My guiding principles in life are to be honest, genuine, thoughtful and caring.
~ Prince William (whose mother died when he was 15)
Being a dad is not an easy job under any circumstances, but going it alone, due to divorce, widowhood or other reasons, can be especially difficult. As a single dad, there also may be a concern that your children are not going to be raised as well as children in a two parent family or even by a single mom, for that matter.
But Ohio State University researchers did a study of teenagers raised by single fathers as well as single moms and they found that there was not much difference at all between the two groups of kids. They also noted that we (the public) “should really rethink the assumption that the gender of a parent plays a critical role in the development of children.”
Though most single-parent families are headed by moms, single fathers are increasing in numbers and there are notable, very successful and well-accomplished people who were raised by single dads: Princes William and Harry, Apolo Anton Ohno, Emily Cook (U.S. Olympic ski team 2010) and Cary Grant.
One thing single dads can do is to make sure there are women in the child’s life, such as aunts, grandmothers, teachers, or coaches, who will take an interest in the child and be a female role model.
Being a dedicated and committed parent is really what it’s all about. And there is support out there for parents of all stripes. So, Dads, take heart; even though you may feel like you are taking on the weight of the world because you are doing double-duty, your children, too, can be “honest, genuine, thoughtful and caring.”
By Claire Gawinowicz
Certified Parenting Educator