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How to Survive Without Your Father in Your Life

By StephanieSare1 Dec 06, 2012 1957 Words
“She will have fourteen hours to live,” the doctor said to my family. I did not comprehend the situation completely, but I knew my mother was not well. I was four years old and confused so I simulated the attitudes of my older siblings and father. Fourteen hours passed and she was still living. My mother was diagnosed with a mild stroke and was hospitalized for several months. During those months I was thrown from house to house. I lived with my god-mother and other close relatives for the time being. I would come to visit my mother whenever I was with my father. The doctor came to my father one visit, and told my father that there was a possibility that my mother would never walking again. When my father acknowledged the news, he had a discussion with my mother and said he cannot take the stress of her in the hospital and him taking care of her for the rest of his life. From that day on my parents made a decision that would change my life. The two decided to file for a divorce. I remember when my mother was discharged from the hospital she was determined to walk again. My mother did not let her disability hinder her. She refused to become dependent on anyone. The physical therapy she received was a tremendous help, and proving many doubters wrong, she walked again. The moment my mother became financially and physically ready, she and I moved to an apartment not too away from my father. I thought everything would be fine with our broken family because he lived down the street and I was in walking distance. Then my father moved further away, and I started seeing him less. I tried to understand why my father did not come to see me, and I could not understand the reason why the distance between us was so great. Now my relationship with my father is strictly financial. As I got older, I wondered whether if my relationship with my father was not consistent, I would not progress with my life. Sociologists have studies that prove children without male figures are said to have problems later in life. It is even possible that the child or children can even develop a sense of resentment. Even though a father may not be present, a single mother is fully capable of raising children to their full potential. Single parenting may be an extremely challenging task, but it can be accomplished by persevering through the obstacles such as an absentee father and economic hardships. Mothers have to maintain positive attitudes throughout their children’s lives. Single mothers raising children to their full potential

Many obstacles may arise when raising a child, let alone raising a child alone, persevering through the obstacles makes a family stronger. Today in America, one-fifth of children are born into a single-parent or cohabitation home, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Single parent families can be defined as families with children under 18 years old, having only one parent who is either unmarried, divorced or widowed. The causes of single parenting have changed over the years. Earlier, deaths of a spouse or divorce were common reasons. Today, having a child from a small time live-in relationship is more evident in the US, where women prefer to stay single and dare to raise the child alone. A woman and her biological children form the most common type of single parent family. Children tend to have behavioral problems when the father is not present. Most children are born to single young mothers. This means children are being born to sixteen year olds who are still considered children themselves, and are now trying to raise a child on their own. When a child’s mind is developing, they tend to watch the actions of those who surround them. When the child exhibits the behavior it is almost impossible for the parent to stop the action because they just want the child to be satisfied just as they would be. When the child sees that he/she can get away with certain actions it becomes harder to discipline the child. A lack of discipline results in further behavioral problems later on in life. These behavioral problems can become a gateway to incarceration, poverty, and repeating the cycle of single parent homes. Single mothers have accomplished raising a child on their own without being in poverty “Just over 79% of single mothers are gainfully employed.”(Coorder) Also, “there have been many successful kids who turn out to be presidents, authors, doctors, lawyers, business owners and rock stars! Tom Cruise, Christina Aguilera, Julia Roberts, Barack Obama, Angelina Jolie, Matt LeBlanc, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Bill Clinton.” (Coorder) Challenges of single parenting

Additionally, divorce is a vast source of child behavior and emotional matters. The child witnesses the parents quarreling and notices that the atmosphere in the home is not fitting. The child also notices when communication needs are not being met and the child can sense complications. In other words, when the surroundings are not comfortable, the child has no other choice but to feel uncomfortable. A lack of comfort can cause the child to be angry or to have anguish; or can cost the child their academic success. Another outcome is the child wanting to leave the home and results in the child becoming a runaway. It is also projected that poor parental skills will be developed, in the child, if the child comes from a broken home. Single mothers who are dating also have effects on their children, in the sense that the child looks to the man that is brought home as a father figure. A promiscuous mother can confuse the child who sees too many father figures and can be confused on whether to trust any of the strange men. “Though it's a fact that children from one parent families face more economical and emotional problems, good nurturing, and a caring and loving attitude by a parent can bring positive experiences in life that helps in forming healthy relationships. As they say, children require more of your presence than presents, so make it point to spend quality time with your children.”(Dhavale) Keeping the child needs first is also an essential to raising a child. So if the child’s father is not going to be in the child’s life it is important that mother is prepared to take on both roles of a father and a mother. Since women are seen as emotional creatures they might use their children as their support system, but that is not the child’s responsibility. The mother must be able to put on a brave face and be able stay strong to be the child’s support system. Mothers need to maintain positive attitudes

