1) Define the term father?
A male that is biologically related to a child, for whom they are a parental figure for.
2) Tell me about what makes a father in your perspective?
A male who is active in his children’s life financially, emotionally and socially.
3) Tell me about your first encounter with your father and how it was?
It was after he had left my mother and family. He had explained why he had left, his excuse was less than satisfactory. After that he promised to see me again.
4) Why you think some fathers leave their families?
I think some fathers leave their families due to societal pressure to be a great father or because their father had left them before so they don’t know how to be a father to their child.
5) Why do you think the issue of absent fathers is highly prevalent within the Afro Caribbean community?
A large amount of reasons, I think that it’s a cycle of most males not having father figures and not knowing what makes a good father. Also, the media has created a misogynist environment which almost encourage the idea that all women are after men’s hard earned money and the only way they can get the money is through birthing their children. Because of the media’s perspective of men , more men also feel that it is ok to leave behind their family.
6) In your personal experience, what impact has the absence of your father had on you?
It has affected my self-esteem and has made me self-conscious. In my younger years I had looked for a father figure in other male figures such as my uncle, my friend’s fathers and cousins. However, because of the absence of my father I have developed a deeper and better relationship with both my mother and brother.
7) Do you think that the issue of absent fathers has a link with self-esteem, emotional or psychological distress, If so why?
I think there’s only a problem with those issues (above) if the mother and the rest of the family tell the child that the absence of their father is a problem. I believe that, the medias representation and social stigmas of not having both parents play a significant role in the psychological and emotional development of children. However, without any of the mentioned factors I believe that, there would not be any issues regarding self-esteem, emotional or psychological distress
8) In your view, do you think that there is an obvious difference between a child growing up with both parents and a child growing up in a single parent home? If so, what are these differences?
Children with both parents have more confidence and higher self-esteem and probably do better in education as they have both parents to help them academically. Whereas, single parent children may have less self-esteem and may be self-conscious. In terms of education, they may be a little disadvantaged in comparison those with both parents.
9) What advice can you give to any female growing up without a father in the home?
That their self-worth does not and will never reflect their father’s decision to leave them. That you can grow up and be just as successful without a father in the home.
10) What advice can you give to an absent father?
Leaving your family has only left a detrimental effect on your family and their lives. You also prove a perpetuate stereotype about your gender and race and in doing so solidify that, you and men in general are not required or needed outside of reproduction. By you leaving your responsibilities you show in your actions that you are a coward, that you are nothing more than an immature boy.
Anonymous, London UK