While it is true that a human being can grow and evolve without a father by his side, it is also true that paternal abandonment can be difficult to overcome.
Last update: 24 November 2022
Many children grow up in the world without the presence of a parent. Paternal abandonment rates remain very high, especially in Latin American countries.
For some, this is due to social problems such as unemployment and poverty. For others, the most important factor is culture: in some contexts the abandonment of the father is seen as relatively normal.
There seems to be a strong relationship between unwanted pregnancies, especially in adolescence, and paternal abandonment. This, added to the macho behavior patterns, means that many men do not believe that abandoning their children is bad.
"Camp abandoned, fire proclaimed".
If it is true that a human being can grow and evolve without a father by his side, it is also true that who has it enjoys more opportunities. In some cases, moreover, paternal absence becomes a burden that considerably deteriorates existence.
Why do we need a father and a mother?
Psychoanalysis defines themotherly love as voracious and all-encompassing. The mother has a global influence on her baby's life. She is everything.
The more and less important aspects, the trivial and the relevant ones depend on her. She is the surrounding environment, the universe in which a child's life takes place. Addiction is absolute at the beginning of life.
The strong bond between a mother and her baby tends to last over time. The child knows that he depends on her for everything and bows to that logic. It is an unconditional love that gives security to the little one.
There is a world beyond the mother. The father is a universe over which the mother does not have full control. It is the other side of reality. A third that modulates that relationship of absolute dependence.
It represents the limit of the symbiosis between mother and child. Symbolically it is the law. And he is also the figure from which we learn that the world will not adapt to us, far from it.
The different forms of paternal abandonment
Just as there are many ways to accompany a child, there are also several ways to leave it. The absent father, in principle, is the one who leaves the mother alone, physically and psychologically, in the upbringing of the child. He disregards the economic contribution, the housework and the care to be dedicated to the child.
There are also those who leave emotionally. In this case the father feels that the children are the responsibility of the mother. They are physically present, but believe they have no responsibility for raising children.
They don't talk to them, they don't spend time with them, they have no idea how they feel. They just pay the bills and give a few orders as they please. They don't interact with the little ones.
There are also those who are not absent emotionally, but physically. We refer to those men who have another family or are distant. However, they inquire about their children.
They can't always spend as much time with them as they would like, but they carry them within themselves, in their minds and hearts.
The different consequences of paternal abandonment
Each type of abandonment has precise consequences. In the case of the completely absent father, the consequences range from severe to very serious.
If the father figure is replaced, always partly by someone, the effect will be less. If only a void remains, the echoes of that absence are likely to be devastating to say the least.
Having no third party in the mother-child dyad, it will be very difficult for the child to gain independence. He will probably have a hard time exploring, broadening his horizons and trust his abilities.
He will have the feeling of having been excluded, of an emotional deprivation. The mother need not be "both parents". Even if you want, his presence will never replace that of the father figure.
Children abandoned by their fathers find it difficult to adapt to the world and reality. They are also likely to develop fear of a deep bond. And they can themselves become "abandoned".
In the case of girls, they will distrust men or trust too much, to repeat the pattern of abandonment they want to overcome deep down.
When abandonment is partial, the consequences are less evident. They appear the same, but blurred and to some extent diluted.
In any case, the absence of the father creates a deep emotional wound, especially in the first years of life. His emptiness will never be filled, however, the trace of his absence will be very difficult to erase.
What does scientific research tell us?
According to research conducted by Arvelo (2002), paternal abandonment is associated with a greater number of emotional, cognitive and linguistic disorders in sons.
Apparently, these problems are related to identification processes, in which the absence of a male model in the home would affect males most for gender reasons.
The author also points out that they are observed “Poor academic performance, transgressive behavior, depression, school problems, frequent lies, rebellion and communication difficulties ”.
According to the research group of Laura Evelia Torres (2011) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the role of the father is important because his figure imposes challenges.
According to Torres and his team, parents present different challenges to their children, which leads them to put in more effort and thus to open up the possibility for new paths and perspectives.
Their research findings state that mothers support and agree, but i fathers stimulate their children to develop their potential, present them with challenges and foster a feeling of accomplishment that is transferred to other activities.