Explaining to a child that the father could or will be absent in a child’s life may be difficult but having a positive attitude can help the child through the difficult times of single-parenthood. The role of fathers in child development is tremendously important. Even from birth, children who have an involved father are more likely to be emotionally secure. These children are less likely to get in trouble in school and home. The way the father plays with the child also has an important impact on a child’s emotional and social development. Fathers usually play rough with their children, and this explains to the child how to channel their emotions without losing control. Generally speaking, men promote independence and orientation to the outside world. Fathers regularly encourage achievement from difficult challenges and mothers give off a nurturing feel to situations. As a result, children who grew up with involved fathers are more comfortable exploring their surroundings and exhibit confidence. Studies show that children with healthy relationships with their fathers tend to show less disruptive behavior. Studies also show that boys with involved fathers had fewer school behavioral problems and that girls had stronger self-esteem. In short, fathers have a powerful and positive impact upon the development and health of children. When the father is absent in the child’s life the single-mother leans toward the blame game. The mother tries to justify the child’s actions because of the child’s absentee father. A mother’s actions can either cause the mother and child to have an alliance against the father; or the child forges a stronger bond with the father, which is not common. In a result, the child is almost forced to have some sort of resentment toward the father. Another result is the child can become loyal to its absent father and actually have an indecisive feeling towards the mother. “When a father abandons his child after the break-up with the mother, there is an ethical rift in the family that remains a subterranean dynamic in the mother-child relationship that can play out in problematic ways when it is not acknowledged,” (Craft and Doherty). Though children can face the hardships of living in single-parent homes, there are methods to cope with an absentee father. Single-mothers can raise their children with male-positive attitudes. “Staying positive will actually help you create a more positive existence for both yourself and everyone around you. If you are negative or stressed out constantly, your children will feel the negative aura and actually become stressed themselves.” (Unknown) Most single mothers have a tendency to become hostile and have undesirable attitudes toward the child’s father or just men in general. It can be problematic for a mother to disperse her feelings of antagonism and antipathy toward her ex-partner and stay positive about the same man for her developing child. Some single-mothers do raise their children by themselves; some of the children do relatively well in life. It starts by the mother speaking positively of the child’s father. Positive speaking concerning the absentee father helps the child admire their father. Also, whether the child’s father behaves irresponsibly the mother chooses not to disclose the information to the child. A disclosure of unnecessary information prevents the child from being negatively persuaded about their father. Another way of coping is not lying about the father, or lying for him. The child deserves to know the truth in any situation. Additionally, the mother acknowledges that the father is not present. Conclusion

There is a stigma that children in single parent homes grow to become unsuccessful, “But this is not to say, that children of single parents do not grow up as responsible adults, they do. Children of single parents grow up faster than their counterparts, as the parent tends to involve them in decision-making giving them a greater understanding of how freedom of choice is entwined with responsible behavior and accountability. As single parents involve their children in the day-to-day running of the household, it helps to increase the bond between them and enhance their concept of a support system.”(Rajeev) In the mist of all the challenges of single-parenting, there are positive effects such as: Developing a stronger bond with the child, experiencing their community more as a helpful resource, and giving the child a sense of responsibility. “Children who are raised in successful single parent families know that they are the main priority in their parents' lives, yet they are not treated as though they are the center of everyone's universe. This healthy approach helps to prepare kids for the "real world."” (Wolf) Raising children as a single-mother may be seen as detrimental to the child’s life, but women are fully capable of raising children on their own and can be successful at raising the children alone.

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