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How Children Are Affected By Their Fathers' Absence

Updated on July 28, 2014

Affect of Father's Absence on Children

The importance of the presence of the father in a home cannot be overemphasized. The Bible says that the man is the head of the house like Christ is the head of the church.The father’s influence cannot be delegated. Growing children need proper upbringing of their father even more than they need the extra money which he hopes to earn by being constantly away from home.

There was a story of a businessman who bought a car for his son as a birthday present and gave to his wife to present the key to their son because he needed to travel for a business transaction on his son’s birthday. He believed that his son would be very happy to receive a brand new car as present but to his greatest surprise his son rejected the car. “I would have appreciated it more if he was here with me even without a present,” he told his mother when she presented him the car’s key.

The father’s guidance to his children and his counsel regarding their anxieties and problems gives them that confidence and a feeling of affection which is necessary to the building of well-rounded personalities.

The years of childhood pass so fast that the father who did not take advantage of it to be a good father may have reason to regret in future. It is during these formative years that he has the opportunity to mold the character, outlook, ambitions, and dreams of his children. Once the children are grown, it becomes very difficult to remold them.

The man must not assume that the responsibility of parenthood rests entirely upon his wife. It takes both parents to provide proper home for the children to grow up. Even though, the mother may spend more time at home because fathers most times go out to earn then income needed to provide for the family, their presence can help the family tremendously. The children are entitled to the presence of their father as to that of their mother. Just as in the case of the mother-child relationship, so there are mutual benefits to be derived from the contact between father and children.

Obviously, itinerant father have very little influence over his children. There was a case a child who was calling his father uncle because before he woke from sleep in the morning, his father had gone to work. And before he returned the boy was asleep. They rarely had time together. It took some time before his mother to convince the boy that he was his father and not an uncle.

And before a father could hope to have influence in his children’s lives, he would need to become acquainted with them. And before his control will be accepted, the children would have to be shown that his love for them is genuine and unselfish. Children need parents that love them, if they were to grow up to become responsible members of the society. Studies have revealed that children who their father is always away stand the risk of becoming alcohol and drugs addicts than other children.

As adolescents make the transition to teenage years, parents may realize their children are under the influence of internet, music videos, magazine adverts and peer pressure. Each trying to erode parental influence; but with joint efforts they may be powerful to keep her children from these overwhelming distractions.

A mother may be watchful, but she can’t be everywhere at once or remain awake all hours of the day, this is why the presence of the father is needed. If the children are not properly monitored for signs of drug abuse, academic failure to mention a few, things may have gone out of hand. A single mother doesn’t have the energy to challenge her teenagers at every turn; so she prioritizes her battles. While she attends to some others become full blown crises before they get her attention. When the father is around, the mother can get a nap when she tired knowing that her husband is keeping an eye on the children. Under constant watch, care, and concern, children are less likely to experiment with extremes of behavior when they know they have two parents who are watching their every move.

A mother, however much she would want to, cannot supply what both parents would have as a unit when the father is away. A father’s absence will affect the children in many negative ways, most notably by no providing a strong male role for emulating purposes. The absence of a father will hinder the emotional maturity of the children as they will only be seeing the emotions of one gender. It is generally known that mothers are more tolerant than the fathers; as a result they can’t enforce discipline.

A father’s presence or absence will have profound effect on his daughters as well. Watching the relationship between their parents there will understand how to handle their own spouse when they eventually marry. Though, if they live like cat and dog, it could have adverse effect on them. Female children may feel less protected without their father around, and have no one to show them how a man should treat his wife and family. Under the influence of a caring and present father, girls grow to womanhood exuding self confidence. They learn first hand the basic rules for male-female relationships by observing their parents. Without a father present, children don’t always get to see a relationship between a man and a woman working. They have nothing to compare their own relationships with as they grow up, and can end up with partners who take advantage of them.

Although mothers can effectively discipline their children, studies have shown that when a father is not present in a home, children are more likely to derail and exhibit bad and dangerous behavior. This may be because a father discipline is often more powerful and respected than a mothers, or because a single mother has less time and energy to keep control of her children. Neither can replace the other. A mother offers tenderness, but sometimes it takes the familiar deep baritone voice of a father to stop a child unnecessary crying. An older child may ignore a directive from his mother; but will respond to a father’s authoritative voice with instant compliance.

Children without a father around them can experience a feeling of intense loss. Try as she might the most dedicated mother raising a child alone can only provide a role model interpreted from the feminine perspective. Both daughter and son will eventually understand that something is missing, especially when they see other children playing with their fathers and they have none. The absence of a father’s influence is more noticeable in his sons, who often mirror their father’s career, mannerisms, and life philosophies without any conscious consideration.

Their father may be deceased, unknown, or absent due to divorce or separation. This creates a gap in what should be a supportive family unit for the growing children. They may feel rejected and unwanted by a father who is living, but does not want to have anything to do with them. Cases abound when children go looking for their fathers after many ages of separation. A father who was previously known to his children but either dies or goes away, leaves the impression of abandonment in the children’s hearts. When a father was never known, children will always be left with the feeling that a part of them is missing.

Both mother and father bring different aspect into a family. With both parents around, the children will have more opportunities for fun, excitement, learning and laughter. One parent may be good at certain areas, such as literary works, while the other may be better at engaging the children in arts and crafts.

The lack of money can affect the well-being of a young child and his future. Even an absent father who pays child support will not provide as much money he would have done assuming he is still part of the family. A child without father is likely to be poorer, with fewer choices in life due to lack of funds. Children who don’t have the support of a father are less likely to get qualitative education. This is due to the fact that they lack the funds to pay for good schools. They can’t even further their education because they need to leave school as soon as possible to work so that they can assist their mother financially.

With joint efforts of the parents, children’s welfare will be better taken care of. There is a saying that, “Two head are better than one.” A mother is less likely to have the money to pay for treatment when the children are sick. The overall picture regarding how the absence of a father affects children is that they grow up with less of the standard of living they would have had had their father lived with them. They have less emotional support and discipline, less money to provide them with good health and education, and less inbuilt ammunition to use in future to combat events that may develop.

However, in the situation where the father is absent because he split up with his wife on grounds of incompatibility, children may be better off when their parents are living apart. The lack of a father is still a great loss, but living in a house full of violence may not be a better option.


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    • Chuksm profile imageAUTHOR

      Anthony Modungwo 

      5 years ago from Benin

      Thank sandeep.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Nice read. Informative and touching

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I am very happy to read your comment. Thank you for taking out time to read my hub and make your comment. I will continue to read on topics that will obviously touch your heart.

    • alisha4u profile image


      9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Great Hub. Touched my Heart !


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