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Are father's really important as they say?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I have an amazing father myself and I am raisinig 3 little boys so believe me, I am not anti-man. I am curious about why they say a father-figure is so important. I have read that a part time, deadbeat and even borderline abusive father is better than none. How can that be true? My kid's dad is very uninvolved, I don't feel like they'd be missing anything from his absence if he just dissapeared. In fact I feel like it would be better because they wouldn't be reminded of how uninvolved he is every time he decides to be a dad for a day. My son crying because he's sad that "daddy leaves him" can't be better.  

My kids are surrounded by love. They have me, my parents, my in laws, my brother and sister in law. They have several good father figures. I'm just irritated I guess. Can anyone relate?

post #2 of 11

No one would say that a bad mother is better than no mother. This kind of valuing of fathers even when they are abusive and neglectful is basic sexism. What makes giving someone your genetic material so important? Magical mystical penis power. That's why some moms dismiss their exes as "sperm donors."

 

(Which seems unfair to real known sperm donors! My friend got sperm from her high school bestie to make babies with her partner, and she really appreciates the donor friend in a way that I think people saying "sperm donor" do not!) 

 

That's not to say that children don't love and want their dads, and need relationships with them. I made the decision to do 50/50 custody because my ex is a good dad. I think if your ex is a crappy dad, it's good to have stable men in their lives who are better examples of how to care for children. I think it sucks that your ex is bad at being a dad--for everyone, including for him. It falls to you to teach him how to be a man, with illustrative examples of men, so that he can become one of the many people who grew from this experience. 

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Omg thank you! I knew I wasn't the only one who had that thought. Plus this "What makes giving someone your genetic material so important? Magical mystical penis power." Made me giggle because it's so true.

It makes me so sad that he is a crappy dad, for everyone. He doesn't realize what he's missing, the kids don't have a nurturing dad (he loves them, but can't parent without anger) and I don't have the luxury of a co-parent that I can trust the kids with.

post #4 of 11

I am not a single parent nor the child of one, but I think it's more than just contributing genetic material that makes a parent. I think the parent needs to consistently be there for the child. Even if he works long hours or is away from home a lot, he can still spend time with them when he's home and stay involved long-distance by phone, Skype, letters, etc.... IF he wants to. If he just doesn't give a hoot about his children, that's not good for them. They need and deserve consistency. I think it's so unfair to the kids when they have that dad who's in and out of their lives. It seems like they'd be better off without that kind of attention. 

 

I do think that if he is able to give some kind of consistent attention, having dad in their lives is better than not. Even if it's only a couple of days a month. You can both make Dad's limitations clear to them. But then they know, in their family Dad is only around sometimes but does love them. And as they grow older they won't wonder where Dad went. It's not clear from your post if your ex is even capable of this once-a-month-zoo-trip version of parenting. 

post #5 of 11

Children benefit from loving caregivers, regardless of their gender.

 

The idea that there is something manly about men--or something womanly about women--that make them necessary to children is sexism.

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleZB View Post
 

Children benefit from loving caregivers, regardless of their gender.

The idea that there is something manly about men--or something womanly about women--that make them necessary to children is sexism.

 

If you are a boy, though, it's good to have a good man in your life to be like. I don't think this is as much of an issue for girls. I haven't examined precisely why I feel this way, either! Maybe it's because I have a boy, or because I don't think it's as hard to find women who are good at being women? 

 

Ugh, this was a bad train of self-examination, wasn't it! 

 

It's not good for parents to be rejecting, so a mom in this situation has to find more family to make up the difference in total love. 

 

I'm actually going to hit the submit button on this, even though I'm looking at what I've typed and thinking, "OK, is this really how parenting works? A love surplus makes up a love deficit?" Well, we all hope so, right? It's worth a try, worth loving them harder. 

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post
 

If you are a boy, though, it's good to have a good man in your life to be like. 

 

I've thought about this, but I'm not entirely sure it's true.

 

I mean, it's nice to have a good man in your life in general. I have one. But why would one need one specifically to learn how to be a good person? Why would they need to be a man?

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleZB View Post
 

I've thought about this, but I'm not entirely sure it's true.

 

I mean, it's nice to have a good man in your life in general. I have one. But why would one need one specifically to learn how to be a good person? Why would they need to be a man?

I'm not sure. I think because sexism makes it so? 

 

Well, it can't hurt, anyway. I'm just saying, I don't think that the bio-dad has to be that person, nor even a step-dad. It doesn't have to be a relative at all. Adults who are friends of the family can provide the modeling.  I know children of two-mom and intentional single mom families, and they seem to do OK. 

post #9 of 11

I do think it's important for kids to have role models of both sexes. Since there are way more moms as sole parents than dads as sole parents, the lack of a female role model is an issue far less often, so the need for a male role model gets talked about a lot more than the need for a female role model. It doesn't have to be a biological dad though. It could be an uncle, stepdad, grandfather, family friend, etc. 

post #10 of 11
A relationship with both parents is important IMO. My dd's father was very erratic with visits and now takes her regularly but only for four hours a week but I don't think she would be better off if he stopped, she'd be crushed if he never came around again. I don't think father's who don't want to be involved need to be or that women need to fine another man to fill that role though. They aren't absolutely necessary just as mother's aren't. I don't think the unnecessary nature of having two parents should be used to deny access to a parent who wants to be involved though and that is where the "father's are unnecessary" line of thought is at in many court systems still. It is getting slowly better.
post #11 of 11

A relationship with both parents is important... providing that both parents have positive relationships with the child.  To say a bad father is better than no father... that's just silly.  Would you tell your friend that her inattentive or abusive or uninterested or uninvolved boyfriend is better than no boyfriend?   Would you tell your friend with the toxic sibling that having a sibling that cut into you and drains you is better than having no siblings at all?  Or your adult friend to just put up with her overbearing, controlling parents, because it's better than having no parents?  Then why should that not apply to children and their fathers?  In a perfect world, every child has two loving parents, but in reality, sometimes, it's not good for the child's self esteem and self worth to be "rejected" by their father (or mother) over and over again, and in reality, sometimes it's downright dangerous for a child to be involved with a certain parent.  LOVING, INVOLVED fathers are really as important as they say.  Unfortunately, not all fathers (or mothers) are loving and involved.

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