Nessa, you are very much not alone in the comment you made about his father acting like a friend. For years we haven’t been producing fathers who are positive mature male role models, and who can also spend enough time with their children. This places a burden on mothers and society in general. Boys especially need a kind of discipline that’s done in a caring and positive way, and most people have never experienced a male figure that can deliver on those qualities.
I copied this from an article that has some suggestions.
Many of today’s fathers did not have positive role models to show them how to be a father, so they are not there to show their children what it means to be a father.
No matter how great a mother is, she cannot replace what a father provides to a child. Irrefutable research shows that mothers are typically nurturing, soft, gentle, comforting, protective and emotional. Fathers tend to encourage risk-taking and to be challenging, prodding, loud, playful and physical. Children need a balance of protection and reasonable risk-taking. If a positive male role model isn’t around, there is a void in this child’s life. Children without positive male role models are more likely to be involved in criminal activity, premarital sexual activity, do poorer in school and participate in unhealthy activities.
Studies have shown that involvement of a father or a positive male role model has profound effects on children. Father-child interaction promotes a child’s physical well-being, perceptual ability and competency for relating with others. Furthermore, these children demonstrate greater ability to take initiative and evidence self-control.
How can you make a positive difference for these children?
Encourage positive male role model involvement in your child’s life if you’re a mom.
If you’re a non-custodial dad, make the effort to visit with your children more often. You can also be very intentional about teaching them important life lessons.
If you are an educator, encourage fathers to be more active in the classroom.
You can influence the lives of children in your community be being a positive male role model.
Faith-based institutions and programs can bring fathers together with their children.
Additionally, they can encourage male role models to engage children in their sphere of influence.
Business leaders can encourage employee involvement in community efforts with children.
For example, you can promote mentoring with organizations like Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, youth groups, Boys Club or Girls, Inc.