Boys and Fathers… Boys who will be Fathers

May 12, 2015

I was reading an interview with Philip Zimbardo an eminent psychologist discussing the impact of absent fathers and the response from boys: to escape into alternative, usually technology based, worlds.

40% of marriages do not survive, many of them with children who suffer the fall out.  Each generation seems to suffer from absent or damaged fathers  The world wars, the liberation of the sixties, the breakdown of marriage.  In this case boys are the focus: where is the role model?  Who can they engage with?  Adolescence is such a vulnerable age where children crave endorsement, identity, and boundaries.

Zimbardo reflects on the flight of under- and un- fathered boys into on-line environments such as pornography and gambling.  These are the fathers of the future who will not have had the role model of and involved and engaged father willing to take time out in helping them to explore who they want to be, what their values are and how to have healthy relationships.

The fathers themselves may be unable to relate healthily, they may be from broken homes, they may be stressed from the challenging competitive environment within which males are supposed to exist and thrive.  There may be many reasons.  The underlying pre-disposition will often be the attachment experience in early years.  The ability to parent and to be present for children, male and female, lays the foundations for the families of the future.

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