Father and Son: The Importance of a father in a son Essay

Images of a boy unable to battle out the obstacles and disappointment of the daily grind fill the mind. It is but the father’s responsibility to demonstrating to his son what it takes to be strong enough. It is him who can show his boy the ways to live in a world that often throws a couple of hard times. This is the kind of role a father is expected to perform at the highest level (Brandenburg, 2004). Guidance is needed to prepare a boy from the challenges of living in a world that continues to challenge him to be a man.

A father’s absence is very much felt in the most ordinary of circumstances. Times are there when getting a shave is in tall order, but dad is not around. There are moments that strike even the hardest of hearts when a sight of father and son solidarity is displayed. Much worst is when it is the kind of relationship he has never come to know. A father and son’s relationship is quite different from other relationships that may be built between friends. It is something deeply felt and shared by a man and his boy. It is that something which can only quench the thirst of a boy who has but no father around for him (Anyabwile, 2006).

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Life without a father is a desperate effort of sorts to break away from the realities that requires his presence. Paternal absence has exceptionally true and has a lasting presence in any boy’s life. A father’s absence is lingering. And there is no escaping the emptiness that is there to stay for all eternity (Anyabwile, 2006).

Boys and girls are brought up in strikingly different ways. They are clad quite differently from one and the other. On their part, boys are expected to identify themselves with their dads and other men in society. Girls, on the other hand are expected to identify themselves their moms and other women around them. For speaking in terms of human personality, a person’s gender is considered to be a crucial distinction (Dickson, 2008).

In reference to the census by the National Center for Fathering in the United States, conducted last January in the year 1999, 72% of the American population says that the most important family and social concern that confronts the country is the absence of a father at home (cited in Gospelcom.com, 2008).

There has been a research made which was concerned mainly at one of the apparent initial inquiries that has to do with whether the home has the father’s presence or absence. In cases whereby there is a paternal presence, research seeks to establish the nature of relationship the father of the surrogate dad had with the boy. Alternatively, if there is a paternal absence, the research is concerned to examine the age the boy was at during the time of separation from his biological father as well as the reasons that brought about such separation (Dickson, 2008).

The research revealed that not like the bulk of children living in the United States, 67% of the boys having sex – role troubles are not living under the same roof as that with their biological dads. To state as a matter of fact, there has been a paternal absence in the lives of practically all of these boys who have been detected as having the most acute and unstable sex – role modification. On the contrary, 54% of these boys who were examined experiencing paternal absence appeared to have a moderate to mild sex – role modification troubles. These numerical examinations of the aforementioned data illustrated the scientific results. The more acute and unstable the sex – role modification the boy is, the most probable he is to be not living with his biological dad (Dickson, 2008).

The boys have been left by their biological dads when they were just about 3 ½ years of age was the result revealed by the research conducted. About 80% of these boys who were examined has been separated from their biological fathers when they were about 5 years of age or younger (Dickson, 2008).

Unfortunately, research reveals that even when there is a paternal presence at home, it cannot be guaranteed though, that the father is not psychologically distant from the rest of the family members. In most cases, as far as the research is concerned, the father is indeed psychologically distant even when he is physically present at home. The father’s presence at home does not automatically mean that his emotional involvement with the rest of the family members may be expected to come in the same package.

In reality, the boys having sex – role uncertainties but were lucky enough to live with their biological or surrogate dads, entirely 60% of the aforementioned father figures appeared to be psychological detached from the rest of the family. Such finding goes to show that for every four boys who are experiencing sex – role uncertainties, only one had what might be considered to be a normal and close biological or surrogate dad and son relationship (Dickson, 2008).

There is a possibility that the older brothers these boys who suffer from paternal absence can act as male role models to them. When the results on such inquiries have been analyzed, less than half of the boys who are having acute and unstable sex – role modification were more unlikely to have an older brother to act as their role model in place of their biological dads as compared to their counterparts (Dickson, 2008).

From all the information that has been gathered for purposes of examination, the research led to the discovery of one constant portrait of a family as far as the boys are concerned. Pointing in comparison with the other boys living in the United States, the boys who appeared to have sex – role uncertainties are more unlikely to have a father figure present at home. Moreover, even while there is indeed a father figure present, he is in most cases psychologically detached from the rest of the family members, particularly to the boy. The boys who appeared to have the most extreme sex – role uncertainties are more unlikely to have a good male role model living with him as compared to their counterparts (Dickson, 2008).

