Is it worse to grow up without a father or have a dad who just stops showing up when you're 13?
If you grow up without a father figure at all, do you think that is easier than having your father just decide to stop showing up when you turn 13? The child in question was very close with his father until a few months ago when the dad got involved with a very controlling and manipulative woman who insists he not spend as much time with his son because she thinks he's old enough now to not need his dad so much. I grew up without my biological father and it didn't phase me, but I think a father "dumping you" more or less would really hurt a lot. what would be worse?
Checkout the statistics below then "You Decide" which is worst. In my view, neither situation is good, it is impossible to choose one over the other.
Sexual activity. In a study of 700 adolescents, researchers found that "compared to families with two natural parents living in the home, adolescents from single-parent families have been found to engage in greater and earlier sexual activity."
Source: Carol W. Metzler, et al. "The Social Context for Risky Sexual Behavior Among Adolescents," Journal of Behavioral Medicine 17 (1994).
A myriad of maladies. Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, suicide, poor educational performance, teen pregnancy, and criminality.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, Survey on Child Health, Washington, DC, 1993.
Drinking problems. Teenagers living in single-parent households are more likely to abuse alcohol and at an earlier age compared to children reared in two-parent households
Source: Terry E. Duncan, Susan C. Duncan and Hyman Hops, "The Effects of Family Cohesiveness and Peer Encouragement on the Development of Adolescent Alcohol Use: A Cohort-Sequential Approach to the Analysis of Longitudinal Data," Journal of Studies on Alcohol 55 (1994).
Drug Use: "...the absence of the father in the home affects significantly the behavior of adolescents and results in the greater use of alcohol and marijuana."
Source: Deane Scott Berman, "Risk Factors Leading to Adolescent Substance Abuse," Adolescence 30 (1995)
Sexual abuse. A study of 156 victims of child sexual abuse found that the majority of the children came from disrupted or single-parent homes; only 31 percent of the children lived with both biological parents.
Source: Beverly Gomes-Schwartz, Jonathan Horowitz, and Albert P. Cardarelli, "Child Sexual Abuse Victims and Their Treatment," U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Deadly predictions. A family structure index -- a composite index based on the annual rate of children involved in divorce and the percentage of families with children present that are female-headed -- is a strong predictor of suicide among young adult and adolescent white males.
Source: Patricia L. McCall and Kenneth C. Land, "Trends in White Male Adolescent, Young-Adult and Elderly Suicide: Are There Common Underlying Structural Factors?" Social Science Research 23, 1994.
Holy crap... Those statistics arent good... But i believe neither outcome is great and although similar its like comparing apples with oranges... But both are still Fruit, if you know what i mean.... I hope in time ur boy will understand that all though it would be lovely to have his dad active in his life.. He and you could probably do with out her tarnishing his young imprintable lil soul.. Empower him to be the best he can be... And i do understand how hard this situation is... Either way the kids have been ditched.. Do not let him take up a victom role.. Keep him strong xxxxx
Both situations have an effect on children. Like you I never knew my father. I still wonder what he looked like and would love to see a picture of him at least. However, I don't think it affected me as much as my son has been affected by his father abandoning him repeatedly over the years. It started when he was a baby and we split up because of his infidelity. We were reconciled but split again when our son was 4, for the same reason. For a while my husband saw our son until his new partner decided not to allow it. Since then he has picked him up and dropped him on a regular basis. He moved house 5 years ago and didn't tell our son his address. This has had a devastating effect on the now 21 year old. He has so many problems and cannot live with me because of his chaotic lifestyle and anger management issues. All I can hope is that one day soon he will be able to lead a happy and productive lifestyle. At the moment he is not ready for change. Heartbreaking! Excellent question.
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