The epidemic of fatherless children


Dear Editor:

We currently live in a culture where men are routinely accused of not stepping up to the plate. Make no mistake about it, father-absence is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, epidemics that we face in this country today. But how can we expect men to step up and own their responsibilities when we have women and mainstream media telling them that they don’t have to?

How can someone logically explain how a baby is 100 percent the property of a woman as it grows inside of her, but then the moment that the baby is born, it requires a 50/50 split?

We must acknowledge that nearly 19 million children in our country are growing up without their dads. According to data from the United States Census Bureau, the United States leads the globe in the number of fatherless children.

We are aware that fatherhood plays a pivotal role in our children’s development and that having a father present in a child’s life improves a wide range of outcomes. Fathers in their families continue to be a critical component of success for all children across various demographics, as evidenced by enhanced economic prosperity, academic achievement and improved social mobility.

The correlation between fatherlessness and other challenges, such as increased crime, substance misuse, incarceration rates, and economic inequities, must be addressed as American cities grapple with these challenges.

We must acknowledge that how we, as fathers, guide, educate, and raise our children directly impacts their mental health, general well-being and capacity to overcome hardships. Whether a father is biological or not, all children should have a father or a father figure in their lives, and we must break down the barriers that prevent fathers from playing a more active role in their children’s lives. We must keep pushing for laws that help struggling fathers and provide funding for mentoring and education programs for at-risk youth.

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