The research conducted by Sarah Allen and Kerry Daly, from the University of Guelph, shows that there is a positive association to the educational support given by a father to the academic enthusiasm exhibited by an adolescent boy. In this case, the boy feels it is important to perform well in school. He deems his grades speak much about him and that his education is of value (Allen & Daly, 2007).

Paternal affection and nurturance offers important assumptions in the child’s ethical wisdom. It is related to the more favorable social and constructive moral conduct in both boys and girls. Also, it is definitely associated with higher marks on measures of inner moral verdict, moral standards and adherence to rules (cited in Allen & Daly, 2007).

Boys suffering from paternal absence constantly mark lower in different moral manifestations namely measures of inner moral verdict, fault following misbehaviors, admission of guilt, moral standards and adherence to rules. Boys and girls are more unlikely to be able to withhold gratification, have weak impulse command over resentment and sexual pleasure and have poorer ethical sense (cited in Allen & Daly, 2007).

Children who suffer from paternal absence are less unlikely to develop perform poorly at school (Allen & Daly, 2007). In homes where there is paternal absence, boys generally are less unlikely to be more melancholic, poignant, disheartened, reliant and restless. Boys and girls are less unlikely to acquire disturbing or anxiety disorders, develop behavioral problems, suffer from mental disorders or even contemplate or actually engage themselves to commit (cited in Allen & Daly, 2007).

No decision is ever easy to make especially when the welfare of the child is concerned. But then again, as parents, there are many instances when decisions must be made especially in the aspect of child rearing. Arriving at the best decision may post another challenge. However, a sincere and honest discussion just before things develop into critical issues would certainly not hurt but may even be a lot helpful in the process. This form of a healthy communication between parents and their children is beneficial in creating expectations the former may have for the latter (Magellan Health Services, Inc., 2007).

In all certainty, a child is the most valuable treasure any parent could have. With this in mind, parents must never forget that their relationship to one another is of significant value too. Such relationship needs to be nurtured and strengthened over time all the time. Support needs to be given and received by both parents in the process. Truly, there can be no better place where a child may be able to learn a thing or two about a loving and healthy relationship than the one that unfolds right through his eyes at the confines of their own home (Magellan Health Services, Inc., 2007).

A father’s role, being no different from that of the mother’s is of crucial importance in raising a child. His is a role that cannot and must not be easily overlooked. As their children grow, their presence is much more needed. Studies constantly show that a father’s warmth and affection helps more than building a constructive self – esteem to their children. Father’s also play an important role in establishing their children’s sex role conduct. Paternal presence is crucial in the lives of boys and girls.

Citing for example, boys can gain their knowledge about growing to be a man, the interests of a man, his forms of activities and the social conduct expected of him from their dads. Affectionate dads who define borders, encourage ethical listening and offer concrete yet sensible direction without commanding their will to their brood can aid in sustaining the latter’s ability to endure the trials of life. Studies conducted about the participation of a father in a child’s life reveal that fathers are important for their brood, sensitive to their brood and that a father’s play with his brood is quite different from a mother’s play. To point in fact, just like mothers, fathers are as crucial to the lives of their brood (Chen, 2008).

There are a number of harmful impacts on children who suffer from an absence or irregular contact with one of their parents, in most cases, the father. Studies reveal that most of these children greatly miss their fathers. For younger children of divorced parents, they lament over their father’s absence as if their father has passed away. Such undeviating separation can cause lengthened anguish on the part of the child left behind. Furthermore, paternal absence can have harmful consequence on the child’s conduct. Studies reveal that children who experience paternal absence were more inclined to have behavioral difficulties. In addition, these children perform poorly in class, especially in the science and mathematics subjects (Chen, 2008).

As time goes by, the composition of the typical American family changes in harmony. Taking into account this reality, numerous studies have been made in an attempt to examine the effect of the father’s absence on not just the feminine but the masculine gender role formation of children as well. Generally, as what has been evident in the studies that have been administered, that boys who were not for the most part have been brought up by their fathers appeared to be more submissive. These boys displayed more feminine and masculine behavior in the form of rough and aggressive kinds of play, as compared to other boys who experience their father’s presence within their families (Mandara, Murray, & Joyner 2005).

