Can A Father Figure Trump A Biological Dad?
Dear April Masini,
I am a single mother of a 6-year-old son. My son's father has never been a part of his life and I highly doubt he ever will be. I'm dating a wonderful man right now who wants to act as a father figure to my son. Many of my relatives argue that no father figure can take the place of a biological dad, but I disagree and can think of many father figures that can trump his "real" dad. Do you have any advice on this issue?"
A Better Man
April Masini's Advice :
Dear A Better Man,
Does "father figure" trump having an actual biological dad available?
Absolutely! In a man's life, there are many men who help raise him -- whether it's a coach, a grandparent, a teacher, or some other role model. The same is true of women. Women get their male role models from their father or their father figure -- the man who figures most prominently in her life, whether it's a step-father, an adopted father or some other man who is not biologically related to her.
Father figures shape the way young men and women see men in their own lives. The father figure can be modeled by their own biological father or by some other man who is their father figure.
What should single moms consider when having kids on their own -- how to choose a dad figure (his available time, his age, etc.)?
Single parents dating will model for their children what a relationship with a man or women looks like by the way they behave and live. For instance, if a single mom hates men, then that message will be broadcast to the child. If a single mom embraces her own life and the men in it, she will send the message to her child that men are good. If a single mom encourages healthy relationships with other men for her child, that child will have the benefit of a father figure in a sports coach, an uncle, or a school teacher.