Yet again we are confronted with another ill effect of fatherlessness. I read the father of Anders Behring Breivik, the 32-year -old charged with carrying out last Friday’s deadly attacks in Norway had long estranged from his son. Mr Jens Breivik, a former diplomat who now lives in Paris has expressed shock at the crime.
Mr. Jens Breivik divorced Ander’s mother, a nurse, when their child was one year old, moved to Paris and married again. From then on he had limited contact with the boy. Some men will go all the way even to the high courts to claim custody of their children, and yet some men can’t be bothered to be responsible for the children they bring to the world. What is that make some men so irresponsible? As a former diplomat you will expect him to be more responsible. It’s not as if there was a court order restraining him from contacting his son as in the case of some fathers.
Many men have forgotten the important role they play in their children lives. Too many young men and women grow up without the experience of a loving father. We are told the relationship between the father and son broke down when the boy was a teenager, and the two haven’t spoken since. The crucial time when a child needs a father in his life is during his teenage years. So many families have broken down as a result of fatherlessness. Being a father is not all about providing food and shelter; it’s about nurturing, support, guidance, showing interest, it’s about providing the best role model that a man can. When these important things are lacking, it can lead anti-social behaviour, youth crime and extremism.
In the long run it is the society that suffers as a result of absent fathers. Something has to be done about this increasing trend in our society.