Although 70% of male and female criminals had fatherless childhoods, a child without a father is not doomed to a life of crime and mental disorders. But there is a need for single moms to actively seek out alternative male role models for their sons and daughters. Male teachers make for wonderful male role models. Unfortunately, the male teacher is a dying breed. Male coaches, male youth group leaders or pastors, music teachers, grandfathers, uncles, and even community mentors can make great male role models.

Kids without relationships with a positive male role model can still be exposed to secondary examples of responsible, moral men. A mother can take the time to point out a friend’s fun-loving, hardworking father. A single mom could choose a selection of friends who have fathers who live at home so that her son is exposed to a proper father figure. But it’s important to make sure any role models of men portrayed on television shows, movies, and comic books are limited to positive examples of honest men who honour the law and their family.

Fathers who provide their time and attention to their children will produce more secure, disciplined, and successful children. Kids without father figures can connect with positive male role models in their school, community, or extended family to achieve similar effects.

Homes with fathers typically provide for better financial security as in the majority of married families fathers are still the primary bread winners. Financial security is good for children however, this can improperly imply that fathers are to be considered as ATM machines to be valued solely for their financial contributions.

Children need a balance of protection and reasonable risk taking. Both of these traits tend to be more often associated with fathers. If a positive male role model is not present in the life of a child there can develop a void in this area. Children who live in this environment are statistically more likely to be involved in criminal activity, premarital sexual activity, do poorer in school and participate in unhealthy activities.

In a study examining father involvement with 134 children of adolescent mothers over the first 10 years of life, researchers found that father-child contact was associated with academic functioning, when socio-economic status was controlled. The results from controlled studies indicated that children with more involved fathers experienced fewer behavioural problems and scored higher on reading achievement. This study showed the significance of the role of fathers in the lives of at-risk children, even in case of nonresident fathers.

Fathers play an important role in ensuring the safety of their children, both by monitoring their children’s and peers activities and by signalling to others, from neighborhood bullies to adults seeking a target for abuse, that they will not tolerate harm to their children. Indeed, by simply sticking around, ordinary dads play an important role in protecting their children from physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Ordinary is good!


  1. DECONSTRUCTING THE ESSENTIAL FATHER -Louise B. Silverstein, Ph.D.and Carl F. Auerbach, Ph.D.Yeshiva University from the AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGIST, Volume 54, Number 6
  2. Importance of role model –ehow