Sometimes it is heard that the development of an advanced society will inevitably bring about the limitation of the future family to the mother and her children. According to that opinion, the father will become a transient member of the family that will have no greater significance for their life, or will never be included in it.
It seems to us that this should not be the case. The father is not an unimportant member of the family and his role in family life, and especially in the upbringing of children, should not be underestimated. A family without a father is truncated, so we should not aspire to this type of family.
The basic role of the father in shaping a young person is primarily of an indirect nature. A mother’s happiness in marriage and in life, in general, depends a lot on how her husband behaves. The father indirectly influences the mental development of his children by allowing the mother to treat the children constructively or keeping her in chronic mental tension.
By approving and supporting a woman’s parenting methods, the husband gives her emotional support in the upbringing. He encourages her to be patient, consistent, and adaptable, and raises her authority over the children. Children in such a situation emotionally turn against him, so he often achieves just the opposite of what he wants.
A woman is by nature more conservative than a man and more stable in emotional relationships. It is unnatural for a woman to limit the family to her and her children. Children by themselves cannot fully fulfill it emotionally; she needs a husband with whom she will be happy. And it can’t be a transient sexual partner.
When there is no father, there is a danger that the process of identification takes place in the child in an incomplete and one-sided way. Only a woman and a man together make a person, so for a child only a parental couple is a complete, full-fledged object of identification.
A girl who is without a father usually does not have enough opportunity to adapt to the representative of mature masculinity. This can make her too timid and insecure towards men. Such an attitude towards the opposite sex makes it difficult for her to adjust emotionally and sexually to her sexual partner.
When the father and mother live together, the children have the opportunity to gain experience about conflicts and marriage. They are, however, often negative; in which case it’s better that the child is not with both parents. But from a happy parental marriage, a child can learn a lot of positive things, which will help it to cope successfully in its own sexual life.
Many fathers suffer from the prejudice that caring for a small child is the sole concern of the mother. Mothers often hold this view, or, when they feel neglected by their husbands, they jealously guard their motherhood monopoly. Sometimes there are fathers who declare that they are disgusted with their child while it is in diapers.
A father can have a positive effect on the formation of a child’s personality only if he builds a relationship of trust, understanding and emotional intimacy with it from day one. There is no objective reason for a father not to be able to bathe, change clothes and feed a small child when the mother is no longer breastfeeding it.
A father’s physical engagement with his child does not only mean helping the mother, but also contributes to the strengthening of a positive emotional relationship between spouses. By gaining trust and love from the child, the father builds his authority before it. Later, it will serve him well as a basis for a positive impact on the child and for managing its behavior.
When you live in contact with someone for a long time, an emotional relationship is inevitably built. It is impossible for two people in constant contact to remain completely indifferent to each other. Many of the difficult conflicts between father and children are caused because the father has failed to build a close emotional relationship with the child.
As a child grows, so do the demands of its educators. It is much more difficult to properly raise an older child to whom the educator is not accustomed to. If they gain experience in working with a child at an earlier stage of its development, it will not be difficult for them to cope with the next stage.
What a father can do to damage his child’s mental development is primarily insufficient paternal love. It is most often manifested by the already mentioned neglect of the child, insufficient care for it, leaving the upbringing to the mother. Such distancing from the child the father most often combines with authoritative action.
Authoritarian upbringing and physical abuse of children is a very negative upbringing method. The father as the executor of the punishment of the child greatly damages his authority. It is understandable that a father cannot raise his child properly because instead of a relationship of trust and love he leads a struggle for supremacy with it.
A negative attitude towards a child is sometimes manifested in the fact that he does not want to have a child. This is usually due to fear that the woman might leave him. In a happy marriage, the husband will not do such a thing. If he forces a woman to live in an unhappy marriage, he commits a crime both against her and against her children.
There are many reasons why a father is not more emotionally interested in a child. The average man falls in love with his child indirectly, ie through a good emotional connection with a woman. Such cases are relatively rare. It is more common for emotional aversion towards a woman to provoke emotional distancing from the child as well.
Schizophrenic men who are emotionally timid, difficult to access and withdrawn in social contact should not be expected to show true love for their child. Such people cannot be emotionally warm to anyone satisfactorily, so they cannot be warm to their own child. Even a mother with such qualities cannot be full-fledged.
A common motive for a father’s weak emotional connection to a child is the father’s dissatisfaction with the marriage. Alcoholics are particularly prone to this, and marital dissatisfaction is a common reason for neurotic men to indulge in passionate alcohol consumption. In such a case, one should be afraid of the dad’s impatience and irritability towards the child.
“Jealousy can force the father to be aggressive towards the child or to incite it against the mother, or to treat it in the opposite way than she does,” writes Frida Ghitis. In this case, the father treats the child in a way that tries to distance it emotionally from the mother and cause her as many educational difficulties as possible.
In a disordered marriage, sometimes the father tries to tie the child too tightly to himself. This creates an unhealthy emotional relationship between the child and the parent from the other camp. In such a situation, the siblings become envious of each other and jealous of “their” parent.
With “dividing children”, each parent gives priority to the child they have chosen in their procedure. Then the other child feels neglected, which deepens its jealousy of its brother ot sister. If such relationships continue throughout the child’s developmental age, it is very likely that jealousy, envy, intolerance, aggression, and feelings of inferiority will remain permanent traits.
The sex of the child is most often taken into account; the father usually ties the boy to himself, and the mother more often opts for the daughter. A significant reason for tying a child to himself is hidden in the similarity of that child with his parents.
Neurotic, sexually disordered and maritally dissatisfied fathers sometimes bond with their daughter in a sick way. The motives are analogous to those encountered in a mother’s attitude toward her son whom she emotionally fixes on herself. Such a father caresses his daughter conspicuously; he satisfies her every whim, and showers her with tenderness.
By nature, passive fathers who are erotically attached to their daughter are usually limited from the extreme cuddling of their child. In doing so, they find a certain affirmation of their personality, as well as their masculinity. That is why it is difficult to bring them to the realization that their child is developing into a sick personality.
Fathers with a more active and enterprising nature express their covert erotic interest in their daughter differently. They usually hold her, but not as much as more passive fathers. Instead of completely submitting to her will, they try to take control of her personality. At the same time, they are often intrusive and even aggressive.
When the father does not turn his erotic interest in the daughter into aggression, the girl also has difficulty approaching men. She looks for her father’s qualities in a man, she expects from him a paternal relationship with herself. It is very likely that her adaptation to her partner will be difficult, so she will stay cold in sexual contact with him.
The loss of a father, due to death or divorce, brings different consequences to the child. It is useful for the child to receive a replacement for the father. But only on the condition that the mother has found a good spouse with whom she will be able to live in a happy marriage.
There is no doubt that a child needs a father; but it needs a good father who is a healthy person and who loves children. If a child cannot find such a person in his own father, it can find it in another man, that is, in another husband of its mother.