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What is father hunger?

The term "father hunger" is one sometimes used by psychologists when talking about children of divorce. One psychologist said he often saw this phenomenon when working with kids who lived with their mothers and rarely saw their fathers.

He pointed out that the recent trend toward equal parental involvement simply did not exist in the 1970s, when he began his career. In most cases, kids were left with their mothers and fathers were not a big part of the equation. He said that fathers were looked at as expendable parents.

A lot of the trouble that kids were having after divorce, then, came from this disconnect with their fathers. He said that, in most cases, he found that both the children and the fathers would have preferred to spend more time with each other. He said that "all signs" pointed to serious benefits for entire families when mothers and fathers were both still involved. There was just no other way to ease this "father hunger."

He did note that steps have been taken over the years. Shared parenting is more common now. Rather than visiting their fathers every other weekend, many children now spend more than a third of their time living with them. Researchers have found that this helps them on many levels: psychologically, socially and academically.

Though changes have been made, this research is still invaluable. It is critical to understand the way that parental roles impact the kids. This is the only way to really focus on the children's best interests. These interests need to be the focal point of any divorce case.

Source: Stat News, "After divorce, shared parenting is best for children’s health and development," Richard A. Warshak, accessed Jan. 04, 2018

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