The absent father now wants contact with his child, which is challenging to handle. 6 years ago, Jasmin’s husband left her and their 2-year-old son without contact. But now he wants to have a relationship with his child. According to Jasmin:
“I raised my son alone; I’m afraid my son will get hurt if we reestablish a relationship with his father. I don’t know where he was till now, but I also want my son to have a father figure in his life. However, I need to protect my son from getting hurt. I can’t understand what and how to do.”
If you are a single mother like Jasmine who has not had any contact with the child’s father for an extended period, and he suddenly wants to have a relationship with your child, there are 10 things you can do, as discussed below.
Absent Father Now Wants Contact: 10 Things You Can Do
#1. Try to find out the real reason for his absence:
Before taking any decision, find out the real reason for his hiding. It was intentional. Did he marry someone else or father any child outside the marriage? Was he deported from the country?
It could be a possibility that the absent father had genuine reasons for not being in contact. If possible, try to have a discussion with him and find out why he left and why he wants to come back now.
Also, try to find out if he is stable and reliable enough to have a healthy relationship with your child. It will help decide whether to let him back into your child’s life.
#2. Know the behavioural history while he was absent:
If the absent father had been missing for a long time, try to gather as much information about his behaviour and actions during that period. This will give an idea of his current attitude and mindset towards being a father figure to your child.
Remember to gather this information from reliable and trusted sources. If you find anything wrong or harmful, it could be a red flag to not let him back into your child’s life.
#3. What he wants now:
Try to understand what the absent father wants now and how that aligns with your child’s best interests. Does he want a relationship with your child just for his own personal satisfaction? Or does he genuinely want to influence your child’s life positively? Before considering letting him back into your child’s life, his intentions should be clear.
In this regard, discuss with the absent father his intentions, plans, and expectations for the future relationship with your child.
#4. What was said in the custody order:
If a custody order is in place, try to review and understand it before deciding about the absent father’s involvement with your child. The custody order may have specific guidelines or restrictions for the missing father’s contact with your child. Follow these guidelines, and don’t go against them without reviewing them first.
If the absent father wants to change the custody order, try to consult with a lawyer before making any decisions.
#5. Talk to your child to know his/her wish:
Your child may have a different opinion about the absent father’s involvement in their life. So, try to have a casual conversation with your child and see what they want. Then, if necessary, you can seek professional help from a therapist or counsellor to further understand and handle the situation.
Their desires should also be considered before making decisions about the absent father’s involvement in their life. But remember to keep the conversation age-appropriate and try not to pressure your child to have a relationship with the absent father if they feel uncomfortable.
#6. Does he want to take responsibility for the child:
During the discussion with the absent father, try to understand if he wants to take full responsibility for the child both financially and emotionally. This will give an idea of his level of commitment toward being a father figure in your child’s life.
The absent father must understand that it is not just about occasional meet-ups or visits but about being a constant presence and support system for your child. If the absent father is unwilling to take responsibility, it may be a red flag that he may not be ready or capable of having a healthy relationship with his child.
#7. Seek advice from trusted people:
Seek advice and opinions from trusted sources such as close friends and family members, a therapist or counsellor, and even your child’s other parent (if applicable). Their insight and advice can help decide the absent father’s involvement in your child’s life.
But remember to ultimately make the decision based on what is best for your child, not just what others may think or want.
#8. Decide slowly:
There are many cases where the father pops in and out of the child’s life. So, don’t rush into deciding on the absent father’s involvement in your child’s life. Take the time to gather information, talk with the absent father, and understand your child’s wishes before making any decisions. This will ensure that it is a well-thought-out and informed decision.
#9. Go to court:
If necessary, consult with a lawyer and consider going to court to ensure that any decision about the absent father’s involvement in your child’s life is legally binding and safe for your child. This can also help clarify any concerns or restrictions regarding the absent father’s contact with your child.
#10. Consider the best interest of the child:
Ultimately, the decision should be based on what is in your child’s best interest. Consider the absent father’s behaviour and actions, his intentions and level of commitment, and also your child’s wishes before making any decisions.
If it seems like letting the absent father back into your child’s life may harm them emotionally or physically in any way, it may be best not to allow the absent father contact with them.
But suppose the absent father has shown genuine efforts to improve and wants to positively influence your child’s life. In that case, it could potentially benefit them to have a relationship with their absent father under supervision and guidance.
Do you need to know more about the impact of an absent father? I think watching the below video will be worth off:
FAQs on Absent Father Now Wants Contact
How do you respond to an absent father?
Many children grow up without a father figure in their lives, whether it is due to death, divorce, or simply a lack of involvement. While the absence of a father can profoundly impact a child’s development, remember that every situation is unique.
