Kudos to single mothers who have been able to raise all-round healthy boys and girls without the presence of their fathers.
Whatever the reason might be, a father’s absence or the lack of a father figure in the upbringing of a child has life-altering effects, especially on the male child. A father is a boy’s first experience of what it means to be a man, he serves as a guiding light and brings a sense of identity. The involvement and presence of a father or father figure is very crucial in raising boys.
There are some major and important roles of a father in the upbringing of a child. They include.
- Providing financial support.
- Impacting a child’s success.
- Improving the general well-being of a child.
- Being authority figures in the home.
- Protecting the family.
The absence of a father in the raising of the boy child leads to several issues, the importance of a father’s availability and presence can’t be over-emphasized. A present father gives identity to his son. A present father helps boost the self-esteem of his son; he is also the right role model for his son. A lack and absence of a father or father figure leaves the boy child unstable, creates an emotionally imbalanced man and increases the number of incarcerated males in society.
When a boy has been deprived of a strong fatherly presence in his life, he becomes exposed to a wide range of issues like.
Behavioural Problems especially during adolescence and adulthood, boys who grow up without a fully present father become domineering to mask their emotions, and as a result, they have trouble adjusting in school and having healthy relationships.
Attachment Trauma: A father’s unavailability whether physical or emotional can cause the boy child to develop an attachment trauma. Attachment trauma is gotten from the attachment style developed in childhood. There are 4 attachment styles.
- Secure style: This is the healthiest style developed when a child receives consistent care, affection and emotional support from their parent(s).
- Anxious style: This is formed when the attention and care a child gets from his parents is inconsistent and as adults, he seeks validation or reassurance from others and tends to have trust issues.
- Avoidant style: When a child is emotionally neglected by his parents especially when he feels hurt, he can develop this attachment style.
- Fearful-avoidant style: This attachment trauma is a result of surviving child abuse or neglect and as adults, they gravitate towards dysfunctional and unhealthy relationships.
Poor Mental Health aside low self-esteem, serious mental health issues such as depression and anxiety may affect a boy child with an absent father, and it might also lead to substance or alcohol abuse in adulthood to escape from the pain. The issues can affect their adult life, from finding steady jobs to forming healthy friendships. Other effects are.
Being a father requires more than just sowing wild oats. A safe, sane and healthy society is made up of sane and emotionally healthy adults, who were raised and guided by available, present and emotionally healthy fathers. Fathers you owe this much to your sons and daughters, be present physically and emotionally for your children.