On this Father’s Day we celebrate that fathers are critical to the foundation of every family. They are mentors and role models. They are teachers and coaches. They are responsible and committed. They provide nurturance, protection, and comforting. They are examples of success. Children who grow up with their fathers do far better - emotionally, physically and educationally. In every way that we can measure, children who grow up with their fathers do better than children who do not. This holds true even when differences of race, class and income are taken into account. The truth is that fathers are critical in shaping the competence and character of their children.
The irony of this Father’s Day is that 17.4 million (about 27%) of US children live in absent father homes . Fatherlessness is the engine that drives our most pressing social problems. Fatherlessness is the most important predictor of juvenile crime - a greater predictor than race or income. Fatherlessness also impacts newborn health. Father absence increases the risk of infant mortality. The mortality rate for infants within the first 28 days of life is four times higher for those with absent fathers than those with involved fathers. Paternal absence also impacts premature birth. Many studies over several decades continue to cross-validate that paternal uninvolvement negatively impacts newborn health and the health status of the mother.
Fatherlessness has approached a rough parity with fatherhood. The New Father is slowly emerging. He is nurturing. He changes diapers. He expresses his emotions. He shares equally in the responsibilities of domestic life. He takes his children to their pediatric appointments. He changes his child’s band-aid on his or her ‘ouchie’. He helps his children with their homework. He has ‘heart-to-heart’ talks with his children. He is a favorite of the media. Fatherhood is very slowly becoming a defining feature of American childhood. Our Country needs the Good Family Man; the father who puts his family first. The central challenge of this generation is to continue to support fatherhood. If we do not, we should not be surprised by the continuing decline of fatherhood in our society. Families need fathers. Support Fatherhood.
Till Next Time,