Not having a relationship with your biological father or even a stepfather can be highly disruptive in the life of a young person. If you're in this situation, it may concern to you to know that your fatherless situation can increase your risk of suffering from financial problems, turning to drugs or alcohol, and more, according to the National Center for Fathering. While it's important to be aware of your increased risk of these problems so that you can steer clear of them — for example, firmly turning down alcohol and drugs as a teenager — you may want to look at filling the gap in your life with a positive male mentor. Here are some options.
Many young people turn to sports coaches to play the role of positive male mentors. This is especially true of teenage males, whose coaches are often male. You shouldn't hesitate to let your coach know that you don't have a father figure in your life. It's highly probable that your coach has served as a father-type figure for other athletes he has coached, and will be happy to do the same for you. A coach can teach you a lot of things that you might not learn without a father, including discipline, taking care of your physical health, and working hard.
A teacher can also be a good adult to whom you can turn when you lack a father figure at home. Even though your time with your teachers is limited — for example, you might only have a certain teacher once throughout all of your years in high school — this time can have a positive impact on your life. A good teacher can help to encourage you toward a career path that might interest you — something that you may be missing because you're fatherless.
A Friend's Father
As a teenager, you likely spend a lot of time hanging out with friends. If you have a friend who is particularly close with their father — and it's evident to you, even at a distance, that this man is an upstanding citizen — you may want to look for opportunities to be in his presence. You can share that you lack a father and seek to spend time together. Whether your friend's father shows you how to drive, takes you fishing, or simply talks to you about the challenges of life and how to overcome them, this positive mentor can help you to overcome the challenges of fatherlessness.
The effects of fatherlessness are serious, but you can find other mentor-figures in your life.