Fathers Matter

Father’s day is upon us and once again I feel compelled to remember the importance of fathering for the success and well being of children.  We are facing a crisis in America. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 19.7 million children, more than 25%, (57% for African American children) live without a father in the home. Consequently, there is a “father factor” in nearly all of the societal ills facing America today. Research shows when a child is raised in a father-absent home, he or she is a­ffected in the following ways:

  • 4 x greater risk of poverty
  • 7 x more likely to become pregnant as a teen
  • 2 x greater risk of infant mortality
  • 2 x more likely to be obese
  • 2 x more likely to drop out of school
  • 60% of felony inmates grew up in homes without a father
  • In general, more behavior problems, more abuse and neglect, more likely to commit crimes and are more likely to suffer from substance abuse issues

In several previous blogs I have gone into detail on what specific factors a father brings to parenting that promote a healthy and successful path to adulthood.   To be fair I must emphasize that a father must do more than just be present.   It is the fathering energy and modeling that a father can bring to raising a child that is important, not merely being around.   We need to do a better job of getting media attention to the fact that fathering does matter and that men are not just sperm donors desperately in need of feminization.