- Child abuse
- Education issues
- Emotional and behavioral problems
- Inappropriate sexual activity involving minors
Many believe, as I do, that most of these issues are rooted in the breakdown of the family.
One vs Two Parent Homes
One parent homes can and do work, but not nearly as often or as well as two parent homes. Two parent homes have twice the love, twice the variety, better financial capability, and both feminine and masculine models.
Having positive role models is vitally important! A boy needs to watch his father and learn from him. He needs his father’s approval and validation. If not, the boy tries to prove himself to the wrong people in all the wrong ways.
Girls need to be loved by a father who will show her how to be properly treated by a man and to experience male approval. If she does not find male approval from her father, she will seek it elsewhere, often in the wrong places.
The Cycle of Despair
When a fatherless boy, who is desperate to prove his masculinity, meets a girl who is looking for male approval, you can assume we have the making of another dysfunctional family. In my book, I call this the “cycle of despair.” Defeated mothers and absent fathers create future defeated mothers and absent fathers.
Let’s look at some statistics which come most often from the US Census Bureau.
Teen pregnancies and high school dropouts alone are serious issues that can take generations to correct. I know....I’ve seen it firsthand. Around 85% of these situations are from father-absent homes. Resolving these two issues alone, by closing the fatherhood gap, would erase many other social issues.
Fathers or Government?
Most government programs address symptoms that will never go away without addressing the cause. We can build drug treatment centers and prisons, rely on government-assisted childcare, provide school lunch programs and food stamps, which are well intended programs that help and often work well in smaller numbers, but they won’t stop these societal issues from reoccurring. And no matter how hard it tries to provide food, shelter, and medical care for needy families, our government cannot provide the two most important things a child needs from a father: love…. and emotional support.
The only program that would help every issue mentioned is a program to encourage, train, and mentor young parents, especially the dads.
Lets spend money on something that will eventually save money, and much more importantly, save lives! It is my hope that many more private and government led programs will evolve that promote family welfare, not through subsistence but through better educated, willing and able parents. That education needs to start before young people become parents and continue after they are parents, especially if they have no example at home to follow. And admittedly, it would likely take three generation to see significant results--but it HAS to start!
The Correlation Between Single Parent Homes and Social Issues
If the statistics above don't convince you of the crises of father absence, examine the two maps below. (I'm from St. Louis so I'm using my home town as an example, but you will find similar maps in any city.)
If you imprison every perpetrator of every crime, but don't fix the families--is there any doubt that those crime dots will reappear in the same places with the same density in little or no time? In too many single parent homes, there are teaching gaps, morality gaps, social misdeeds and immature philosophies that become accepted. But there are too few organizations, leaders, or mentors to counter this kind of thinking and the cycle continues.
Could the root cause of our social issues be any more clear!? Can we not concentrate on educating and emphasizing family values and responsibility?
Responsible fathers could work miracles. This is why I wrote, and why I believe in, "The Power of Dadhood"!
(Below are larger versions of the maps above)