Effect on Relationships with Men
By: Tammy Rusnak, Early Childhood Specialist

Absent fathers in do impact children in a childcare setting. Every event like a pot luck, graduation, Father’s Day, a simple pick-up by someone’s daddy or a book about dads makes children think. I find that children with absent dads look at books about father-child relationships more than other kinds and seek extra attention from our male staff. On the other hand, though, the child with an absent father will sometimes shy away from our male staff where their primary caregiver is a woman. It can work both ways. I find it crucial that men be nurturers and providers of care in order to have well- balanced boys and girls. Men do not function as women, nor should they. I believe as a child with an absent father during the first 5 years, like myself, is problematic for that child. It took me well into my 20’s to really understand myself and my relationship to and with men. Attachment happens in the first 2 years of life and it is very hard to meet those needs when the child is taller than you as cradle them in your arms and gaze into their eyes. We sometimes are lucky enough to meet someone as a lover that can meet those needs, but often these children are at risk of developing very unhealthy relationships due to attachment issues.