Effects of Deadbeat Dads in a Child's Life
What a Child Loses When He Has a Deadbeat Dad
Being a father is difficult. You have to learn so much about child development, and deal with the personalities of children who may not always want to do what you tell them to do.
Being a single father is even more difficult, because then you have the added issues of dealing with the mother. There may be unresolved feelings and the ongoing issues that caused you to break up in the first place. You may have different opinions about how the children should be raised and what rules they should follow.
It is difficult to give up your hard earned money to disobedient children and their ungrateful mother. Figuring out visitation schedules is difficult when you don't get along with their mother.
Sometimes it is just easier to walk away and not have to deal with all this conflict and drama and tension and emotion.
However, have you thought about how your absence may affect your child?
1. Reduction in Quality of Life
Let's talk about money since that is the first thing that most people think of when they think of Deadbeat Dads. When you don't help provide for the children's needs, their mother has to do it all herself. Since the income of women is smaller than the income of men, this leads to less than a 50% reduction of the income that is available for the household.
The children will have to do without many of the things they would have if you were in their lives. Their mother will have to find ways to cut corners to help make ends meet. The children may get lower quality food, fewer toys, and cheaper and/or used clothing. They may live in a neighborhood that is less safe or be limited in their options for education. They may have to participate in fewer activities and take fewer vacations.
If the child support is sporadic, then there is the additional issue of poverty and comfort. It is difficult to budget when their mother doesn't know if or when she will receive a payment.
Some fathers are aware of this issue and do provide regular child support, and decide not to deal with the children in person.
2. Child Loses You When You are a Deadbeat Dad
There is more to being a father than providing money. Your children need your presence in their lives.
You can share your knowledge with them, and teach them the things they need to learn to get along in the world. They need to learn about morals and values.
They learn about the meaning of unconditional love, and learn how they should be treated. Nobody else can replace you when it comes to your love. Just as adopted children miss their biological parents no matter how much their adoptive parents loved them, so do children who know that their father abandoned them.
3. Deadbeat Dad's Child Loses Mother's Attention
When you aren't around to provide support for the mother, she has to fend for herself in raising the children. She has to make her own decisions without being able to consult with you, and hope that the decisions are the right one.
Her focus sometimes winds up being on making enough money to provide food and clothing for the children, so she may not have as much time to spend with them. She has to find a babysitter for every time she cannot be there with the children, since you aren't around to take care of them.
When she is sick, she has to get up and take care of the children, no matter how badly she feels herself.
As a result, the mother may become stressed and snap at the children. She cannot be the best mother she can be, because she is being pulled in so many directions at once.
4. Child Loses Your Deadbeat Dad's Family
The father generally serves as the gatekeeper for the rest of the family. When you aren't around for the children, your parents and siblings may feel awkward having to explain your absence to your children or their mother. Many times, your family will wind up being absentee family as well.
What this means is that your children have lost one half, that's 50%, of the support they would otherwise receive in their lives. That's half the people they can turn to when they need help. That's half the number of people that will participate in their events and watch them perform. That's half the number of presents they may get on a holiday.
By abandoning your children, you not only take away your presence in their lives, sometimes you also take away half of the loved ones in their lives. Your side of the family becomes lost to them.
5. Society's Treatment of Children With Deadbeat Dads
You may wonder what people will think of you if they find out that you are a Deadbeat Dad, but have you wondered about what people think of your children?
Your children will be wearing lower quality clothing, and may be considered second-class citizens. Their clothing may be ragged or dirty if their mother hasn't had a chance to mend or wash them. Even if they are properly groomed or clothed, they may be pitied because their father isn't around. It would be nice if these people stepped up to take their place, but if their biological parent can't find the time to help, what is the likelihood of unrelated people finding that kind of time in their busy schedules?
Fathers may feel awkward hugging their own kids around them, since they know that these kids don't have a Dad around to hug them.
6. Your Children's Well Being and Self Esteem
Your children, of course, will feel the biggest impact. They will not have the benefit of your wisdom or love. They will be living in the lower quality of life. They will lose half of their family. They will watch people around them who have fathers and a large extended family and know that they are missing out.
They may develop unhealthy relationships as adults because they have very low expectations about how people should treat them. After all, if their father abandoned them, how could they possibly deserve any more. They may desperately try to find a father figure and get manipulated.
Effects of Deadbeat Dads in Children
Most men don't want to abandon their children and don't want to be Deadbeat Dads. They want the best for their children, and do make some efforts to be there for their kids. However, it is difficult to be a single father, and sometimes it is just easier to not deal with it, especially if they have unresolved feelings for their mother or if they don't know how to handle children.
But if you think about the impact that you have when you give up, hopefully you will think twice or many times before you abandon your children. Try, try again, and keep trying.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.