Another Statistic..

November 14, 2008
“Mommy, where’s daddy going?”
“Why is his suitcase packed?”
“Why didn’t he say goodbye?”

Questions like these are commonly asked from little children who witness their father walking out on them. Imagine the look in the mother’s eyes when she is confronted with such wondering. What would you say if you were in this predicament? What would you say to leave your child content, to leave your child satisfied? You can spend hours, even days, trying to find the right words, but the truth is: there are no right words. No matter what you say, sooner or later, that child’s lifestyle will be affected.

Studies show that “..before they reach the age of eighteen, more than half of our nation’s children are likely to spend at least a significant portion of their childhoods living apart from their fathers" (Fatherless America, p. 1). Relation to this proof is Ricky D., and indeed is he is a victim of a fatherless family. His dad left when he was 10 years old and since then it seemed that no one understood him. Ricky’s mother worked to support the household. With no one to reach out and guide him, Ricky did what he could to find someone to fill in that void. He hung around the wrong crowd. He put his trust into the wrong people, and eventually ended in a wrong position. I recently spoke to Ricky on the phone and I asked him about his family. He laughed a cold, hard laugh and snorted, “Family? I have no family.” He has grown so much hate and animosity to the one man who wasn’t man enough to stick around or at least try to stay connected. It’s a shame to see this, nonetheless to go through it. Ricky used to be a straight A student and now he is getting kicked out of school. Ricky used to be the ladies’ favorite, and now he mistreats and disrespects them. Ricky is confined to this young minded stage because no one has taught him how to be a man. No one has taken the time to show him, so he acts out in rebellion all because of the lack of a dad.

Now there have been a few that have conquered against the odds. There is a handful of broken families that are quite successful. In Bringing Up Boys, psychologist James Dobson points out that in spite of such evidence, some believe not only that fathers are unnecessary, but that the institution of fatherhood is harmful to families (p. 65). I’ve seen some accounts where a family has nourished because of the absence of a dad. It is true that the mother can even remarry and the children will not be negatively affected. However, these are rare possibilities. A child with a step father can still be emotionally damaged.

What can we do as a society? The answer is quite simple. Stop abandoning your family. Whether you’re financially struggling. Whether your marriage has reached its peak. Whether your job is taking majority of your time. You are punishing your child. People say, it’s never the child’s fault, but they feel accountable once you walk out that door. For the rest of us, witnessing their struggle, make yourself useful. If you see a student, a friend, a youth employee, and they look like they could use someone to confide in, please don’t feel like it’s not your responsibility to step in.

You say the world can be a better place if there wasn’t violence in the streets, if there wasn’t drug dealers, or prostitutes, or gangs. Well could it be possible that Michael, who robbed that convenient store, be the victim of an absentee father? Could it be possible that Chelsea, who dances in clubs, is internally suffering because she has not experienced a father’s love? You want change, but you don’t take the effort to make it. So do me and the nation a favor, and stay home.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Dr.quese010 said...
Feb. 15, 2009 at 5:11 am
i love your entry i can relate to every bit i let go of the hate i had with my dad and decided to let him in my life even though he wasent tryin when i needed him. Sometimes you just have to let go even when you dont think they deserve it atleast he's trying he doesnt have to be in my life..... i love you kristina you've grown into a young lady but u can grow into a woman without your father prove to him that he missed out on you not that you missed out on him. he cant remaniss on unknow... (more »)
*i*like*me said...
Nov. 26, 2008 at 11:00 pm
This is really good, what makes it even better is that it's true. Keep up the good work!
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