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Op-Ed: Fathers Are Needed To Say No

The research on the impact of fatherless homes on female children has received little acknowledgement.
The research on the impact of fatherless homes on female children has received little acknowledgement. File photo: Fizkes, Shutter Stock, licensed.

SPRING HILL, FL –  The breakup of the patriarchal family is often noted as a major weakening of our society and overall harmful to our nation. Usually divorces end with the mother granted custody of the children. This leaves fathers powerless to make daily decisions about their children and exiled from his children’s future. The divorced biological father has few if any rights to influence his children’s development.

Some of the culprits behind this injustice towards divorced fathers are child development experts. Their emphasis on the early nurturing years has obviously put the mother as the primary parent. This leaves fathers as practically unnecessary partners in the family except as sperm donors and financial supporters of the family.

The psychological ignorance of the real importance of the father in raising children has had a crippling impact on American families. One in four children in America live in fatherless families. It is hard to fathom experts not underscoring the fathers’ major role in family dynamics. The experts often do not note that children from fatherless families have 85% more problems in school. Fatherless children also have greater incarceration rates and mental health issues such as depression, low self-esteem, greater drug addiction, more suicidal incidents, and poor relationship development. In essence there is a direct relationship between a father’s absence with both daughters and sons having difficulty becoming fully functioning adults.  

Fathers are often the only ones to say “no” to their children. They establish boundaries in the child’s early life which directly influences their appropriate behavior as teenagers. The consequences meted out by the father are usually more severe if the behavior is repeated since they can see these actions will lead their children into trouble. The father often focuses more on future development while mothers focus on the day-to-day misbehaving and protecting the feelings of the child.

The research on the impact of fatherless homes on female children has received little acknowledgement. Not only boys but girls react strongly to the lack of a father in their daily lives  On top of the drug and mental health issues, girls without fathers were four times as likely to get pregnant as teens. The father’s presence in a teenage girl’s life helps her understand a male’s thinking and the virtue of saying “no.”.

Fathers often have the natural inclination and understanding to stop their children from “crossing the line.” After getting pestered by their child for something they want to do or do not want the mother often says, “I will tell your father if you do not stop,” or “I have had enough.” In either case, the child generally knows the game of harassing the mother is over. 

Children learn that their father is usually harder to manipulate than their mother. The maternal instinct to love their offspring is usually stronger in a female that in a male. Men want to be in command and have their children listen to them. There is usually less need to be loved in a male’s nature and more need to be obeyed. Of course, the concern for future negative behaviors is being downplayed or ignored in our present permissive society.

Today’s children have more evil temptations in front of them, but they have almost no training in how to deal with these situations. Especially in this naïve period of parenting our youth’s fathers are more important than ever. Fathers must toughen up their offspring to bounce back from normal adversity, to learn to walk away from temptation, and to protect themselves from evil. Fathers must teach their loved ones to stay on the straight and narrow road to be successful. The evidence is overwhelming that both boys and girls need a father figure in their home as both parents bring special abilities to their children. Both parents in the home raising the children is optimal. Marriage has become increasingly difficult to navigate with the ridiculous Hollywood expectation of constant bliss. Like all endeavors, in marriage the reality there are peaks and valleys.

Our mental health and legal systems should stop their efforts to facilitate divorce. Instead, our experts should do everything possible to assist husbands and wives to realize their differences can be resolved by each learning to forgive and realize each is not perfect or blameless. The “blame game” must be stopped in counseling and in the courts. More time should be requested for the healing process between wife and husband to realize their children will forever bind them. The old saying “for the sake of the kids” should be changed to “for the sake of the family.”

Both fathers and mothers are essential to raise healthy, normal, successful children.

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