A paternal bond is a connection between parents and a child. The term paternal bond refers to the emotional connection between human fathers and their children. Parents who are involved in raising their children can develop bonds with them different from the parental bond of biological fathers. The maternal bond is generally present before birth, while the paternal bond usually takes place after the baby is born.
The paternal bond that has taken place since the child was born may be justified by the idea of parenthood as a social construct and therefore flexible. A child can be biologically related to its mother but not its father and vice versa. Paternal bond is also encouraged by researchers in terms of psychological development, with fathers having more impact on their children than mothers. The theory behind this is that the size of a father’s brain and his involvement in rearing children can influence social and cognitive development.
Paternal bond is also important to the mother who may feel anxiety or guilt about what her child may experience because of not having a father involved. The more bonding that takes place between parents and their children, the better it is for the child’s development. The importance of the parental bond between both parents and children is well documented in the literature. The relationship between a parent and their child almost always begins with the image of the mother, who gives birth to the baby.
However, that bond can change significantly when another person enters into their lives – often meaning it’s time to say goodbye to the motherly bond and say hello to a paternal one. Paternal bond is often associated with the male role as a father, however, this does not mean that it is always present. In some cases, women take on the role of fathers themselves through either single parenting or living with an unrelated male who takes on the paternal role in the household, as well.