A Father’s Impact on Child Development

A Father’s Impact on Child Development




Fathers are indispensable figures of support in every family. The design of the family is to be built alongside father and mother, and this couple is the most ideal in bearing and bringing up children. However, there are many social challenges across the world, which makes the family ties to stumble, forcing the married couples to separate or divorce. It is always a trying and difficult timing for every other person in the family when the parents’ part ways, and the most affected are the children. This is because; the study has shown that there is an irreplaceable role of a father and mother in the lives of children. That is, the growth and advancing of children are entirely dependent on this togetherness of the two parents. In most cases, it is the father who is not available, and this absence has been found to cause social, emotional, economic and individual problems which result to children ending up as drug addicts, aggressive, fearful, and ones that have no identity. The essay will critically analyze the effects and experiences of children growing up without the father A Father’s Impact on Child Development.

Growing up, fatherless has got devastating effects on the family and more to the children. This is because; children need a father figure to guide, discipline, and build their confidence and trust with others. Children are attached to their fathers as it is with their mothers, and thus missing out on their father would be a significant blow which could bring them irreversible effects throughout their livelihoods. It is therefore vital for children to have both parents to have their attachment from the very beginning of life. However, due to many reasons, the father may die, get incarcerated, or separate with the mother rendering the children fatherless. Studies have demonstrated that a lack of father makes the family unable to function in a normal way as there are some elements of life that the mother cannot give to children (Wineburgh, p.255).

Research has indicated that children that grow up in absence of their fathers have a significant likelihood of becoming aggressive and angry fast. These children usually develop inner anger, which consumes them, and a slight provocation can result in fights and abuses. They have difficulties in relating with other mates as their moods are not as stable. This attitude has been connected to fatherless children. It is believed that this anger results from single mothers that have the habit of spilling their entire anger and aggression on their fatherless children. The children then developed these traits, and they start becoming angry for no apparent reason due to stressful moments and experiences shown by their mothers (Osborne, p.1069) A Father’s Impact on Child Development.

Children without fathers have a bigger problem of depression. These children are more prone to developing emotional stress every time they are alone. This is because they often feel that they are alone in the world and that no one cares for them. They are also very much distressed when they see other children with both parents, and this makes them question their existence and life itself. Also, when the fatherless children see the struggles their mothers go through to bring them up, they often feel sympathetic and depressed. However, many can manage their depression by being close to friends in school and teachers. However, to others, they are not able to overcome these circumstances and ends up in other social evils such as taking drugs and alcohol (Jivani, p.1). Thus, drug abuse and alcoholism is a challenge to children that grow without their fathers. This is because, after going through these stressful moments, these children end up in drugs to try and appeal to their mental distress. Others are led astray by their peers as they have this inner anger and weakness that they want to show others that they can take drugs as others. Also, children without their fathers can have much free time alone with peers as in most instances their mothers will be busy in their jobs. These extended long hours of staying alone make children engage in others aspects of leisure with the most common one being taking of drugs and engaging in other activities like making of tattoos and other peer influenced activities (Teachman, p.86).

Growing up, fatherless makes children develop low self-esteem. This is because the children are exposed to endless questioning about the reasons their father left. These thoughts make the children at time feel that they are unwanted, and in most instances, they do not even want to play with others and wants to remain segregated in their world. Others have trouble dating as they fear to be turned down, which would cause them even more profound sorrows. Moreover, children growing up without their fathers may have difficulty in school and may perform very poorly. This is because they lack the right motivation and courage to work hard as compared to other children that have both parents. These children find themselves struggling with emotional issues, which make it difficult for them to study well (McLanahan, p.399).

Also, their failure in school is propagated by their low esteem as their father are not seen on visiting days as others enjoy with their fathers and also growing stories about their fathers at home. These issues are central to children and end up putting them off to the extent that they will not perform well in class. About these, there are a few children without fathers that proceed to colleges. This is because these children fail in their exams, and many do not have the morale of advancing their education. It is here that many boys’ starts taking drugs and alcoholism while girls get pregnant and are married early. Without good upper education, these fatherless children are also exposed to poverty in a big way. Data shows that fatherless children are four times likely to be poor when compared to others with fathers at home. According to a study in 2012, an estimated 12% of families with married couples were found to live in poverty contrast to about 44% of single mother families that were living in poverty. This is a considerable gap which depicts the importance of a father in family and more to the children (Jivani, p.1).

