Children With Absent Fathers
Some children do not have the opportunity to have a father figure in their life. These children may face not having a father for a variety of reasons. Children deal with the loss of the father figure in different ways. Some children appear to have no problem not having a father in their life and others seem to have great difficulties with this loss.
An absent father is either a father that is permanently out of the picture. The father left because he did not want to be involved when the child was born, or he felt no need to be with someone that he did not love and left for that reason. There are other reasons why a father may be absent from a child’s life permanently. Some absent fathers are gone for a temporary period of time. These fathers may have jobs that call them away or other reasons that take them away from home for long periods of time. Absent fathers could be in jail, could be divorced or separate, or could be in the military as well as the reasons mentioned earlier.
Children may have difficulty dealing with the absence of their father. Some children are able to adapt to difficult situations and may be fine without their father. Other children have difficulty with the loss of their father. It is important to keep in mind that a majority of single parents are female and that may indicate that a lot of children have absent fathers. Children with fathers in the picture tend to have less mental health diagnoses and tend to be emotionally healthier. Fathers that are absent or who are not good influences on their children, tend to cause their children to have mental health diagnoses. These kids could be seen as following in the footsteps of their fathers. If their father is constantly going to jail, this sets the example that it is okay for this child to do what his father does. Some of the absent fathers have mental health diagnoses that the children receive genetically or from learning what their father does to cope with life.
In a situation where the father is absent it is important to once again understand how the children feel about the situation. It does not help for a parent to bad mouth another parent. Allow the child to talk freely about the absent parent. Make sure the child understands that the absence of their father is in no way their fault. Often children tend to take the blame for their absent parent. Good parenting requires the parent to explain why the father is absent and how it is not the child’s fault. Even with all the talk a child may find it difficult to accept that the situation is not their fault. Children need some messages repeated so that they can absorb the information. If none of the above works have the child attend counseling and work out grief and loss issues in relation to the absent father.