As research would have it, an increase in a boy’s level of self – confidence with regard to his masculinity may be effected by the rough and topple over kind of play, sterner form of discipline and achievement – centered upbringing and defeating hardships that is characteristic of a father and son relationship. Furthermore, such kind of relationship may significantly affect the hormone levels of the son (cited in Mandara, Murray, & Joyner 2005).

Fathers are also able to influence the moral formation of their children. This may be done so by providing examples for them to emulate. One research shows that, boys who felt identical to, well – liked and displayed an intent in aspiring to be like their fathers attained higher on examination on individual moral judgment, moral standards and rule obedience (CIVITAS, 2008).

Conversely, boys who have weak paternal association demonstrated unwillingness to hold responsibility or admit guilt every time they behave badly. Also, these boys are likely to have difficulties with self – control. When they are in a school setting, these boys appear to be more violent as compared to their counterparts (CIVITAS, 2008).

The paternal influence of a parent on his school – aged brood’s individual morality formation continues until the latter reaches adulthood. Grown – ups whose fathers had been greatly involved when their brood were more broadminded and betrothed in more socially responsible activities as compared to those who have less paternal involvement (CIVITAS, 2008).

Certainly, a father’s absence in a boy’s life is inclined to have a damaging consequence on the latter’s normal masculine role formation. Bearing no difference with the mother’s significant role in child rearing, a father’s role is crucial especially in nurturing a normal heterosexual role formation in his son’s life. It is equally important to point out though, that it does not usually take a father’s presence as a main ingredient to successfully raise a normal boy. This may be evident in families wherein boys are being by widows. Nevertheless, research generally reveals that the normal sex – role formation of a boy is by and large reliant upon his father’s physical presence or as in some cases, the presence of someone who can act as a father figure for him particularly during the early stages of a young boy’s childhood (Dickson, 2008).

It is assumed that the concept of masculinity is passed on from a father to his boy. Masculinity is the kind of thing that only fathers may be able to teach their sons. Mothers in all fairness, regardless of how noble they are cannot quite perform such task. Even so, the world still exerts great effort to arrive at its definition of masculinity (Brandenburg, 2004).

Children who suffer from paternal absence are very much aware that they lack someone whom they can examine, acquire knowledge from, adapt and emulate. They sometimes have no idea what it is that they do not know. And truly, sometimes, it is what they do not know which can hurt them the most (Anyabwile, 2006).

References

Allen, S., & Daly, K. Father Involvement Research Alliance. (2007, May). The Effects of Father Involvement: An Updated Research Summary of the Evidence. Retrieved

March 17, 2008, from www.fira.ca/cms/documents/29/Effects_of_Father_Involvement.pdf.

Anyabwile, T.M. Boundless Webzine. (2006). Haunted By His Absence. Retrieved March 17, 2008, from http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0001343.cfm.

Brandenburg, M. Christian Fathers.com. (2004). Fathers, Sons and Masculinity. Retrieved March 17, 2008, from http://www.christinafathers.com/father-and-son- relationship.htm.

Chen, N. Missouri.Edu. (2008). The Impact of Father Absence. Retrieved March 17, 2008, from http://extension.missouri.edu/cooper/fok/father_absence.htm.

CIVITAS. (2008). How Do Fathers Fit In? Retrieved March 19, 2008, from http://www.civitas.org.uk/hwu/fathers.php

Dickson, G.. National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality. (2008). Father

– son Relationships and Male Sexual Development. Retrieved March 19, 2008, from http://www.narth.com/docs/1996papers/dickson.html.

Gospelcom.net. (2008). Fatherless Statistics. Retrieved March 14, 2008, from http://www.fathersloveletter.com/Ministry/statistics.html.

Grando, R. & Ginsberg, B.G. (1976). Communication in the Father – Son Relationship: The

Parent – Adolescent Relationship Development Program. The Family Coordinator, 25, 465 – 473.

Mandara, J., Murray, C.B., & Joyner, T.N. (2005). The impact of father’s absence on African American adolescents’ gender role development. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 1 – 18.

Magellan Health Services, Inc. (2007). The Art of Dadhood: Part 2. Retrieved March 17, 2008, from http://www.magellanassist.com/mem/library/default.asp? TopicId=288&CategoryId=0&ArticleId=125.

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