Father Absence and Single Mother
A child is a face of a family. When it is small, it looks at parents and copies their behavior intuitively. When the child grows, it reconsiders the behavior of the parents. Very often it continues to copy parents subconsciously, even when denying it. When a family is not complete and a mother is the head of the family, the child cannot see its father's pattern of behavior, and does not have a good example to follow. What does a child do in this case and how can a mother help?
A child is looking for a substitute of a father.
Child observes its surrounding and subconsciously generates a mythical image, a combination of males around him: TV heroes or celebrities. This image is similar to ideal, but in reality it is far from a real person. Nevertheless, passionate desire to imitate this image makes the child to excessively overestimate self-requirements.
The same happens in case the child knows his father, but sees him rarely. In such a way the father often turns into an "idol", meeting whom becomes one of the most desired events in child’s life. And, of course, the child idealizes his father, even at the expense of good relations with its mother.
Behavior of a boy
Lack of paternal education is significant in adolescence. A boy, who takes his father as an example, looks for other sources of imitation when the father is absent. In this age the tendency of hyper-masculinity may develop, which can be expressed in aggression and neglect of the opposite sex. This behavior is especially dangerous if your child is easily influenced by a company of teenagers who constantly try to assert themselves by complete rejection of the established norms of behavior.
Behavior of a girl
The absence of father in a girl's life also manifests in the period of adolescence. The girl tries to win attention of male peers and adults. Very often girls who were raised without a father are interested in older men as it is a natural tendency to compensate lack of paternal attention. The behavior of mother, of course, is the principle example for girls. Therefore, very often these girls become more independent in comparison with their friends.
How can a mother compensate the absence of a father?
Be closer to your child.
You, as a single mother, have little time because you carry responsibilities and duties of both parents on your shoulders. How do you find time for your child? Try to deal with the routine together, introduce the child into the joint work and communication. Think in advance what you want to tell a child today. When doing work within their capacity, the child is happy to hear your story and take an active part in a conversation.
Try to explain your child that ideals do not exist.
When your child is over-idealizing some man or its idol, it is natural for this period of development. Lack of father's attention also influences it. In such a situation, of course, do not try to persuade the child completely. However, try to gradually convince it that ideals exist only in books and movies, but real people can have weaknesses and shortcomings, and it is okay. You just need to learn how to recognize these shortcomings and how to deal with them if it is acceptable for a man.
Let a boy have more freedom and responsibility as he grows up.
For a boy to grow up courageous you have to give him more freedom. He must learn to make his own decisions, but you should always be aware of his activities. Remember not to offer him assistance if he does not ask for it, but take care of him in any situation when your help is needed. Excessive care may lead to the fact that he will become a "sissy" and it has nothing in common with masculinity.
Talk more with your daughter and share your experiences.
For a mother it is always easier to speak about female topics. Any mother can share her experience with her daughter. Talk more with your daughter about female matters and answer all questions that might arise about males. If a mother had awkward relationships with her ex-husband, she should not suggest her own ideas against men to her daughter. You can just explain that there is a problem in your relationship with her father, but she will definitely meet a good man when the time comes.
Find a positive example of a man in your environment.
If possible, you should encourage your child to communicate with men who, in your opinion, deserve to be trusted. This may be your relative, friend or even a peer of your daughter.
Hopefully, these five tips will help you to compensate lack of father's attention.