Fathers: does a father play an important role in a child’s development?

By Oliver JR Cooper

It has been widely reported that a lot of children are now growing up without a father, and this is in addition to the adults who also grew up without one. There are, of course, a number of reasons as to why this is the case.

Firstly, moral decay has led to an increase in hedonism, which has resulted in the decline of personal responsibility. If, then, a man has a child/children and the relationship is not going well, he could just end up disappearing without feeling the need to play his part.

Another Part

Secondly, thanks to the welfare state and birth control pills, there is less need for women to be discerning when it comes to who they share their body with. Ergo, instead of having to make sure that a man is a decent human being, a woman can simply allow her impulses to take over.

If she does end up getting pregnant and the guy runs off, she will most likely be able to rely on the government to give her what she needs. And, due to how much money she can receive in handouts, she may even come to believe that it is far better for her to not have any one else around.

A Safety Net

The government will then replace the father as the provider, taking away the need for the mother to do everything by herself. However, although the government will be giving this money out, this money will have been taken from other people.

Consequently, the people who have children, along with those that don’t, will be paying for other people’s children. In the past, before the welfare state was created and long before the pill was available, a woman’s parents would have often done what they could to make sure their daughter chose a man who was financially stable and of good moral character or else they would have had to foot the bill and to pick up the pieces.

Less Risk

Choosing the wrong man to have children with is then not as risky as it was in the past and, as another source can now provide the resources that a man used to provide, it has meant that this has caused a lot of mothers to believe that fathers are no longer needed. Thus, once they have provided the sperm, they will have no use.

And, even if a mother is in a position where she is able to support her child/children without relying on welfare, she could still have the same outlook. Apart from supplying the sperm, then, a father won’t have anything else to offer a child.

Back To Reality

Yet, even though this is something that plenty of people believe, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Now, this doesn’t mean that a child is destined to go down the wrong path if their father is not around.

There are plenty of adults around today who have turned out fine, even though their father wasn’t around during their formative years. Nonetheless, there is the chance that someone like this had other male figures that filled in the gap, so to speak; such as a grandfather, uncle or an older brother.

Inner Model

For a son, a father provides him with someone to identify with and, as time goes by, he will gradually internalise his father’s traits. Said another way, his father will give him the building blocks that he needs to become a man.

For a daughter, a father provides her with her first experience of what the opposite sex is like, which will play a big part in how she will go on to perceive men when she is a woman. In other words, her father will play a big part in what her relationships with men will be like as the years go by.

The Fallout

If a boy doesn’t have a father to identify with, he can end up identifying with his mother and become an emasculated male. Or, he can end up going to the other extreme, becoming a man who not only hates women but who engages in behaviour that is destructive.

If a daughter doesn’t have a father around, she can end up developing a negative view of men. This could mean that she will end up losing touch with her own femininity, becoming super masculine in the process and being drawn to weak men or she could go to the other extreme, becoming overly feminine (passive) and end up with abusive men.

The Foundations

When a father is around, he will be able to provide his son with the external support and security for him to develop in the right way. In the beginning, then, he will look toward his father to keep him safe and watch out for him but, as time passes, the son will gradually internalise these two traits.

The support and encouragement that his father gives him will also allow him to develop into a confident and competent adult; someone who has what it takes to handle the challenges of life and to thrive. A father will be also there to give his daughter what she needs to grow into a confident and competent adult.

Other Elements

Another thing that a father will show his son is how to handle his aggression, giving him the guidance that he needs to use this energy in the right way. He will show him that this is a fuel that will allow him to take action and to fulfil his dreams, as opposed to something he needs to disconnect from and to become a lifeless human being in the process.

Part of this will be showing his son how to stand his ground and to be assertive. A daughter, on the other hand, might not have as much aggression, but she will still need guidance on how to manage this part of her nature, which will allow her to say no and to assert herself when it is necessary.


There are many other things that a father contributes to a child’s development, with self-discipline and the ability to delay gratification being two of them. If someone grew up without a father and they are starting to get an idea of how this has impacted them, they will be able to do something about this now that they are an adult.

When it comes to what they need to do to make up for the guidance that they didn’t get, it can all depend on what is going on for them. They may need to read books that offer guidance and then to apply what they learn, or they may need to work with a therapist/healer.


By Oliver JR Cooper