The Importance of a Father

Thursday , 29, August 2019 9 Comments

Dad holding his son

The Importance of a Father

This post is personal to me, and not just because I’m a dad. America is suffering from a lack of strong father figures, and I believe this is the greatest threat to our nation’s well-being to date. It has effected me already, and most people know someone who has grown up without a father. Ask them what issues they faced as a direct result of the lack of a dad, and you’re likely to get a variety of responses. Spoiler alert: none of them are good. Read on to find out why I take my job as father very seriously, and why you should, too.

 

The Problem: An Absence of Fathers at Epidemic levels

According to data from 2017 from the U.S. Census Bureau, one in four children in the United States is currently growing up without a father figure. So, including biological, step, and adoptive fathers, 25% of our nation’s children have no paternal influence whatsoever. The effects on our children are devastating, as the data below clearly dictates.

According to information from the same data, children who grow up without a father suffer an increased risk of:

Poverty: 4x Greater Risk

Teen Pregnancy: 7x Greater Risk

Infant Mortality: 2x Greater Risk

Obesity: 2x Greater Risk

High School Dropout: 2x Greater Risk

Additionally, children without a father figure in the home are more likely to:

Have Behavioral Problems

Have Issues with Drugs/Alcohol

Commit Crime

Go to Prison

Be abused and/or Neglected

Clearly, this has done incalculable damage to not only individual children, but to society as well. If one in four people were suffering from a disease, it would be considered an epidemic of catastrophic proportions easily sufficient to declare a national emergency.

The Solution

So, what’s the solution?

In part, it’s a problem of ignorance. Most men (and by extrapolation, most fathers) just aren’t aware of how important we are to a child’s well-being. Sure, we know what we see in the movies and on TV about “daddy issues” and the like, but I was shocked when I read the data from the U.S. census. If someone told me that leaving my children alone with their mother increased the likelihood of them having drug problems, committing crimes, being arrested, going to prison, suffering from childhood obesity, and that this was all traced back to my absence, you can bet I would do just about anything in my power to stay in their lives! Sadly, I honestly believe that most men just don’t know what our mere presence in our children’s lives does for them.

However, ignorance is only part of the problem. An equally alarming issue is that so many children are being born to parents who aren’t in a committed relationship. Getting married (or forming an equally committed relationship) and staying married has tremendous benefits for children. According to a study conducted over 20 years ago, children who are in single-parent households are almost twice as likely to repeat a grade.

I am not saying that mothers aren’t as important as fathers. I am saying, however, that the data clearly indicate that it takes both parents to raise a healthy, well-adjusted child into adulthood. If you’re struggling to co-parent, are divorced, or need help to communicate in a constructive, non-confrontational manner with your child(ren)’s other parent, Our Family Wizard can help.

For Me, It’s Personal

me and dad

Me and my dad

 

As I said in the beginning of this post, for me, this is personal. I grew up without a dad. My father died when I was just four years old. He was a Vietnam veteran who probably fell through the cracks as many returning vets did after their tours in Vietnam, and died of cirrhosis of the liver; literally drinking himself to death. My mom told me that he used to sit with her and cry because he knew he wouldn’t live to see me become a man. My heart aches for him even more so now that I am a father. When I look at my boys, and imagine knowing that my time would come before being able to help them become men, my voice grows so thick with emotion that I can barely speak. Many of the things that are listed as more likely to occur when a child grows up without a dad happened to me: I was abused during my adolescence, I am an addict (in recovery), I committed crimes, was in foster care, went to prison, suffer from obesity (although, thanks to my personal trainer, I’m getting that under control), and I barely graduated from high school. As I’ve gotten older, I have become increasingly aware how the lack of a strong (or even positive) male influence in my life affected me negatively. I resented my father for years after his death. It wasn’t until I became addicted to substances and eventually found my way to recovery that I was able to see him in a human light, and thus forgive him. Today, I hold no resentment towards the man who was my father. All of these experiences have only served to strengthen my resolve to be the best dad I can be to my sons. The importance of a father can’t be overstated!

If you’re a dad, and you found this page helpful, drop me a comment below, and please share it with the other dads you know!

All the best,

~Tom

Remember: Sharing is Caring!
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9 thoughts on “ : The Importance of a Father”
  • Tracy says:

    Tom this is such an important message! I am a mom, but a mom that group up without a dad. I completely understand the importance of children having both parents in their lives, from many aspects, not just my own. I’m so proud of you for forgiving your father and being the best father you can be! Thank you so much for sharing such a personal, yet very important article. Bless you! I wish you the very best!

    • Tom says:

      Thank you so much for your support, Tracy! I am saddened to hear about your father’s absence in your life. It’s obvious that you grew into a competent, kind hearted woman regardless, though!

  • Andrew says:

    So true! To raise healthy and happy children requires the healthy presence of both male and female energy. It takes the biology of both a male and a female to make a baby and it makes sense that they are both required to raise and nurture a well-balanced child. Males and females have different things to offer to their children.
    I’m not saying all two sex parent families are good or that all single-sex parents or single parents are bad, just that their children will be learning different things.
    What is important is how emotionally, and mentally mature the parents are. If they are happy and healthy themselves, they are likely to instill the same values into their children.
    I wish you all the best.

  • Alexandre Labonte says:

    Love this man! Great of you to increase everyone’s awareness around the value of growing up with a committed father.

    It’s my personal opinion that nowadays people are very quick to get divorced at the first hurdle that comes up in a relationship.

    I see people lying to themselves that they are ending things and that’s it’s for the very best but they aren’t even aware of these stats.

    Thus, how could they even be weighing the pros and cons and making an informed decision.

    • Tom says:

      True story Alex. Information is key to making any type of decision. A lack of good information can be just as detrimental as being misinformed.

  • I read your article and I have to say I don’t agree with you on some parts. I just share my opinion, you don’t have to agree with me. I’m not a parent, I always had my mom and dad to support me so I know my situation has nothing to do with other situations, it is purely my opinion.

    I do have a complete different philosophy about parents since I’m a lot concerned with LGBTQ+ community. I do have many friends in this community and I think that whatever the gender of parents, the most important point is to love and listen to our children. I’m definitely not here to show you how to raise your children, it’s just that I don’t think father and mother are a necessity for a children to become ‘’perfect’’. It all goes in the way it is done.

    I don’t want to write too much because I’ll take it personal too. I didn’t want to be mean here, only share what I think about this subject. Thank you for sharing with us your thoughts and feelings.

    Audrey

    • Tom says:

      Audrey,
      First of all, lets focus on where we agree as a starting point, namely, that the most important thing is to love your children no matter what! We can agree on that. However, in my opinion, saying that gender doesn’t matter is not true. A boy learns to become a man from a man (or men). A girl learns to to become a woman from watching another woman (or women). Raising healthy, well-adjusted children (no one is perfect, so raising the “perfect” child is not going to happen), takes two. This is my opinion. Thank you for sharing yours!
      ~Tom

  • Jason Kang says:

    Hi, Tom.
    Thank you for sharing your story. The picture of you and your dad made me quite emotional when I read your story. I really hope that your son become a GREAT MAN. And I believe that you will support him with love and affection. I can feel how much you love your son. Please be the best dad to your son. I have a 3-year-old daughter & I am the main parent who takes care of her. I can’t express how much I love her like how you feel towards your son. I will be aware of your suggestions and recommendations. Thank you again for your blog.
    I have one more thing to say about your website address, mister mommy. It might be symbolic, but it is actually 100% true for me. I am practically a mother who takes care of her. 🙂

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