On Sunday, June 15, 2008, fathers across America will awaken to the laughs and smiles of their children, some with breakfast in bed, others with a bombardment of packaged gifts ranging from wildly colored ties to a collection of fishing hooks. It will be a day of Dad�s favorite activities and will be filed away in our respective memory banks as one of those very special family events. That is�with the exception of those 24 million-plus children in America that remain fatherless.
The negative impact of life�s forces on children in fatherless homes is staggering. Though studies of these problems span the past ten years, nothing much has changed for the better in these young lives. With family separations increasing through divorce or abandonment, more children are added to the fatherless list with every passing day.
As a nation, we have documented many disturbing realities of the fatherless home. Children, with only a mother to supervise their development are prone to poor educational performance, at greater risk for drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, mental illness, suicide, and criminal activity.
There is greater sexual activity and at younger ages among this segment of our youth population. Boys, in particular, have trouble establishing appropriate sex roles and gender identity in homes where a father is no longer present. Girls in fatherless homes tend to be more withdrawn, internalize problems and display greater anxiety. Most children in this group have greater levels of aggression than their counterparts residing in two parent homes. They are also more likely to have been suspended or expelled from school due to anti-social behaviors.
There is a relationship between the fatherless child and crime that cannot be ignored. More than seventy percent of youth offenders have been found to be from single parent households that were headed by only the mother.
In cases where the divorced mother has never remarried, children tend to be less cooperative and score lower on intelligence tests than those who are raised in the two parent families. These same children are also more prone to emotional problems.
Even in the traditional two parent family, the amount of personal one-on-one time a father spends with his child is minimal. National studies have shown it averages 10 minutes a day. Still the example of that male father figure as a head of household is so powerful that just having such a presence in the home serves as a strong glue of security and direction for children to use as a positive example in their lives.
We started down the road to establishing the degradation of our children when we abandoned all pretense at morality in public life, started to glorify victim hood, insisted on � a no-fault� divorce, accepted homosexual lifestyles as part of everyday society, and tossed God out of our lives with the scraps of last night�s dinner. The sad losers are the millions of children we have forced into a lifestyle that is almost an impossible challenge for these young minds.
So, perhaps we need a national day to remind us of our greatest failure�. the failure to protect all the children. Maybe �Fatherless Day� could serve as such a reminder.