Absent Fathers Affect Their Child’s Future

Absent Fathers Affect Their Child’s Future

Abigail Schrauth

Many children are growing up in the world without the presence of their fathers. In fact, instances of fathers who abandon their children are extremely high, especially in Latin American countries. For some, this is due to social problems such as unemployment and poverty. For others, the most important factor is culture. As a matter of fact,  in some settings father abandonment is seen as something relatively normal. There seems to be a strong relationship between unplanned pregnancies, especially in adolescents, and fathers abandoning their children. This, added to macho patterns of behavior, means that many men don’t view abandoning a child as negative.

While it’s true that human beings can grow and develop without having committed fathers by their side, it’s also true that those with fathers beside them have many and better opportunities in life. There are also cases in which paternal absence becomes a burden on the child and has really detrimental effects on them. Just as there are many ways to be with a child, there are also different ways to leave them. The absent father, in principle, is one who leaves the mother physically and psychologically alone to raise her child. He ignores the economic situation, the housework, and doesn’t care what happens to the child.

There are also those who leave emotionally, but not physically. They feel that their children are the mother’s concern. These fathers are physically there, but they don’t believe they have any responsibility for raising their children. They don’t talk to them, they don’t spend time with them, and they have no idea how their life is going. They simply limit themselves to paying the bills and giving the occasional order, from time to time and at their convenience. In fact, they don’t interact with the little ones at all. There are also those who don’t leave emotionally, but physically. They might’ve formed another family or they’ve moved away. However, they still try to be aware of what’s happening to their children. They can never spend as much time as they would like, but they keep their children in their minds and in their hearts.

Each type of abandonment generates its own consequences. In the case of the completely absent father, the consequences range from serious to extremely serious. If the father figure is replaced by someone, the effect will be less. However, if only a void remains, the echoes of that absence will likely be nothing short of devastating for the child.