A Life Without Father on Father’s Day - FamilyVision Column: By Daryl Green
How does society determine the value of fathers in today’s families? Clearly, women are more independent now. Fathers may be the forgotten fixture in the life of the average child. In everyday settings, I am bombarded with comments on the inferiority of some men: He’s selfish or he doesn’t take care of his kids. Some women view their child’s biological father as merely a sperm donor. There are numerous cases to support the trifling contributions of some men. However, not all men are merely sperm donors. Let’s explore this matter closer.
The Dirty Details
Today a culture war exists between two generations, one generation armed with its traditional values and another loaded with its pop culture values. Many would claim that the traditional structure of families and the traditional roles of family members are outdated. Clearly, the demographic shift in America suggests something is happening. According to the 2006 Census Report, there are over 60 million fathers in the United States. Of these, there are 26.4 million fathers in a traditional family environment. Unfortunately, the story isn’t all a pleasant one. With the increase of out-of-wedlock births and the high number of divorces, children living away from their biological father have become commonplace. The National Survey of America’s Families estimated in 1997 that one in three children under 18 years lives apart from one of their parents. Furthermore, there are 4.6 million fathers who pay child support, representing 84 percent of child support providers.
The Real Story
Fathers provide a solid foundation in society. The truth is that fathers are necessary to achieve a healthy family balance even though they are not celebrated as such. A substantial body of research indicates that high levels of involvement by fathers contribute to children’s well-being, including better peer relationships, fewer behavior problems, lower criminality and substance abuse, and higher educational and occupational mobility. However, the opposite is also true. Children can have an awful life as the consequence of the lack of a caring father. Steve Farrar, author of Point Man, explains, “We have a crisis on our hands without precedent. I’m an optimist, but the magnitude of the catastrophe overwhelms my ability to comprehend.”
The Look Ahead
Finally, most fathers are content to get their routine necktie every Father’s Day and just fade off into the sunset when their children are grown. The absence of a caring father makes a difference to a child. In our community, there is a lack of good mentors to teach young boys how to become men and show young girls how to be treated as young ladies. My experience with most men is they are really trying to do the right things. However, most of them have never had good examples of effective and caring fathers. Obviously, there are numerous examples of deadbeat dads. If we buy into the notion that fathers are meaningless, how do we provide our children with a sense of optimism for the future? Therefore, every child deserves to have a concerned father who is their number one fan. That’s the human perspective.Daryl D. Green has published over 100 articles in the field of decision-making (personal and organizational), leadership, and organizational behaviour. Mr. Green is also the author of four books, including More than a Conqueror: Achieving Personal Fulfilment in Government Service. Do you want to improve your life? Do you want to make better decisions? If you answer “yes,” then go to the ‘master decision-making’ website at http://www.darylgreen.org .
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