Fatherlessness affects sons and daughters differently simply because the father’s role is different in gearing up men and women. Despite the image that men should be emotionally strong, fatherlessness can also impact sons’ emotional and mental health.  The economic struggles with single-parenthood can lead to bad experiences for a child’s well-being. Children who grew up in single-parent households were two to three times more likely to experience emotional problems, such as depression. Boys are not exempted.  

Fathers are important

A father is an essential source of love for the child. Particularly for sons, the father’s love builds in the child’s maturity and heightens his self-esteem. Sons seek a specific form of admiration that a son seeks from his father when the child displays strength and competence, which boosts his self-esteem.  Unfortunately, without the father’s respect, the child satisfies his need for validation in different ways — most of the time destructive. The father’s absence can cause a lack of self-esteem for the child, affecting his emotional development. The father’s absence is a significant barrier to males’ healthy self-esteem development.

It Affects the Son’s Heart

The emotional impact of the father’s absence is subtle.  The effect is often more evident for traditional nuclear fathers, trained to provide and protect their families but are often emotionally unavailable to their children. It seems as if they only see their duty to provide economic and physical needs while leaving the nurturing role to the mother. Other men can view a nurturing man as “unmanly.” Instead of knowingly emasculating himself, the father would suppress his emotions. As a result, children may not have seen a side of masculinity capable of love and tenderness, so the emotional disconnection and distress from the fathers continue.  

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