Growing up is a big determinant in how the life of any individual will go. This is because this is the period when children pick up most of the necessary information, ideologies that they will later navigate life with on the intellectual, physical, emotional, and social levels. The best people to impact the child with these essential life skills are the child’s parents.
Parents are the guides by which the world is introduced to the child. Of course, we should acknowledge that parents can be biological, adoptive, single, or gay. However, for the purpose of this writing, we will talk about the parental setup that involves a separated male father.
Reasons That A Child Might Not Grow Up with Their Father
There are several factors that may influence the child’s separation from the father. Some of the most common include love strains like divorce, being a love child (unmarried couples), polygamy, and more. Other factors include incarceration, relocation due to work-related reasons. (Usually, in most separation cases, the mother is usually the one who gets the custodial rights to the child.) Whatever the reason for the separation, the child should be made to maintain a healthy relationship with its father. Although, this could be waived if the father is abusive, or the father constitutes potential harm to the said child.
Benefits of Growing Up with A Father for The Child
-To Get A More Rounded View of Life.
The mere presence of two living parents in the life of a child gives the child a multidimensional outlook of life. Each parent has different outlooks on life; different personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Growing up with both, the child can view a parent’s opinions, actions, and decisions and then compare them with the other parent’s opinion, actions, and decisions. This helps keep the child grounded and improves the child’s analytical and decision-making skills.
In most cultures and religions, a child’s father is seen as an entity that strikes discipline into the child. The father is often the parent whom the child looks up to in terms of sport, self-defense, and other important lessons as life begins. The father, together with the mother helps the child to shape its life as it begins.
Children raised by single mothers usually find it tough at first, to understand why they do not have a father. This hinders their understanding of the social construct of family and family roles. However, if a child understands that they have a father available, such a child will not feel left out of the social order and the child will develop confidence and a high level of self-esteem. (Imagine how proud your child will be if his dad is among the numerous dads present on career day.) Even if the father is incarcerated, the child visiting their father helps them understand that they are loved and wanted.
-For Life Lessons
A father will teach his child important lessons about how to navigate life, especially roles associated with gender. Boys will be taught important lessons on how to handle the social expectations that are placed on the shoulders of men. Girls will be taught how to handle themselves around men. Children who grow up with their parents are more likely to develop sound social skills to facilitate day-to-day interactions with other people. These lessons will form basic building blocks that will inform how the child becomes a proactive and well-integrated member of society.
-For Mental Balance
Different reports claim that people who grow up with both parents are less susceptible to serious mental health problems. It is only better if a child has access to both parents if that significantly reduces the risk of the child developing a mental illness along the way.
-To Teach Them How to Be Good Parents Themselves.
While growing up, children will observe the two parents and use the knowledge gathered to know how and how not to be great parents with their own children. These lessons become part of a virtuous cycle that creates better individuals, families, and society at large.
-Fathers Are Friends to Children
Children develop friendships with fathers they see often. They learn to trust them, share secrets with them, seek their advice, and seek other sorts of help from them. This is beneficial because it is safer when a child asks for life-changing opinions from a father who has most likely gone through such experiences in life than asking playmates and other people who might not have the best interest of the child at heart.
-Well Fathers Are More Fun
Let’s face it, a father is more likely to play monster, run around the park, throw the child in the air and play mock WWE fights with the child. This physical and hands-on approach will teach them how to physically interact with their peers. There, they learn how not to kick, scratch, bite and get violent. This is an important part of growing up for any child. If they do not learn that from their fathers, they might not learn it anywhere else.
Benefits Of Dad Visitations For The Father
-Improves Your Self Worth
Despite the separation, a father who communicates with and visits his children regularly is a responsible father who can be proud of himself at any time. Not all fathers do that. Even if you do not have custody, you are not a deadbeat dad and you are doing your best.
-Helps You Get into Other Relationships
If you have your eyes set on dating again, women find men who are doing their fatherly duties as more serious, responsible, and trustworthy.
