By Julie Garrison
Special to DadsDivorce.com
Divorced dads who maintain an active role in their children’s lives reap the benefits now and later on.
Even out-of-state dads with limited parenting time are still far better for a child than not having a father in the picture at all.
With roughly one of every two marriages ending in divorce, a dad need not feel guilty about ending the marriage. As long as courts recognize the importance of shared parenting, children of divorced parents will be right up there in emotional stability and achievement with children from households where the parents are married and living together.
Transitional Age in Boys
Boys have a natural transition around age 11 where they look less to their mothers and more to their fathers for their identity. This is a vital time in a father/son relationship.
A son will learn to treat women the way his dad does and emulate his father in attitude, interests and in the male identity. A mother alone cannot provide this.
A father does not have to be living with a boy’s mother to provide this role modeling. As long as there is adequate parenting time for the dad, his son will follow his lead in respect for authority, honesty and ability to take charge of a situation and stick with it until completion.
A Dad’s Influence On His Daughters
If a father is respectful and honorable with his daughter’s mother (whether Mom and Dad are married or not), a young woman will subconsciously gravitate towards this type of young man in dating and marriage. She will not seek to be “rescued” or “dominated” by a controlling husband.
If a girl has a good relationship with her father, she will be more self-confident in her abilities, her appearance and her adult place in the world. Fathers provide a form of buffer and safety for their daughters. A daughter will look for a husband very much like her own dad.
Another important aspect of the father/daughter relationship is a father’s loving treatment of her. Girls from homes where their dads provide appropriate affection toward them do not go looking for love and affection elsewhere. If a teenage girl’s father hasn’t given her an adequate amount of loving affection, then this is where a teenage girl can sail into rough waters.
Children Need Their Dads
Children need their dads for affection, role modeling, safety, security and financial support. Contrary to what some feminists will tell you, dads are vital in both boys’ and girls’ lives and are far more than just a paycheck.
Unmarried dads who take responsibility for their children are role modeling this for the next generation. Divorced dads who co-parent their children will reap the benefits of their labor and time investment in the type of men and women their children become as adults.
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Julie Garrison has been writing articles and short stories for the past 10 years and has appeared in several magazines and e-zines.