Growing up without a father is undeniably one of the most incessant social issues facing America. Father absence is an issue that has raised concerns about the way children are being raised and the behavioral effects it can induce. Whether it is caused by a divorce, constant work occupancy, or death, more and more children are being affected by this matter and it cannot continue to be disregarded.
Why is this important? It could be affecting you, someone close to you, and even your own children. The absence of a father should be addressed to any couple thinking or preparing for parenthood. According to National Statistical Offices, ¨Nearly 320 million children worldwide are living in a single-parent household, mostly in mother-only families.” Each day more and more additions are made to these statistics. How would you feel if your child was added to this count? The American Institutes for Research reported that 90% of homeless and runaway youth are fatherless children. Parental love is irreplaceable to a child. Based on the U.S Dept. Health Census, “63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.” This indicates that fatherless children are at a higher risk for despondency and suicide. “Compared to children living with married biological parents, those who had a single-parent are more likely to face abuse and neglect,” as stated in Child's Bureau. This implies a possible effect on children being brought up by a single parent. Legal rights and obligations of parents state “Raising a child requires vast responsibilities, such as, protecting your child from harm, providing your child with food, clothing, and a place to live, financial support, safety, supervision and control, medical care, and an education.” As reported in How Women Who Grow Up without a Father are different, “Nearly 90% of women who lost their fathers reported finding emotional lifesavers in the forms of their friends, family members, coaches, therapists or stand-in father figures.” This reveals how fatherless daughters look to receive the self-assurance a father is supposed to give to themas a result of a fatherly absence.
Children are naive and can be greatly impacted at a young age. If you are not disposed for the responsibilities that come with being a GOOD parent to your child, then take suitable action! Some people may argue that the absence of a father is also the absence of disruption. In When Children Are Better Off Fatherless by Michelle Weldon, an assistant professor of journalism at Northwestern University claims, “In the cases where the father is far from heroic – even abusive – his absence is also the absence of the chaos, anger, pain and disruption he would bring to his family.” Critic Michelle Weldon has a valid point about fathers having their deranged moments, but it is immoral to believe that the absence of a father can also be the absence of something perfunctory. The Fatherless Daughter Project was formed to help girls and women see that they no longer have to fall into the statistics of their stories, but that they can rise with a new awareness of their strength and follow their calling, turning their pain into power and their story into purpose (TFDP). Unless you want your daughter to turn to the Fatherless Daughter Project or your son to feel forsaken, be prudent.
Contributing Writer: Erika Lopez