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Growing up with no father figure

(7 Posts)
Littlefluffyclouds81 Mon 14-Nov-16 17:12:00

My youngest dd does not have any contact with her dad, and hasn't had since she was a baby. She is now 6

I've had a few relationships since she was born but it has quickly become evident that it is not going to develop any further than a casual kind of arrangement. It is slowly dawning on me that I'm on my own with the dc for the long haul. Which is hard work but mostly ok, I can do it. What worries me is that dd2 does not have any kind of father figure or indeed positive male role model in her life. Her granddad/uncles aren't interested. She quite likes my DM's partner and he is probably the closest male to her.

I was wondering if anyone has any experience of growing up without a father figure in their life at all, and how that has affected you as an adult? She knows that she is loved by me but I'm worried that's not enough and she will be left with 'ishoos'.

adora1 Mon 14-Nov-16 17:15:25

My daughter grew up without a dad but she did have a lot of males in her life that were all great and positive so good your DMs OH is nice.

I can swear on my heart that my daughter did not and does not have issues relating to this, she's 32 now and a lovely, independent, resourceful and happy individual, married and now travelling.

She has told me it did not affect her badly at all and in fact he tried to make contact with her not so long ago but she felt it was not something that she wanted to pursue.

It's no big deal nowadays OP, as long as she is loved she will cope with it, they can't miss what they have never had.

Littlefluffyclouds81 Mon 14-Nov-16 17:16:31

Thank you adora, that really does make me feel a lot better.

leopardchanges Mon 14-Nov-16 17:29:18

I have a father who basically had nothing that much to do with me, but not quite. No other father figures. I think that there is something missing without a father figure, but it's not necessarily that "damaging". What has caused me problems - and a lot - is the "not quite" part. Having him come in and out, remember my birthday one year and forget it the next etc caused me a lot of insecurity.

One of the main things they say is that your father (figure) is the one you model your (heterosexual at any rate) romantic relationships on. If that's really true, and for me I can definitely see the link, then I think there's something else too. If you grow up knowing your own worth, that you have the right to want what you want in a relationship, feeling what it is to be valued by those around you (whoever they are) then if you meet someone who doesn't treat you well you'll find it very odd, rather than pretty normal, and it won't be able to be ignored amongst any attractive qualities the BF/partner has.

So I'd say it doesn't have to be detrimental if she has a very strong sense of quiet self worth (not ego!) and also is able to express her emotions - good or bad - safely with you.

DorcasthePuffin Mon 14-Nov-16 18:06:25

I grew up without a father figure. I barely knew my father till I was in my late teens; I now seem him once a year.

As the years go by (I am now middle aged) I reflect more on this and what it might have meant for me. On the one hand, it meant a stressed mother (she was young, there were three of us, we were very poor) and I think I badly needed more nurturing than I was able to get. My mum took up with a succession of violent, unreliable men, and for sure I think that has affected my relationships with men. (Though I am a lesbian, so it's always interesting to reflect on cause and effect.)

On the other hand, given my father is a violent alcoholic I think we were undoubtedly better off without having him in our lives. My brothers are lovely men, devoted husbands and very involved fathers, and I suspect that would not have been the outcome if they had had a male role model like my father around. Having been around DV, I am absolutely certain that that is more damaging for children than lacking a father figure.

There's a great book called 'Parenting: What Really Counts' by Susan Golombok which sets out very clearly the scientific evidence on what really matters for children's healthy development - including the evidence on growing up without a father. It's an honest, positive book and I think you should read it (from the library, though, because it's expensive!).

Littlefluffyclouds81 Mon 14-Nov-16 20:33:28

Thanks to both of you, it's really interesting to hear your stories. I just ordered the book that Dorcas suggested, it was only £1 on amazon!

It is undoubtedly for the best that dd does not know her father, she has seen photos of him but never seems to mention him and if anyone asks she says 'I haven't got a dad'. She is quite clear on that! I know she is going to get more curious about him as she gets older, and I'm going to have to have some pretty hard discussions with her about the kind of person he is, for her own safety.

jeaux90 Tue 15-Nov-16 07:41:21

Great post. I am in the same situation.
Dd 7 no contact but does have some positive male influences at least. I think about this too. Might buy that book!!

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