Fathers’ experiences on denied contact with their children after a break-up: a case of the Limpopo Province
Matjila, Colly William
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Despite the new Children’s Act framework on parental responsibilities and rights, there is still a constant battle that parents have over children. Fathers being denied contact with their children at Bakenberg, Limpopo Province is increasing at an alarming rate as fathers are being denied contact with their children after a break-up. The Sepedi speaking people are mostly from Limpopo province. Paternal family plays a very crucial role in the upbringing of children. It is imperative for children to have contact with family members from their father’s side. Fathers are important in children’s lives to provide guidance and instil discipline. The aim of this study was therefore to through a qualitative descriptive design use document analysis and semi-structured interviews to explore the experiences of Sepedi fathers on the phenomenon of “contact-with-the-child” after relational break-up in Bakenberg, Mogalakwena Municipality. Data was analyzed using Tesch’s qualitative data analysis model. The findings revealed that poor income and only temporary employment were identified to have disadvantaged the majority of fathers by not being allowed to have contact with their children after a break-up. The influences of grandparents and other family members, cultural factors, conflict between parents and the mothers’ power over parenting roles contributed to the denial of father-to-child contact. Mothers refused to share parenting responsibilities with fathers after divorce or separation, and applied strict rules that excluded the fathers. Mothers displayed jealousy after the break-up and made children turn against their fathers as well. Mothers have put their needs before those of the children, while fathers on the other hand experienced disruptions aimed at ensuring that visitations are not possible between them (fathers) and children.
- Health Sciences