Raising child without father
I am 20 years old. I was in my third year of college, working towards my BA in Psychology, when I became pregnant. The father is someone I was casually dating at the time and when I became pregnant, I realized that I did not want to spend the rest of my life with him, so I embarked on the adventure of single parenting. My daughter is due to be born in June. I have many concerns for my child. I worry about the impact of her not having her father involved in her life. I also worry about my personal/emotional issues and hang-ups being transferred onto my daughter.
From a psychological viewpoint, what are the negative effects my daughter will struggle with due to not having both of her parents together? How can I deal with this issue?
This is probably the most intelligent question I have ever received online or offline and my clients often ask very good questions. I would say that if you can ask a question like this you have not only picked the right field, but are bound to be an excellent parent.
Children have a deep primal and chemical bond with their natural parents. When that is thwarted in any way a deep wound is inflicted. Abandonment causes children to assume that they are in some ways deficient or shameful and they often search for fulfillment without knowing how to achieve it. They often try to find this in their mate when they are adults.
It is also possible that you might transfer resentment to her for having to do such hard work when you are so young and without the help of a partner. In many ways you will be giving away a large part of your single youth. Even if you do not take it out on her you might make the common mistakes of over-parenting to make up for her not having a father, making her more of a friend than a child, or when she is in her teens you might try to relive your teenage years with her.
All of these are common problems that you might succumb to, but you sure don't have to. There are worse things than a child not having two parents. They can have really immature, selfish, and/or abusive ones. There are many intact couples that fit that bill. The abandonment and shame that a child experiences with this type of family is much worse than having one parent who is healthy and loving. If your daughter experiences full unconditional love from you she will thrive. If you pick a mate well when you are ready, she can then see a model of a good relationship.
I wish you all the best.
This question was answered by Jef Gazley M.S. Jef has practiced psychotherapy for twenty-five years, specializing in Love Addiction, Hypnotherapy, Relationship Management, Dysfunctional Families, Co-Dependency, Professional Coaching, and Trauma Issues. He is a trained counselor in EMDR, NET, TFT, and Applied Kinesiology. He is dedicated to guiding individuals to achieving a life long commitment to mental health and relationship mastery. His private practice locations are Scottsdale and Tempe, Arizona. You can also visit Jef at the internettherapist, the first audiovisual mental health online counseling center on the net.For more information visit: http://www.asktheinternettherapist.com/