I watched The Back-up Plan a couple of days ago, which made me start thinking that there seems to be an increase in women having children on their own, whether it is down to marriage break-ups or test-tube babies. But I recall watching a documentary on BBC3 around Father‘s day on the role/impact of having a father/male role model in childrens lives as they grow up.
Basic points were:_
- Fathers are risk takers – this enables children to experience danger in a (relatively) safe and controlled environment (despite what mums say!)
- Due to males inability to use too much “baby talk” they increase a child’s vocabulary at an earlier age.
- The absence of a “father figure” makes teenage girls start puberty earlier- this is attributed to a psychological need to find a protector for them and potential offspring (apparently!)
- In the majority of cases, women who have a good relationship with their fathers, subconsciously look for partners with similar attributes (presumably they believe that they are good fatherly traits?)
- Fathers generally are the boundary setters, mums traditionally say “when you did……. that upset me!” whereas dads say “you know the rule, you broke it! there will be a consequence!”
Some people see God as an overbearing father figure, maybe their perception has been tainted by their relationship with their “earthly” father, but as I said in a previous blog, I believe that he is loving and like a good parent sets boundaries and warns us of the dangers our actions may bring us, nothing we do is without consequence! “If you play with fire you will get burnt!”
As a parent, I know that having children isn’t 24/7 fun and games, at times you do have to be strict, other times you can be lenient. The problem is that if you are too “laissez-faire” and don’t discipline your child when they have bad behaviour, maybe because you are too tired to deal with it, or you give them everything they ask for, without question, because you cannot be bothered to argue or are tired of having to say “NO!” 20 times in a row! What will you create? A child who gets their own way and does not perceive there to be anyone to stop them!
I know of a child whose biological father was not always around (due to the breakdown of the parents relationship), and the other “father figure” in their life appeared to be very aggressive towards them. So a few years have passed and they are rude to the mum & have hardly any respect for anyone else. The only ones who they seem to take any notice of are the men who they perceive to have the authoritative persona that they grew up with.
I know that men are not the best at childcare (then again, are we meant to be?) we make mistakes, we may be perceived as the “fun” parent, as working fathers come home and play with them, we may occasionally have the “grumpy” parent persona, but due to the global financial situation and modern family dynamics, men and women are beginning to take on the roles once belonging to the opposite gender, men are having to make more dinners & be more aware of how the washing machine, steam iron and dishwasher work!
There are a lot of single parents out there at the moment, mostly due to marriage or relationship breakdowns, the problems then arise of each parent blaming the other for little things, as they cannot calmly discuss issues, and the children play up to it. I cannot make a judgement on single parents, or same-sex parents nor I do not choose to, but from my perspective and understanding, the impact of a good male role model is visible and important. For the reasons given by the programme and from my experience/observations. If there is no-one taking on the role of protector/”lawmaker” for girls as they grow up or if there is no-one for young boys to look up to, or even model themselves after, then it will hard for them to become “well-rounded” individuals due to their warped perception of how a male should behave.
What do you think? Am I right or do you disagree?