Even though 69% of children have two parents in the home, serious issues remain! That means 31% of children live in homes with one parent missing (almost always the father). Of those parents who are present, not all are caring, engaging, or effective. The children from father-absent or father-incompetent homes can be very troubled causing issues involving drug use, teen pregnancy, behavioral issues and so much more. These issues ripple throughout our society.
With that said, here is some data gathered by the National Fatherhood Initiative in their book “Father Facts”.
Social Facts regarding Fatherhood:
- 91% of fathers agree there is a father-absence crisis in the US.
- 41% of babies were born to unmarried mothers in 2008. In 1950, this number was 4%.
- 70% of adults believe a child needs a home with both a father and a mother to grow up happy.
- In 1960, 88% (67% Black) of children lived in a home with two parents. Today that number is around 69% (41% Black).
- 24.7 million children (33%) lived in a biological father-absent home in 2010.
- Half of all children are expected to live with a biological mother and a ‘social’ father.
- A 2009 study found that father involvement was the only factor that decreased the odds of engaging in sexual activity.
Children raised without a father in the home are:
- 15.3 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
- 24.3 times more likely to run away
- 6.6 times more likely to drop out of high school
- 4.6 times more likely to commit suicide
- 6.3 times more likely to be in a state-operated institution
- 10.8 times more likely to commit rape
- 6.6 times more likely to become teenage mothers
- 15.3 times more likely to end up in prison while a teenager
Imagine now, that we have 90% of homes with involved fathers.
- Would we have near the drug problem?
- Would we need more police?
- Would we have fewer teen births?
- Would we have less poverty and needy families?
The answer is clearly NO to the first two questions and YES for the last two questions! But how to get fathers more involved as a group will never improve until we attack the issue. It's going to require changes in our focus, attitudes, values, laws, schools, and media.
I have made two small contributions to this national problem.
- I broke the cycle for my family.
- I wrote, “The Power of Dadhood: How to Become the Father Your Child Needs”.
Every boy/man has the potential to accomplish #1. Not everyone has to write a book, but reading books will help. My book will not fix America alone, not even close. But it may help 5, 10, 100 fathers to make a change in their reality. The reality of their indisputable importance to their children. And the reality that it doesn’t require much more to be a positive influence than just being around for important milestones, showing love, and providing guidance. That's not too much to ask since you helped bring a life into this world. And like me, every son of a fatherless home can vow to be a good father - but they need help. They need to learn from good men, someone near or far, an example to look up to.
Speaking of facts, here are some statistics of words used in “The Power of Dadhood”.
I mention the word ‘Confidence’ 54 times in my book! ‘Manners 32 times, ‘values’ 30 times. ‘Fear’ 103 times, ‘hate’ 8 times, but ‘love’ 180. ‘Mentoring’ 23 times. ‘Responsible or responsibility’ 76 times. ‘Success’ 128 times and ‘failure’ 23. ‘Family’ 156 times. ‘Learn’ 169, ‘education’ 30. ‘Dad or father’ 1144 times vs 193 times for ‘mom or mother’. ‘Goals’ 34 times. ‘Passion’ 40 times.
I hope you read every word and all those in between!