- Family and Parenting
How father's absence in family can impact children?
Father absence in family
In this new modern era, father absence in family is increasing at an exponential rate, with many children raised by mothers only or grandparents or relatives. Is this trend good for society? Is father presence important to family and especially to children? What are the causes of this trend? Are unsuccessful marriages the main cause?
The causes of fathers absence can range from simple excessive overtime in workplace, overseas work commitments, divorce, separation, unwed mothers or even due to high priority given to education opportunities for children. The priorities are changing and work, education, money is gaining more popularity as compared to family roles.
Nobody tends to ask a father, do you spend quality time with your children? However, most people may ask what is his profession and likely to get impressed by his earning power, assets, cars. It will be a rare occurrence if a father mentions proudly that he works part time to spend quality time with his children. It will be even rarer to find that somebody appreciates that kind of milestone. Most men and thus, most father are applauded for financial achievement and that is what they end up running for. Is true manhood only calculated by earning power?
When fathers choose not to give high priority to family over money, things will began to fall sooner or later. It can show up in bad marriages, high divorce rates and finally, adverse effects on children. Here, is the summary of the consequences of fathers absence in family:
1. Early sexual relationships, teenage pregnancies and premarital childbearing. It all starts with the absence of significant parent, father in the family. Sometimes, mothers or grandparents can fill up the gap of father, however, in most cases, it remains unfilled. Adolescents tend to overcome this lack at home by acting it out and going into early sexual relationships. This is damaging for both girls and boys. When teenagers are involved in early sexual relationships, it adversely affects their emotional, mental and physical health. Girls might become pregnant and give birth to children without marriage. It leads to vicious cycle of poverty and absentee fathers in next generation too.
Hence, the consequences of absentee fathers on children sexuality tends to be very damaging and dangerous. There are always exceptions, where mother or other guardians can do an extremely good job of raising wise and happy children with optimum sexual maturity at right age. However, the probability of such cases is low.
2. Dropping out of school. Past research shows that when two parents are present in family, children tend to have a higher motivation to study, delay gratification and pass school, college and even go to university. However, when one of the parent is absent, especially father, education attainment tends to drop significantly. Such children tend to lack motivation to study and might drop out when slightest trouble comes during education. Again, there are rare cases where children of single mothers are motivated to study as they see their mother working hard for them and they finish college, university and go for post graduate studies to get their desired professional degrees.
3. Children are left with overstressed mothers, trying to play the dual role. When fathers are absent, mothers are likely to expand their workload in terms of child rearing, earning money, household chores and even grocery shopping. If the children are living without grandparents or relatives, then mother has no back up adult. She is playing the dual role of father and mother. It can be a highly stressful environment for both mother and children to cope up with. Result is that children experience stress at a young age and there is nobody to help. Sometimes, children might be neglected too as father is absent and mother is too tired to spend time with them. In the end, children might find various cope out measures like overeating, addictions and the life of such children might go downhill.
Hence, in the best interest of children, family, society, it is best for fathers to be present and play a significant role in the family. High priority needs to be given to family rather than money. Money is important but it is not to be placed above spouse and children.
In the end, fathers will see the result of their commitment to family. It does not matter if your neighbor laughs at you that you work part time to spend good, quality time with children. Children will appreciate your time over money. Once they grow up, they will reflect you and value time over money. It is a vicious cycle which you can start, where family matters more than money and it will impact generations to come. You can have more impact than just buying a big house or car.
Fathers, stand up for your family and enjoy it thoroughly. They need you now and if you are not there, soon they will not need you. You will not be able to rewind the time, except to regret the missed opportunities. Focus on the most important things in life and you will get all the desires of your heart.