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THE IDEAL SITUATION VS. THE MOST PERFECT THING A FATHER CAN DO

I’m a firm believer that two parent household; where mother and father live under the same roof is the ideal situation but unfortunately we don't live in a utopia. While I don’t hold firmly to all statistics I do believe they hold some relevance; put tends to be partial depending on who’s taking them and who their being taken on. Case in point look at these statistics put out by several different entities about the affects of not having a father who live under the same roof as his children.

1) Incarceration Rates. "Young men who grow up in homes without fathers are twice as likely to end up in jail as those who come from traditional two-parent families. (Cynthia Harper of the University of Pennsylvania and Sara S. McLanahan of Princeton University cited in "Father Absence and Youth Incarceration." Journal of Research on Adolescence 14 (September 2004): 369-397.)

2) Suicide. 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes(U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of the Census)

3) Behavioral Disorders. 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes(United States Center for Disease Control)

4) High School Dropouts. 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes(National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)

5) Educational Attainment. Kids living in single-parent homes or in step-families report lower educational expectations on the part of their parents, less parental monitoring of school work, and less overall social supervision than children from intact families. (N.M. Astore and S. McLanahan, American Sociological Review, No. 56 (1991)

6) Juvenile Detention Rates. 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes (U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept 1988)

7) Achievement. Children from low-income, two-parent families outperform students from high-income, single-parent homes. Almost twice as many high achievers come from two-parent homes as one-parent homes. (One-Parent Families and Their Children, Charles F. Kettering Foundation, 1990).

8) Delinquency. Only 13 percent of juvenile delinquents come from families in which the biological mother and father are married to each other. By contract, 33 percent have parents who are either divorced or separated and 44 percent have parents who were never married. (Wisconsin Dept. of Health and Social Services, April 1994).

9) Criminal Activity. The likelihood that a young male will engage in criminal activity doubles if he is raised without a father and triples if he lives in a neighborhood with a high concentration of single-parent families. Source: A. Anne Hill, June O'Neill, Underclass Behaviors in the United States, CUNY, Baruch College. 1993

While I believe these statistics are somewhat inaccurate my belief only suggests that they are accurate in some ways as well; which still makes these statistics alarming. I believe these statistics reflect conditions that ensue when a father has little to no involvement in the life of his children and has very little to nothing to do with weather or not a father lives with or doesn’t live with their children. There are many homes where the father lives in that home, but still their children have felled prey to these alarming statistics. Why? Because it’s not about whom you live with but it more about your involvement and interaction with the children you live with. Like I said, there are many homes where fathers live with their children (two parent homes) but because they struggle with such things like addictions, are abusive (to children or wife), like hanging out with the fellas or the other etc., involvement with there children has been stifled. Don’t be mistaken it is not only the negative things that has gotten in the way of the ‘live at home father’ from being involved with their children. Good and positive things have made so many fathers who live with their children deadbeat dads and their children have suffered greatly because the father has put good and meaningful things before their children; things like career, job, dreams, and ambitions, church, community service, etc.. We as non-custodial fathers, single fathers or at home fathers must not fall for the notion that if we give our children things that it will replace our involvement with them. This is a grave and costly mistake and can have an devastating effects on our children; affects that sometimes are irreversible.

So fathers it’s not so much about who you live with or who you don’t live with, whether it’s more about who you’re involved with. Children want some type of time and involvement with their fathers it is a necessary organic graving of their souls that can only be satisfied by the loving involvement of their fathers. Involvement can come in many forms and the length of time will vary depending on situations. It can range from a little time to a lot of time, it can be a walk in the park or a weekend camping trip, it can be going out for ice cream or sitting down have a meal whatever it is it must be quality time and it must be consistent.

Let me also interject and make it perfectly clear that I am in no way trying to put a smear on fathers who live at home with their children, to the contrary I give those fathers all the credit in the world if they are actively involved in their children’s life. I just want to make the point that being in the ideal situation has more to do with involvement and less to do with your address.

There is no such thing as a perfect father but when a father is involved in the life of his children, that my friend is the most perfect thing a father can do.

I wish you well in your pursuit to fatherhood,

Ray

Creator of the WHO’S YOUR DADDY? Social network

http://www.whosyourdaddy.ning.com

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