A young girl wants her father to be with them. He has abandoned her and her mother a few years ago. She has a younger sibling, and her father refuses to care for them saying he cannot afford their expenses.
When she goes to her friends’ homes and sees her friends interacting with their fathers, she feels upset. She constantly asks her mother why their father does not want to be with them. Her mother is left without answers. She does not have a supportive husband, she is reeling under the burden of caring for the two girls. She is unable to remove the pain of her daughter.
Another young lady told me her father does not work. In fact he says he is disappointed she is not a boy, because then she would have earned for him too. He need not bother about work and money. She does not know how to answer him. Her mother is working and carrying on the burden.
Another young lady told me her father is an alcoholic. He abuses the family, both physically as well as verbally. Her brother is undergoing depression. She feels bad for her younger sister. Her mother is working and managing the household. This young woman is so angry with her father, she does not want him to live. She feels it is waste of one life; if he cannot change himself, there is no point in his being alive. She feels his loss will be easier to bear than his behavior once he is drunk.
Yet another girl says her father does not want her to marry now. He says she has plenty of time. She is well passed 25. She is working, he wants her money. When her mother raised the subject of the daughter’s wedding, he said she is lusting for men. So she wants to marry.
This young girl is very upset on hearing this. She does not want to marry at all. She does not speak to her father. She is living with her mother and father lives elsewhere. I pointed out that she could get an empathetic partner, and either have her mother live with them or live close to the mother. She has said she still cannot forget her father’s statement. Maybe she needs time.
These above fathers are not fulfilling their role of being providers or nurturers. Not all fathers are like these men. But there are sufficient numbers of above fathers who impose on the family or expect the children to fulfill their roles, and not perform their own.
These fathers can be termed irresponsible. They do not wish to provide for the basic necessities of their families. They come up with several excuses for not providing. Maybe they have always been irresponsible. Maybe they always had someone bail them out. Or whether they fulfill their roles or not, their needs are being taken care of.
There are fathers who are very hands on. They take part in household chores, cooking, even changing the infant’s diapers. Some fathers even comb their daughter’s long hair. One well known journalist has given up his job to be with his growing up daughter. His wife earns very well, so she giving up her job did not make sense. One parent needed to be with the child, so he opted for it. He does not miss his job and is entirely happy caring for his school going daughter.
I know a father who has taken up several jobs in outstation, even outside countries, but to leave them and return. Because he could not be without seeing his family. Some fathers become good friends of their children, they are closer to the kids than the mothers. Children confide in them and they guide them well.
Some fathers do not know how to be close or demonstrate their love. But they make sure their kids’ needs are taken care of and that they are reasonably happy. Children look up to them for guidance. Both know they love each other, but there is no demonstration. There is more respect, a certain amount of fear, rather than love.
Then of course there are fathers who are strict disciplinarians. They cannot tolerate any breaking of rules and they will punish. They are sticklers for obedience and can be martinets. But they provide for the kids. Though the kids fear them.
The fathers I mentioned earlier, do not provide any basic needs nor give emotional support. In fact they are hated and sometimes despised. Children who grow up with such fathers will always have this vacuum in their lives. Having a father and not knowing them, or getting any love from them can create emotional havoc. Such children, if they are girls, may grow up to hate men. Or they will grow up hating any form of weakness in themselves or others. This will reduce their levels of happiness in life.