Jonetta Rose Barras’ article “Whatever Happened to Daddy’s Little Girl?” (4/4) was fascinating. As the father of a son and a daughter, I believe that children need interaction with both parents, because there are unique lessons to be learned from each.
There is another dynamic that wasn’t explored that results from girls growing up without their dads. My wife grew up in a household headed by her mother. In fact, nearly all her aunts, female cousins, and sisters raised their kids without their fathers being around. Therefore, she didn’t witness firsthand the partnership, compromise, and teamwork needed to make a marriage and a two-parent household successful. Not knowing exactly what the role of a father and husband should be means that my wife has expectations that are sometimes unreal, since they are based more in imagination than experience. She realizes that the burden is not all on her shoulders as it was on her mother’s, but doesn’t always understand the sharing of responsibilities that makes a group of people a family. It’s a learning process, like everything else in life.
This is yet another facet that supports the theme of Barras’ piece: Despite the fact that most single mothers do the best job they can, these households have long-reaching and negative effects on even the most well-adjusted children.
Upper Marlboro, Md.