Some children may respond to an absent father by becoming withdrawn and resentful, while others may use it as an opportunity to mature faster and become more independent. There is no right or wrong way to respond to an absent father; ultimately, each child will deal with the situation in his or her own way.
Whatever the response may be, provide support and understanding. With time, children can learn to cope with the absence of a father and go on to lead happy and productive lives, like if one mother abandons her child to grandparents.
Do absent fathers ever come back?
It’s a question that many children of absent fathers ask: will my dad ever come back? And it’s a question that doesn’t always have a straightforward answer. Fathers may sometimes be absent due to work or other commitments that keep them away from home.
In other cases, fathers may be absent due to estrangement or divorce. And in still other cases, fathers may be absent due to death. Whatever the reason for their absence, the children often suffer the most.
They may feel abandoned and alone and struggle to understand why their father is gone. However, it’s important to remember that absent fathers can sometimes come back into their children’s lives.
Whether through reconciliation or simply through increased contact, there are many ways for fathers and children to reconnect. As such, it’s never too late for an absent father to come back into his child’s life.
Why do fathers go absent?
According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, about one in three children in the United States lives without their biological father. This absence can profoundly impact a child’s life, increasing poverty levels, crime, and drug use. There are various reasons why fathers go absent, including death, incarceration, divorce, and simply not being involved in their child’s life.
Each situation is unique, but the result is often the same: a fatherless home. While the absence of a father cannot be eliminated entirely, some programs and organizations work to reduce its impact.
These programs hope to create stronger families and promote positive father-child relationships by providing support and guidance to fathers. In doing so, they aim to improve the lives of both fathers and children.
What are the negative effects of an absent father?
Growing up without a father can profoundly affect a child’s life. Studies have shown that children who do not have a father figure are more likely to experience problems in school, including lower grades and more absences.
They are also more likely to get into trouble with the law as they get older. In addition, children who do not have a father are more likely to have behavioural problems and mental health issues.
They may also struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. While there is no one cause for these problems, it is clear that an absent father can have a significant impact on a child’s development. As a result, fathers need to be present in their children’s lives.
What is considered a deadbeat dad?
A deadbeat dad is generally considered to be a father who has abandoned his children financially and emotionally. He may have left the family home, or he may still be living with the children’s mother but refusing to take on any responsibility for their care.
Sometimes, a deadbeat dad may visit his children occasionally but provide no financial support. He may also have little or no contact with his children, making it difficult for them to form a bond.
Whatever the case, a deadbeat dad is someone who is not meeting his paternal responsibilities. This can significantly impact the lives of his children, causing them emotional and financial hardship.
Can an absent father cause trauma?
While the effects of an absent father can vary depending on the individual child, it is generally accepted that an absent father can cause trauma.
One of the most well-known effects of an absent father is feelings of abandonment. When a father is not physically or emotionally present, a child may feel they are not worth their father’s time and attention. This can lead to feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem.
Additionally, an absent father may also cause a child to feel isolated and lonely. Without a father figure to provide guidance and support, children may struggle to develop a sense of identity. As a result, they may become withdrawn and resentful.
While the effects of an absent father can be challenging to cope with, remember that every child responds differently. Some children may be more resilient and able to overcome the challenges posed by an absent father, while others may struggle for many years.
How growing up without a father affects a child?
Growing up without a father can profoundly affect a child’s life. Boys may have trouble developing a healthy sense of masculinity without a male role model to look up to. On the other hand, girls may have difficulty developing a sense of self-worth and form unhealthy relationships with men.
In addition, children who grow up without fathers are more likely to experience poverty and academic problems. Fatherless children are also at an increased risk of substance abuse and mental health problems.
While growing up without a father is certainly not ideal, remember that children can overcome these challenges with the love and support of their families and community.
Do absent fathers feel guilty?
While it is impossible to say what every absent father feels, it is safe to say that some may feel guilty about their lack of involvement in their children’s lives. After all, fatherhood comes with specific responsibilities and duties, and when fathers fail to meet these obligations, they may feel like they are falling short.
In some cases, absent fathers may even blame themselves for their children’s problems. Of course, not all fathers who are absent from their children’s lives feel guilty. Some may simply be indifferent or unaware of their absence’s impact on their children.
Others may have valid reasons for being absent, such as work or family obligations. But for those fathers who feel guilty about their absence, remember that it is never too late to make a difference in your child’s life. Even the smallest gestures can go a long way toward building a strong relationship with your child.
The absent father wanting contact after being absent can be a difficult and complex situation to navigate. Gather information, seek advice from trusted sources, and ultimately decide based on your child’s best interest. Remember also to consider consulting with a lawyer if necessary.
Each situation is different and should be handled with careful consideration and attention. Above all, prioritize the well-being and safety of your child in any decision made about the absent father’s involvement in their life.