Growing up in absence of a father affects the child’s emotional and psychological health. This is because the child is continuously thinking about their father. Hence, they see programs on TV and when they hear about fathers in the school work. These affect some degree of their health such that many starts becoming reckless and irresponsible due to lack of that fatherly love and affection. The children, in this case, can even develop the fear, lack of confidence, and low levels of sociability. It is from these aspects that the child starts deteriorating in school and becoming very radical towards others and later starts engaging in risky behaviors. In girls, thy starts engaging in sex early in life, and many ends up getting pregnant in their teenage years (Spencer, p.1). This completely alters their future as they have to depend on their mothers and later when the mother cannot sustain them all they go into the streets where they live under poverty and tries hard to make life better through all means. This at some time forces them to engage in commercial sex to get some money to fend for the child, and others get into peddling and taking of drugs as a cheaper way of getting money and food on the table A Father’s Impact on Child Development.

Boys are, however, adversely affected when they fail to continue with the education they turn in to drug abuse and alcoholism and irresponsible sexual behaviors in their teen years. Later, they join up with the streets gangs where drug taking and peddling becomes the order of the day. They even engage in more risky behaviors such as robbery and theft, which exposes many to criminal activities and later incarceration. As a result, there is a considerable percentage of boys that are fatherless getting into prisons compared to those with both parents. Also, there is a significant likelihood of boys from fatherless families committing suicide. This is because when all the issues of life including depression, low self-esteem, drug and alcoholism and failure in school and poverty accumulate they make these children unable to think critically and feels that the only easy exit from the travails of this world is through suicide (Spencer, p.2).

Also, boys are supposed to see and feel what it takes to be a father through observing their fathers, and they have an easy time when changes in adolescents come calling. Also, girls are supposed to have the feeling of staying close to a man and getting used to the father such that they will be able to integrate and live with other boys without having to show difficulties (Spencer, p.2). Besides, there is no perfect parent and perfection in bringing up of these children is experienced when the father and mother are present and able to help each other in finding solutions that can help boys and girls grow well. Moreover, the father figure acts as a source of security to the family by merely being there and making the family feel loved and with someone that can take care of them all. However, when the dad is not there, there is a vacuum left which may never be filled and which results in all other challenges to children while growing up (Jivani, p.1).

There are many consequence of growing up fatherless, and in nearly all cases; the effects are negative to children. This is because the child is affected emotionally to the extent that they are unable to perform well in school and even have problems socializing with others. The most significant effects are that in both boys and girls most end up in poverty, early pregnancies and incarceration and others commit suicide due to life pressures. It is therefore essential to have father figures at home for the sake of bringing up children for their better future.

Works Cited

Osborne, C, McLanahan, S. Partnership instability, and child well-being. Journal of Marriage and Family,2007, vol. 69, 1065-1083.

Teachman, Jay D. "The Childhood Living Arrangements of Children and the Characteristics of Their Marriages." Journal of Family Issues 25 (January 2004): 86-111

Jivani J. The Consequences of Growing up without a Father, 2018. Retrieved from, https://thewalrus.ca/the-consequences-of-growing-up-without-a-father/

Spencer B. Growing up without a father can permanently alter the BRAIN: Fatherless children are more likely to grow up angry and turn to drugs, 2010. Retrieved from, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2518247/Growing-father-permanently-alter-BRAIN-Fatherless-children-likely-grow-angry-turn-drugs.html

Wineburgh, Alan L. "Treatment of Children with Absent Fathers." Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal. 2008, 17 (4): 255–273.

McLanahan, Daniel. "The Causal Effects of Father Absence." Annual Review of Sociology. 2013, 39 (1): 399–427 A Father’s Impact on Child Development.