Many boys today do not know what it means to be a man because they don’t have a man in their lives. Sadly, children will go to bed tonight without saying goodnight to their father because he just isn’t there.
Nearly one-fourth of America’s children live in mother-only families. Out of the families living in Hamilton County, 39 percent of them are headed by a single mother.
Of the children living with their mothers, 35 percent never see their father and 24 percent see their fathers less than once a month.
These children live with a woman and more than likely, they are taught by a woman at school. Where do they see and interact with positive male role models? Or, if they are a boy, how do they learn what it means to be a man? Television? Movies? On the street?
Even in homes where the father is present, research shows that the average father spends less than 10 minutes a day one-on-one with his child. In our society, emotional and spiritual fatherlessness is becoming the norm. Many of today’s fathers did not have positive role models to show them what it meant to be a father, so they are not there to show their children what it means to be a father.
No matter how great a mother is, she cannot replace what a father provides to a child. Irrefutable research shows that mothers typically are nurturing, soft, gentle, comforting, protective and emotional. Fathers tend to encourage risk taking and to be challenging, prodding, loud, playful and physical. Children need a balance of protection and reasonable risk taking. If a positive male role model is not present in the life of a child, there is a void in this area. Children who live in this environment are more likely to be involved in criminal activity, premarital sexual activity, do poorer in school and participate in unhealthy activities.
Studies have shown that involvement of a father or a positive male role model has profound effects on children. Father-child interaction promotes a child’s physical well-being, perceptual ability and competency for relating with others. These children also demonstrate greater ability to take initiative and evidence self-control.
How can you make a positive difference for these children?
- A mother can encourage the involvement of positive male role models in her child's life.
- Non-custodial dads can make the effort to visit with their children more often and be intentional about teaching them important life lessons.
- Educators can encourage fathers to take on a more active role in the classroom.
- Positive male role models can get involved in and influence the lives of children in their communities.
- Faith-based institutions can provide programs to bring fathers together with their children and also encourage male role models to be involved with children in their sphere of influence.
- Business leaders can encourage employees to be involved in community efforts such as mentoring, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, youth groups, Boys Club or Girl’s Inc.
Every child needs someone who is absolutely crazy about them. It is up to us to make sure they have that person.
Contact us for more information or check out some of our free parenting classes to learn more.