With the uptick in divorce rates and the fact that father alienation exists, many children are growing up in homes without dads. The collapse of the traditional family can cause serious ramifications on the children. The following is some information on fatherlessness, its impact on the children, and how to overcome some of the problems fatherlessness can cause:
What Happens to Children in Fatherless Homes?
Although mothers do the best they can to raise highly intelligent and successful members of society, there are some problems that can occur when a child does not have a father in his or her life. Experts agree that some children without a father in the home or involved in their lives in some way have poor grades and academic success. Many children of fatherless families have a higher rate of quitting school.
These children also have more emotional issues. When a child's father is not in his or her life, a child is more likely to have poor emotional security and social skills. The likelihood of taking part in criminal activity and substance abuse is also higher in children without a father figure in their lives. Some children begin to act out in a variety of ways, including sexually. Girls, in particular, are prone to promiscuity if they do not have a father in their lives.
What Can You Do About These Issues?
There is no one way to cure these issues. You cannot magically wave a wand and put a family back together. However, there are some ways to help a father have a more prominent role in a child's life, even if the traditional family cannot be together.
First, the father needs to know his presence matters. If you have contact with the child's father, try to connect more frequently to let him know that what he does and his actions make a difference to the child's health and well-being. Also, do not alienate fathers from the children. This is especially important in the early months of a child's life. When a child is a newborn and infant, a father's presence is just as important as any other time. As the child gets older, allow him to comfort the child when he or she is upset. Let him help with the child's daily routines. These small interactions are crucial to the father and child development.
If you are divorced or do not live together, be sure to foster a co-parenting relationship, even if you ended your relationship on tumultuous terms. Be sure to let the father see his child on his custody days. If you notice a trend of the father changing plans and not seeing the child as he should, you need to speak up and tell him just how crucial his presence is in the child's life and encourage him to not avoid time with the child.
To learn more about the effects of fatherlessness, contact a research group.