When will there be a time to discuss just how damaging fatherless relationships are to our young children?
As the society continues to evolve, we are gaining a strong understanding of intricate situations. We often come across the phrase “Daddy issues” among the people. This infamous phrase is often termed as hot topic, throwing light on traumatic past. However, what are the consequences of being fatherless?
Kent Ballard Jr, an educator with a bachelor’s degree in B.A and master’s in education with specialization in urban and diverse learners, describes that there are different types of fathers and being fatherless is a disadvantage. In the Ted Talk’s episode “The life-long impact of absent fathers” , he brings out the importance of having a father and what effect could that disconnection build in a young fatherless individual.
Experiencing whilst developing
Throughout the TedTalk, Kent goes on to discuss the eight different archetypes of fathers. The one that stood out for me was the “hide-and-seek-dad”. Kent explained that this type of father is one who is constantly in and out of one’s child’s life.
I could relate to this, since while I was growing up, it hampered my relationships with other individuals. The reason being the constant feeling of abandonment, leading to insecurity. I remember, on my graduation day, I felt elated ,and was overwhelmingly happy to not only receive my award but to see my dad proud of me. He mentioned how proud he was of me and started walking away; he left. Out of nowhere, I burst into tears, because it was my inner child who yearned for his love.
A fatherless home had made it difficult to thrive.
Carlee Castetter, while discussing the young girls with absent fathers in her “the development effects on the daughter of an absent father throughout her lifespan paper” mentions that for women their identities are achieved through relationships with others.
Women tend to define themselves based on the quality of their relationships with family, friendships, as well as any other kind of relationship. Hence why, the lack of a father-daughter relationship for a girl may make her feel incomplete as an individual. This concludes that young girls with absent fathers are more likely to have emotional challenges. According to Ryan Light it includes:
The feelings of abandonment and rejection
Low self-worth and self-esteem issues
Impact on mental health (depression, anxiety)
Identity and self-identity struggles
Breaking the monotonous cycle is tough and beneficial in the long term. Recognizing that it is affecting your relationships, with not just other people but yourself, is the first step. But, addressing your grievances and acting on it, working towards it, is a part of healing.
When discussing about young boys having absent fathers, the Centre for Social Justice have mentioned that countless boys are in “men deserts”, and have no male role model in sight. Many boys are searching to understand their masculinity. Sadly, almost everyone must discover by themselves.
Carlee Castetter stated that men are completely different from women. For a man to achieve a sense of self, it comes through gradual separation from adults in his life. First, he is separated from motherly care, then from the rest of his family and this is to achieve their sense of self through autonomy and independence.
Wainwright Cummins suggested that there may be a connection between young people growing up without a father in home and becoming involved in youth crime and gang violence in the UK which stays in around (75% of young men in prison ).
It’s amazing how as society progresses and so does the individuals. We realize that it’s time to begin the process of shift, to make society a likeable place for all, but how can we do this?
Time for a change
Educate yourself whenever you can.------
There are many books, documentaries, journals and even talking to people through their own life experiences can change your outlook on things. A book that I have read which changed my view on youth crime and exploitation, was “Prisoner to the Streets” by Robyn Travis. Representations like Idris Elba raising his concerns about knife crime and campaigning against it , is important.
Therapy!!! ----------- I can’t stress this enough. Being able to grow is also being able to have support networks like our family, friends, or mentors. They provide the guidance and encouragement needed for healing and growth.
Appreciate yourself and everyone who has walked with you in that journey of your life.
Being able to recognize that you have had an absent father is one thing, acting upon it and healing is another thing. Trauma never leaves an individual as you grow healthily and positively, but getting the right support helps you to establish your self-worth. Build healthy relationships and break the cycle of fatherlessness.
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