Modern women can do a lot: make a career, buy an apartment, and raise a child without the help of a man. They are worried about only one question: do they deprive their son or daughter of something, raising them alone? We answer.
Galina Filippova professor, founder of the Russian psychology of motherhood
The expression "single mother" evokes conflicting emotions. Once in the USSR, this was the name for women who gave birth to a child without being married. These children were "black sheep", because most of their peers grew up in complete families. Therefore, it was believed that they were destitute, deprived and almost inferior. Their mothers also had a hard life: it was difficult for a woman to marry “with a supplement”, and even if she had a man, vigilant neighbors and colleagues began to discuss and condemn her personal life with tripled enthusiasm. This was the case until the 70s of the last century. And then there was a sexual revolution, emancipation, the institution of the family lost its former influence. And what do we see now? Now a “single mother” is a well-educated, successful woman who deliberately decided to give birth to a child “for herself”. She earns enough to raise a son or daughter without the help of a man, and those around her only admire: what a fine fellow! Children who are brought up without a father are no longer a rarity, but a phenomenon close to the norm, so they do not feel left out. Why has there been such a dramatic change in human consciousness?
Her, this change, was predicted in the 18th century by the boring but perspicacious Friedrich Engels. In one of his works, he wrote that the development of private property and the state will inevitably influence the family structure. And as soon as a woman gets the opportunity to earn on an equal basis with a man, she becomes economically independent, marriage and family life will become irrelevant. And now, it seems, this moment has come: a woman can do without a man. But strong, self-sufficient, smart moms are still worried: how will the absence of a dad affect the child's development? And their anxiety is understandable.
Let's see how the need for a father is different in infants, preschoolers, schoolchildren and adolescents.
From 3 to 6 years old
Let's reveal a secret: up to 3 years old, a baby does not care who cares for him: mom, dad, uncle, grandmother. All of them perform maternal functions: feeding, changing diapers, bathing, entertaining. In a word, they care. But after three years, children begin to realize their gender, to understand who they are - boys or girls. Adults help to strengthen this self-image: daughters weave bows into their braids and buy dresses, and sons get short haircuts, give cars and pick up tiny trousers. And they behave differently with children of different sexes. Looking at this attitude, the child begins to correct his behavior. He also willingly copies his parents, because daughters want to grow up beautiful and kind, like mothers, and sons - strong and courageous, like dads. But, most importantly, looking at parental relationships, kids should get an idea of how a man and a woman behave with each other. They need to see exactly the relationship based on vivid sexual behavior: when adults hug, laugh, flirt. That is - all this glitter in the eyes, pheromones and other "chemistry", as the heroes of romantic films now say.
And if the father is not there? Let's remember the tradition of raising children in Ancient Russia. The fathers were generally little at home - they were either busy in the field, or were in squads and disappeared on campaigns. They were looked after by the offspring, as a rule, by the mother's brothers - uncles. In our time, it is not difficult to find a “deputy” of the Pope either - any young man can turn out to be one: uncle, godfather, mother’s friend, colleague. The main task of a woman is to provide the baby with the opportunity to observe all types of communication between men and women. If it is very tight with the male representatives, you can always come with the child to visit friends - a married couple.
Pay attention: grandparents are not very suitable to become a worthy example. Due to their age, their hormonal levels are lowered, the elderly become as if "middle sex" and it will be difficult for a child to grasp the necessary nuances in their behavior. But they have no equal in the opportunity to give their grandchildren warmth, love, care and affection!
6 to 12 years old
If at the previous stage boys and girls need to be shown how to behave, then at this stage their behavior should be encouraged. It is easy to see: at this age, children are little interested in peers of the opposite sex. Girls play with dolls, and these are no longer dolls that look like children, but "barbies", "winx" - with pronounced feminine forms. The girls draw, gossip, weave baubles from beads, watch TV series and exchange their favorite tunes on Vkontakte, slowly experiment with mom's shadows and blush. Boys play online games, solder processors in radio mugs, bruise basketball courts and, of course, dissolve Mentos in a Coca-Cola bottle in the yard. There is always tough competition in the games of children, they are constantly figuring out who is smarter, bolder, stronger, and so on. Girls are more interested in women and their world, boys are more interested in men and everything connected with them. The boys need a father at this stage more in order to show them the full range of men's interests by example.
And if the father is not there? It is worth making sure that the son finds a common language with his peers and often finds himself in a company where there are many adult men. These can be family meetings, which are attended by mothers 'brothers, their sisters' husbands. Finally, if the son is interested, send him to the wrestling or swimming section with a male coach at the head.
From 12 years old
Oddly enough, children especially need fathers during adolescence, when puberty begins. For young men - so that there is someone with whom they can discuss emerging problems on an equal footing. And the one who will teach you to take responsibility for your words and actions. And also, in which case, a good scolding. That is, to speak "like a man."
The father plays a very special role in the girl's life. His main task is to show her how beautiful and charming she is, that she is able to conquer any man. At the same time, the father protects her from the too frank attention of young men: he vigilantly watches over all the fans of his daughter and approves of the most worthy. It is not for nothing that in many traditions it is the father who leads the daughter to the wedding altar and there hands her over to the groom.
And if the father is not there? Finding him a replacement for teenagers is extremely difficult. It is good if this role can be played by an uncle or a youthful grandfather. Not really - if there is no relative in the environment of the mother who will show the grown child due attention. If a stepfather appears in the family by that time, it turns out to be a completely complicated story. Teens usually protest, and it will be difficult for a stepfather to resist their behavior if he does not have authority. And girls may well start competing with their mothers for the attention of a man who is not a father. Even if not consciously. And if earlier the behavior of young people was helped to regulate social prohibitions, such as the threat of being left without inheritance and being excommunicated from home for unworthy behavior, then modern society has practically no such methods of influence.
Therefore, the only way out is to be prepared for the fact that it will not be easy with teenagers who grew up without a father. And, if necessary, seek help from a psychologist.
Where is my daddy?
Answering this question, one should not compose fables about sea captains and heroes posthumously awarded the Order of Courage. Explaining to a child why he does not have a dad is quite simple.
- Tell what dads are for. There are those who give the mother a cage, from which the baby then grows and is born. And they leave. And there are those who then raise this baby. It happens that the same dad can do both. And all kinds of dads are good.
- To draw the child's attention to how different families are: with dads and without dads. Give examples of acquaintances. And show that it's okay.
- Explain the reason why your father is not around. The simplest will do: he left to go about his business. We initially agreed with him that we would live separately and so on.
Whatever the past connects a woman with the child's father, it is important to talk about this man with respect and gratitude. Yes, in some cases it can be difficult. But it is always worth remembering that we do this in pursuit of certain goals: so that the child does not think that he is inferior due to the absence of a second parent. That the father is bad or, what is most sad, does not love his son or daughter. Then the child will grow up with a completely adequate understanding: even if he is raised by one mother, everything is all right with him.