~ Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966
The fathers and mothers who are thoughtful enough to read this blog are usually not the people that need to read it. To them (to you), what I say in this space is mostly common sense. One reader asked me what I meant by a comment I made about "not performing their parental duty". If I understood her, she was wondering what it might be that she, or her husband, may not be doing for their children. My answer was that basic parental duties are 'being there, love and comfort, and nurturing'. To this young mom, this was not a revelation. These are things you just do!
But these basic needs of children are not that clear to all! There is the17-year-old father who can barely take care of himself; or the new, 32-year-old father who has lived a mostly selfish single life; or the businessman who has been too busy to really pay attention to his kids. These are the men that are my primary 'targeted' audience. Too many of these men give up their fatherly duties too easily, or don't even try. Some of these men want help, the others should get help anyway!
I don't know how to reach these men, but this blog is one attempt. Every kid deserves two parents, two sets of eyes to look over them, each having different strengths. Maybe one of you responsible moms or dads will refer this blog to a man or boy who needs help or guidance in being a dad. If these men only knew how important they are, how desired they are by their kids, they may be energized. Any improvement in 'being there' for their families would help because the impact to society of fatherless homes is devastating!
Children from fatherless homes are *:
- 15.3 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
- 4.6 times more likely to commit suicide
- 6.6 times more likely to become teenaged mothers
- 24.3 times more likely to run away
- 6.3 times more likely to be in a state-operated institutions
- 10.8 times more likely to commit rape
- 6.6 times more likely to drop out of school
- 15.3 times more likely to end up in prison while a teenager
Children would thrive if they had both a caring and loving mother, and father! And so would society!
* From a 1999 Report from the Department of Health and Human Services