The Effects Of Absent Parents

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A look at the effects of absent parents on children.


This piece is in no way to condemn or criticise parents that are considered ‘absent’. There are various reasons and circumstances why parents end up out of the picture or not involved as much. I’d also like to praise all of the single-parents that do an unbelievable job bringing up their children, it can’t be easy, but I encourage them to carry on doing the same.

I haven’t had the experience of being brought up by a single parent, but I know people who have. My parents have brought me and my siblings up all my life. Growing up, while my mum was more vocal around the house, you know when my dad gives you “the look” you’re in trouble. My mum always said to us as kids, if we misbehaved at school, she would come and embarrass us in front of our class-mates – and she’s the type of person to do what she says.

I understand that one parent can do both jobs when bringing up kids, but I do think having both the mother and father does have a huge impact. Parents are there to raise, guide and protect their children. If you’re being brought up in a single-parent household, from a male’s perspective, it can be tricky to find your feet.

I speak from a male’s perspective because I am one. As you grow, you enter different stages in your life and you will need a father-figure to guide you and give you advice. Sometimes you see young kids running around the block in groups, mixing with the wrong crowds. This can be due to a lack of guidance, lack of discipline or just feeling like they have to be a ‘man’ but in the wrong way. Sometimes you may just want to bond with your parents; go to the park, play football, get a haircut or just sit and talk. These are all small things that make a huge difference.

This is not to say that even with both parents there, that there isn’t a chance to getting into trouble. I believe, if parents are there, they owe it to their child to guide them.

You can’t control every aspect of their life; but you trust that when they leave the house, the way you have brought them up will stay with them.

As Christians, we usually refer back to this bible passage:

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Kids who don’t know their parents from a young age, will find it difficult to have a bond with their parent later in their life. They have a legal right to have contact with their parent once they reach a certain age, but you can’t expect your child to establish a bond with you after not seeing you for 16+ years.

I’ve spoken to people who have had trouble dealing with frustrations in their childhood – causing mental health issues. Everyone has their issues, and not being able to talk about them to someone must be so frustrating.

If you’re a parent reading this, if you feel your child may be going through something, talk to them. Just a “Are you ok today?” or “How are you feeling at work?” will make a big difference.

As a child, when you get older, the more you understand the difficulties and sacrifices parents make for you, so try and ease the burden. Establishing a “relationship” with your parents works both ways. Earn respect and get it back.

One thing that does bug me is absent parents that turn up 20 years later, give their child’s parent or guardian no credit and expect their child to build a relationship with them and pretend everything is perfect. In my opinion, I think that’s very unfair. Again, it’s not to criticise anyone, as there are sometimes circumstances that leave us in tricky positions.

If you are away from your kids, keep in touch. Write letters, send emails. Everyone has some sort of communicative device where they can text, call or even connect via social media – reach out. If the child doesn’t respond, understand their decision but also give them time.

Nobody is perfect, and in life you never stop learning. We all make mistakes as parents and as kids. I don’t know how it feels to be a parent, but I can put myself in their shoes. However, I do understand how it feels to be a child and having two parents is ideal, but having one parent is better than having no parent.  

Everyone stay safe.


Submitted: October 31, 2020

© Copyright 2020 RichAfrifa. All rights reserved.

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