary, argues with the whole world, opposing himself to everyone else and doing a lot of spite.
In a word, whatever one may say, the absence of a father in a child's life can ruin both his childhood and adult life.
And to protect him from these troubles, first of all, it is the mother's power.
The fact is that it is she who forms the relationship of the child to the father. If a mother despises her husband or is angry with him, then the children, of course, will also catch this and begin to treat him accordingly.
The degree of importance of the father in the family is also formed by the mother. Therefore, his authority in the family for the most part depends on his mother's attitude. Mom's distrust of the father will also be passed on to the child, and he will begin to avoid communication with his father.
In addition, the mother's negative attitude towards her husband - former or present - leads to the fact that she begins not to accept the features of the father in the child. As a result, an alienation arises between her and the child. In addition, the child on a subconscious level catches that his mother does not love him when he repeats his father in some way. As a result, the child refuses the masculine in himself.
Which leads to the above problems. Because, as experts assure, an inner sense of dignity, a sense of proportion, social self-realization are possible only when there is a positive image of the father in the soul of the child.
As for the father's love for the child. then it largely depends on the relationship with her mother. It is she who forms the attitude of the pope towards his son or daughter. For example, if a woman does not respect her husband, then this will immediately affect the amount of his attention paid to the child. The worse the attitude towards a man from his wife, the less he takes care of the child. And it's useless to call on the husband to go play with the child - it still won't work.
This is what often explains the fact that after a divorce, men stop communicating with their children. And at the same time, they enthusiastically raise the children of their new wife.
But as soon as a woman changes her inner attitude towards the child's father, he immediately has a desire to see the child and participate in his upbringing.