Single Fathers – The Issues
- Children are still seen as property and mothers treat them as such by treating access as a kindness and concession their part and not a child’s right.
- Father has to contend with his relationship to his children being controlled by someone else-someone who in many cases is hostile towards him.
- He often feels relegated to the role of an uncle. The real joy and richness of family relationships in many instances lies in the everyday mundane lived aspects of life rather than in special treats and activities. The noises, the smells the mess, the funny moments, the intimacy of sharing a TV program of a meal or a bath are lost to non-custodial fathers. While the relationship between father and child continues in its new form, the sense of being a family is lost for both.
- Fathers who were not active and involved are forced to become more active and involved in their children’s lives.
- They have to be pro-active in the way that they spend time and keep in touch with their child’s life.
- Where they might not have giving up a card game for a parents evening, now they may postpone a business trip to make the parents evening. While they may have spent a day at golf, now they will spend it at putt-putt with their child. They may start doling lift schemes-a great time to catch up and spend some quality time with a child.
- May become more intimate4 with children in effort to get to know them as people, a job that they previously left to mother.
- Have a chance to expand repertoire of skills and ways of being, nurturing, cooking etc which may bring new and unexpected joy.