Even as single parenthood becomes more socially acceptable by the day, the role of each parent in a child’s life must not be underrated. Society may not shun the single mother today as much as they did in the past, but the effects of an absent parent remain true to psychological and spiritual truths.
Although many girls will not realize it until they are older, one brought up without a father figure is bound to be affected by that upbringing in two major ways:
Self esteem issues
A child raised by a single parent is not shielded from seeing the general societal outlook of a family which includes two parents- a mother and a father. This leads a child to see themselves as different in bad light, since their families are ‘not normal’. Any questions about their absent parent (which come their way frequently) only serve to make them feel worse about their background. For a girl, it becomes even worse when they meet the section of society that perceive single mothers as victims of their own immorality and assume that their daughters are likely to end up the same way. Their self-confidence is thus affected.
Trouble with relationships (Daddy issues)
Psychotherapists confirm that because of the role that a dependable adult plays in helping a child be able to form secure attachments, lack of a father figure can lead to insecure attachment styles in life. Electra complex, the theory that explains the subconscious attraction that a girl has to her father is one of the key players in a girl’s learning and being able to make secure attachments. Therefore, lack of a father figure is likely to lead to a girl, in future, having trouble with relationships because either they are afraid to be left, afraid they’ll be hurt or do not feel safe experiencing difficult feelings.
Such inevitable truths seek to remind us that the absence of a father in a girl’s life isn’t just about material provision, but also about deep psychological effects that can barely be managed by the single mother.