Posted by: nuleadership | June 13, 2012

Father’s Day: A Character Test

 

I had two take a second glance at the news headline on Yahoo.com.  Desmond Hatchett, a 33 year old man from Knoxville (TN), was requesting relieve from the court for his child support. According to news sources, Hatchett had 30 children by 11 different women. 

However, Hatchett struggled with his financial commitments with his children due to his low paying minimum wage job. The court required him to turn over 50% of his wages because child support payments were based primarily on the children ages and their needs.  Sadly, some mothers were only receiving $1.49 a month for their children.  Consequently, Hatchett could not meet his financial responsibilities as a father.  However, not meeting their mental or spiritual needs may have more lingering effects on his children. 

With Father’s Day upon us, the adequacy of fathers will eventually be dissected by media pundits and culture experts.  America is in trouble as it witnesses millions of fathers missing from today’s homes. Unfortunately, there are unintended consequences to this national epidemic. 

Despite all of the government and social support available, today’s children still need a strong male role model in their homes.  For a few people, today’s fathers do not make the grade. In fact, the question must be considered: Can anyone concretely define the contributions of a father in a home? 

Clearly, today’s women are more independent. In fact, many families lack a male figure in the household anyway.  Fathers are often the forgotten fixture in the life of the average child. I am constantly reminded of the shortcomings of men in all walks of my life.  

Yes, some people claim both the traditional structures of families and roles of family members are too outdated. Clearly, the demographic shift in America suggests something is different.

According to the 2006 Census Report, there are over 60 million fathers in the United States.  Sadly, everything is not a pleasant story. There are 4.6 million fathers who pay child support, representing 84 percent of child support providers.

Fathers are a staple in our community. Fathers are like a creek in your backyard. You don’t miss it until it runs dry. Likewise, the absence of a caring father makes a difference in a child.   Furthermore, the trends for missing fathers have varied.

With the increase of out-of-wedlock births and the high degree of divorces, children living away from their biological father have become common place. The National Survey of America’s Families estimated in 1997 that one in three children under 18 years lives apart from one of their parents. 

National attention needs to be placed on developing better fathers and retrieving any lost ones…if possible.  Many good fathers are forced to fill in during those situations when fathers are absent from their children’s lives.  Obviously, there are numerous examples of abusive and absent fathers in today’s home. 

If today’s leaders buy into the notion that fathers are irrelevant, we dampen our children’s sense of optimism about the significance of good fathers in influencing positive behavior in our children. Consequently, effective fathers should be celebrated as a link to a successful future for our country.  

Please share your opinion on this topic. 

© 2012 by Daryl D. Green

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Responses

  1. While I cannot agree that a child that is raised up in a home without a father is doomed for disaster I do agree they are affected by not having a father in the home. “Young men who grow up in homes without fathers are twice as likely to end up in jail as those who come from traditional two-parent families…those boys whose fathers were absent from the household had double the odds of being incarcerated — even when other factors such as race, income, parent education and urban residence were held constant.” “Father Absence and Youth Incarceration.” Journal of Research on Adolescence 14 (September 2004): 369-397.) With statistics like these the world must realize the effect of missing a father has on a child and their development. Families need to consider these issues before making decisions on having children, adopting, or divorcing. The American society has got to the point where they feel they can just walk away, but they need to step up and take responsibility for their selves and their children.

    • Barbara,

      Thanks for your contribution to this discussion.

      Professor Green

  2. Reference
    Parker, Wayne. (2012). Statistics on Fatherless Children in America. Retrieved July, 5, 2012, from http://fatherhood.about.com/od/fatherrights/a/fatherless_children.htm

  3. Both my parents came from a broken home. My mother’s dad left when she was 6 months old and she never saw him until she was sixteen. My father’s dad was an alcoholic and was never there. I mention this because my parents have been married for 43 years. They had broken homes, lived from pillar to post, but yet decided to have a meaningful marriage and family. I am proud of them for deciding to make it work. I agree that they are “real” men missing from the homes today. I don’t have a concrete reason why the divorce has climbed or why men don’t take more responsibility for their actions. I believe that a major problem with today’s society is that morality has become grey. There is no right or wrong, but only shades of grey. Examples: Marriage (the lack of commitment), homosexuality, abortion, pornography. Have all these been around for years? Yes. Only in the last twenty five years have these been socially accepted. The problem is when morality becomes grey, then nothing is right or wrong, but everything is ok. Not to get religious, but a passage from Romans (The Holy Bible) states,
    “Professing to be wise, they became fools, (vs.22) Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lust of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, (vs. 24) Who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creator rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (vs. 25) For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. (vs. 26) Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the women, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.(vs.27) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debase mind, to do those things which are not fitting; (vs. 28) Being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immortality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness, they are whisperers. (vs. 29)
    Many people want to use this passage against homosexuality, but it isn’t. This passage is about humanity allowing for the deterioration of moral boundaries. One of the biggest problems with “religious” people is that they want to pick and choose what is acceptable and what isn’t. The point I want to make is this: When humanity stops defining “definite” moral boundaries, then everything is acceptable. Mankind becomes their own god. Going back to your original post, when men don’t put their wife, family, or others first, but is only concerned about themselves then you have broken homes, you have men who cheat, you have men who don’t understand what sacrifice is for loved ones. Again, I believe that the deterioration of the family unit is directly proportionate o the deterioration of definite moral boundaries.

  4. There is no doubt that the value of having a father in a home is irreplaceable. I view myself as an independent woman but I believe that I am that way because I had my father around to teach me the things mom could not. There is a connection that children have that is different from mother to father and both are non negotiable. “According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America –– one out of three –– live in homes where the biological father is absent. The absence of fathers in America’s homes has a direct impact on nearly all of the social issues facing America today, including well-documented increases in behavioral, emotional and psychological problems in children as well as dramatic increases in the costs of governmental assistance programs” (Crouse, 2012). Several children that have these issues only have them because they are trying to satisfy their unmet needs of not having a father around. With the increase in out-of-wedlock births and the facts that show how many of these families stay together, people should reconsider having children, it could put a stress on a family that is hard to mend. It is difficult to say negative things about families that do not stay together, because how fair is it to stay together for children if you are unhappy with each other. But as a woman in a mother role and a man in a father role, both have the options to stay around and take care of their own, this is the important thing.
    As Sigmund Freud said many years ago, “I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection” (Crouse).

    Crouse, J. S. (2012). The Inherent, irreplacable value of fathers. FoxNews.com

  5. I think this is a very unfortunate situation. However, it does not surprise me, being an African American, this is something that has become a norm in our community, however just not to the extremity of this man with this many children. It makes me reflect to the Willie Lynch letters and if it hold truths of how the black community can become corrupt via removing the male from the household and the woman takes on the role. However on a larger scale outside of race, the trend of women making more money in the household is currently trending, 4 out of 10 women make the more than their spouse and this is currently inclining over the next 25 years. (Maxwell, 2012).

    Maxwelll, Aerlina. “Women as Breadwinners? Nothing New for Black Folks.” EBONY. Ebony Magazine, 04 Apr. 2012. Web. 30 July 2012. .


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