Last month the world paid tribute to all our mothers. On Sunday, June 18th, we celebrate the dads on Father’s Day. In mainstream media, it seems that you only hear about the deadbeat dads who don’t step up to the plate. You know the type: consistently unemployed, emotionally unavailable, and completely un-involved with the little ones they helped to create.
I’m a mother of two daughters and was fortunate that they had a very involved father, and it makes me angry when I hear about men who’ve simply chosen to opt-out. With the statistics of “single-mothers” now at an all-time high, it’s no wonder we think that some men have abandoned the home.
But, what about the men who do step up to their responsibility as a father figure? We don’t hear enough about them, and sometimes it seems that the father’s role is often minimized when compared to the mother’s. This isn’t true. If you don’t think dads have a critical role in the development of their children, think again.
Studies have shown that children who grow up without a strong father figure have:
- A diminished self-concept and compromised physical and emotional security. Children consistently report feeling abandoned when their fathers are not involved in their lives, they struggle with their emotions and have episodic bouts of self-loathing.
- Behavioral problems. Fatherless children have more difficulties with social adjustment, and are more likely to report problems with friendships, and manifest behavior problems.
- Truancy and poor academic performance. Seventy-one percent percent of high school dropouts are fatherless.
- Delinquency and youth crime, including violent crime. Eighty-five percent of youth in prison have an absent father, and fatherless children are more likely to offend and go to jail as adults.
- Promiscuity and teen pregnancy. Fatherless children are more likely to experience problems with sexual health, including a greater likelihood of having intercourse before the age of 16, becoming teenage parents, and contracting sexually transmitted infection.
These statistics keep going. When you look at the problems around our country, you can’t help but wonder how many of them would be solved if more children grew up with a father figure. Remember, not EVERY child that grows up without a father will experience these side effects, but many, unfortunately, do. Dads, if you didn’t think you were important to your child’s life, I hope this changes your mind. If you have a solution to the problem of fatherless children in our country, join us as we find 117 solutions in 2017!
The Good Guys
Fatherless children are a big problem in our country, so I want to pay tribute to some of the people who have chosen to be part of the solution, such as organizations like The National Center for Fathering, which was created in 1990 in response to the social and economic impact of fatherlessness in America. Their dedicated team of professionals wholeheartedly believe every child needs a dad they can count on.
The research is clear: children thrive when they have an involved father or father figure—someone who loves them, knows them, guides them, and helps them achieve their destiny. The National Center for Fathering works to improve the lives of children and reverse the trends of fatherlessness by inspiring and equipping fathers, grandfathers and father figures to be actively engaged in the life of every child. Source
For more information about this organization or how to become involved, please visit them at www.fathers.com