Relationships with Men
By: Tammy Rusnak, Early Childhood Specialist

Absent fathers in a child care setting do impact children. Every time an event like a pot luck, graduation, Father’s Day or even the simple pick-up by someone’s daddy or a book about dad makes children think. I find children with absent dads looking at books about father-child relationships more and seeking attention from our male staff. Or, on the other hand, the child with an absent father will shy away from our male staff where their primary caregiver is a woman. I find it crucial that men be nurturers and providers of care for well balanced boys and girls. They do not functions as women, nor should they. I believe, as a child with absent father during the first 5 years, 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 when you first 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.