Detached Fathers Raise Bullies – Father’s Role in Kids Development

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“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person; he believed in me.”
– Jim Valvano
Anyone can father a child, but to become a dad takes a lifetime. Fathers, like mothers, play an extremely crucial part in bringing up a child. Together, this team is the pillar of the development of a child’s physical and emotional well-being. A father plays a significant role in shaping the child into the person they ultimately grow up to be by providing a sense of physical and emotional security. A father’s relationship with a child largely influences any future relationships that the child would have with others. The perceived meaning derived from this relationship will determine how the child will choose a friend, lover, or spouse.

Girls look up to their father for a sense of emotional security and support. Her father’s relationship determines what a girl would want from a man for her relationship. If a father is strong and bold, she will look out for similar personality traits once she begins dating, and if her father is warm and gentle, these qualities will appeal more to her in a future mate. Since a very young age, boys always look at modelling their persona to their fathers and seeking approval. If they grow up with a caring father and treat others with respect, the son will more or less follow the same path. In case the father is absent, they will look up to other fatherly figures like an uncle to take control and set the rules. When the boy matures a bit in age, he will look at taking the reign himself.

An involved father is the one who actively communicates, teaches, protects, cares, plans, shares activities with his children, and shows timely affection, and supports his children emotionally. An involved father promotes inner growth and strength, and studies have shown that an involved father positively impacts a child’s cognitive development. Such kids do very well in school and get good grades, and value education more. They enhance their children’s thinking skills and are responsible for their success in later life. They teach children to take challenges head-on, which inculcates an ability to do difficult things in life.

However, on the other side of the spectrum, if a detached father who doesn’t give enough attention to kids can have adverse effects on their future and overall personalities. They might end up needing constant reassurance that they are important, valued, and loved. Even if someone were nice to them, they would feel confused to the point of being uncomfortable. Once they become adults, they try to fill the void via excessive material possessions or have a series of meaningless relationships. There might be a dependency on substances like drugs, alcohol, etc. as well. Almost all their adult relationships are affected due to their fear of attachment and love; these kids have selfish and narcissistic personality traits. There is a lack of direction, identity, and loss of hope, faith, and love.

An emotionally unavailable father may also inadvertently raise his kids to be bullies. A father is usually the one to discipline the child from an early age. They are the ones to curb any anti-social behaviors in his children and nip it in the bud, to which children tend to listen to since they consider fathers to be authority figures in the household. Fathers also play a significant role in teaching kids to play and get along with their peers. But in the absence of such commanding figures, children tend to engage in externalizing behaviors, are more aggressive, are more apt to fight, and break the rules, than kids with emotionally available fathers. Children with detached fathers have no sense of social boundaries and tend to acquire whatever they want by force and bullying behavior.

A father has played the traditional role of the provider for a family and continues to do so. However, the role is continuously evolving, and more and more fathers today are more engaged and involved deeply with their kids’ upbringing. After all, the father provides a brick wall of life-long security and protection to his children, and they use the bricks from this very same wall to build their own happy futures.

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