While out with my family the other day, I saw a woman wearing a shirt that said, “Moms . . . they’re better than dads.” Being a counselor I’m pretty comfortable in telling people what I think, but I kept quiet. Had I said something I would have made reference to the implied hypocrisy. What if I wore a shirt that said, “Dad’s rock and moms are just wet blankets” I’m sure I’d get my fair share of dirty looks and been chastised for political incorrectness. Most shirts that portray dads make mention of their age or how they like to lounge around, beer in hand. Well, this man is much more than that. What bothers me most about that woman’s shirt, and others like it, is that it would not have bothered most men.
Too many dads don’t take their jobs seriously. Additionally, the man’s role in the home has been minimized to the point of needlessness. Our nation’s progress in women’s rights has had an unintended consequence. The women adapted by taking on jobs in the workforce while remaining the natural caregivers at home. However, men have not adapted as well and as a result have been pushed out of the home (or worked their way out) because they don’t take on their share of the responsibilities in our 21stcentury world. What strengths that could have complimented the woman’s have been lost.
Dr. Warren Farrell, psychologist and author of Father Child Reunion, spent more than a decade conducting an analysis of extensive research in order to better understand the phenomenon that has been dubbed “The Father Factor” by the National Father Initiative. Dr. Farrell says, “Children clearly pay a price when their fathers walk away or mothers keep dads away. We are 100 percent certain that children do better in [many] different areas when they grow up in intact families.” (SOURCE: http://firstthings.org/page/media/the-family-column/bringing-daddy-home) Keep in mind that if a biological dad or stepfather isn’t present, you can seek out a positive male influence within your community through sports, civic groups, church, or another family member.
Other research studies:
- EDUCATION: Half of all children with highly involved fathers in two-parent families reported getting mostly A’s through 12th grade, compared to 35.2% of children whose father does not reside in the home. http://www.fatherhood.org/media/consequences-of-father-absence-statistics
- DEVELOPMENT: Several studies have found that when fathers spend more time on childcare tasks, children benefit. For instance, one study of preschool-age children whose fathers were responsible for 40 percent or more of the family’s child care tasks had higher scores on assessments of cognitive development, had more of a sense of mastery over their environments, and exhibited more empathy than those children whose fathers were less involved. (http://www.childtrends.org/Files/dadchild.pdf)
- CRIME: Even after controlling for income, youths in father-absent households still had significantly higher odds of incarceration than those in mother-father families. Youths who never had a father in the household experienced the highest odds. (http://www.fatherhood.org/media/consequences-of-father-absence-statistics)
- SEXUAL EXPERIMENTATION: Women whose parents separated between birth and six years old experienced more than four times the risk of early sexual intercourse, and two and a half times higher risk of early pregnancy when compared to women in intact families. (http://www.fatherhood.org/media/consequences-of-father-absence-statistics)
- POVERTY: Children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor. In 2002, 7.8 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 38.4 percent of children in female-householder families. (http://www.fatherhood.org/media/consequences-of-father-absence-statistics)