-Helps You Get Along with Your Ex
If your ex knows that you don’t shark on your parental duties, she will be more open to discussing the development of the child with you, and she will respect you more. Over time, she will be more open to letting you take the child away for longer periods and as a result, you find it easier to talk to her about pressing matters.
-Your Child Will Understand You
Nobody wants to be alienated from their own children. To avoid this, visiting your child regularly will help them understand you and empathize with you. This will help develop a meaningful relationship over time.
Benefits of Dad Visitations for The Mother
-Eases Financial Burden
When the child is out of your custody, you will not be spending extra on getting a babysitter or caretaker. More so, you can be rest assured that the child’s safety is guaranteed as your child will be with someone you know and that perhaps, equally cares about the child.
-You Will Have Someone to Corroborate Your Discipline
When you chastise your child and the child is being rebellious, you know that the father will support you in driving home your point and instilling discipline in the child. You and the father can teach the child good mores and how to do chores. You must be careful to not be seen as a weak mother who only waits for the father to instill discipline. Most times, make your rules and personally enforce them.
-You Can Date Others
If you still want to go out with other people, having a child should not always be a barrier. You can always ask the father to let your child sleep over while you go on your date. If you and your ex take custody of the child, the period the child is visiting the father becomes an opportunity for you to wear that dress and enjoy the attention that comes from dating.
-More Time to Pursue Your Career
Generally, women give more time tending and caring about their children which affects their career growth. This might be worse especially when you are a single mom. Now, you do not have to keep losing opportunities for career growth. You can simply ask your child’s father to take custody of the child when you are going on a seminar, business trip or other related situations. This should open ample career growth opportunities for you.
-More Personal Time
Just like the above-mentioned point, having your child spend time with their father will open up time for you to go on a ladies’ night out with your friends, you can soak in the bathtub while reading a book or you can just get some much-needed sleep. Put simply, when your child is not around, you can have time to pay attention to yourself.
How A Mother Can Encourage the Dad to Visit More
-Talk to The Father
Start by talking to the father and let him know he is permitted to visit the child and spend some quality time with the child. A father will be encouraged to take action if he knows that he is welcome to visit. To make this work, you have to think about how it’s good for everybody; the child, you, and the father and avoid your personal feelings of resentment for the father (if you have any). In any case, encouraging visits between father and child will do far more good.
-Avoid Talking Bad About the Father in The Presence of The Child
Children are more observant and receptive to opinions than we might know. This is more potent when the opinions are coming from a parent. If a mother continues to talk bad about a child’s father, the child will lose respect for the father and as time passes, the child will begin to lose respect for the mother.
-Encourage the Child to See the Father
This can be done in subtle ways by telling the child interesting stories about the father, and by making them look forward to seeing the father. A good example can be when a child gets excited about a movie like Jurassic Park, you can state in passing that the child should ask their father to take them to the museum. This will make the child look forward to seeing his father, this will also give the father an idea of what to do during his visiting time, and it will save you the cost of a road trip and museum tickets. (Just be prepared to answer any questions about a brontosaurus)
-Teach them to respect their father
Over time, children will see the faults and shortcomings of their dads and they will largely try to act based on it. As a mother, it is up to you to call the child to order. When you make them understand that their father is only human, and humans are susceptible to making mistakes and the child should not be disrespectful to their father based on his past mistakes. This will make the child respect the father and more importantly, as the child grows older, the child will understand what you are doing and respect you for it.
-Do Not Escalate Minor Disagreements
When fathers visit or children visit their fathers, a few times, accidents will happen, they will come late, the children will eat some unhealthy foods, sustain minor cuts, stain their clothes with non-washable things, and more. When such happens, you can talk to the father about it instead of making a shouting match out of a minor mistake. You do not have to call the police or your lawyer when you can just call the attention of your ex to it. For the dad to be comfortable with visiting, avoid making mountains out of molehills.
In conclusion, children should be made to have as much contact with both parents as possible to give them the best growing up experience, keep them mentally healthy and to make responsible parents out of them. As you prepare to take steps to help your child become the best version of themselves, overlook the minor inconveniences because, in the long run, this is one of the best things you can do as a parent.
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