This past week, I’ve been preparing for a talk I have to give at church tomorrow, Father’s Day. My father and the father of my children/husband are both very important to me, so I’ve been trying to sort this talk out in a way that does them justice…without being a bawl-baby the whole time. While pondering and studying the topic of fatherhood, it really struck me how extremely influential a father is. For better or for worse, they have a powerful effect on their children.
Check out some of these stats:
63% of teen suicides come from fatherless homes. That’s 5 times the national average.
SOURCE: U.S. Dept of Health
90% of all runaways and homeless children are from fatherless homes. That’s 32 times the national average.
SOURCE: Justice and Behavior
85% of children with behavioral problems come from fatherless homes. 20 times the national average.
SOURCE: Center for Disease Control
71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. 9 times the national average.
SOURCE: National Principals Association Report
75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes. 10 times the national average.
SOURCE: Rainbow’s for all God’s Children
85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes. 20 times the national average.
SOURCE: U.S. Dept. of Justice
Daughters of single parents without a Father involved are 53% more likely to marry as teenagers, 711% more likely to have children as teenagers, 164% more likely to have a pre-marital birth and 92% more likely to get divorced themselves.
91% of 701 fathers surveyed by the University of Texas at Austin agreed that there is a “father-absence crisis in America.” What were the 4 major obstacles for fathers to overcome? 1) Work demands 2) The media 3) Pop Culture 4) Finances
Researchers of Columbia University found that children living in two-parent households with a poor relationship with their father are 68% more likely to smoke, drink or use drugs compared to all teens in two-parent households. Moreover, teens in single-mother households fared much worse. They had a 30% higher risk than those in all two-parent households.
“Without two parents, working together as a team, the child has more difficulty learning the combination of empathy, reciprocity, fairness and self-command that people ordinarily take for granted. If the child does not learn this at home, society will have to manage his behavior in some other way. He may have to be rehabilitated, incarcerated, or otherwise restrained. In this case, prisons will substitute for parents.”
SOURCE: Morse, Jennifer Roback. “Parents or Prisons.” Policy Review, 2003
Adolescent girls raised in a 2 parent home with involved Fathers are significantly less likely to be sexually active than girls raised without involved Fathers.
SOURCE: Journal of Marriage and Family, 1994
Those are some significant figures! That’s not even figuring children raised in homes where their father is there, but emotionally unavailable, which is also quite hurtful. When you realize the possible damage done by an absent father, think of the other end of the spectrum…the benefits of a present father, physically and emotionally present. They are probably bigger than we even realize!
If there is ANYTHING that we can do to build up, praise, assist, encourage, and love the fathers of this world, I say ‘heck ya!’ They have a big job. They hold a lot of power in their hands, and we need them to be bringing their A-game.
Have you seen that movie called Courageous?? I was a little hesitant to watch it, fearing corniness and bad acting. But, I was so impressed by it. True, it’s not going to win acting awards, and you might roll your eyes a couple times, but this was by far one of the neatest movies I’ve seen in a while. It really made me think about the importance of fathers and how I should find ways to be more supportive and appreciative of the men in my life, who are embracing their role of a father.
Here’s my favorite part of the movie:
I recently asked my readers on Facebook to share with me how their father has influenced them. Reading them was just another testimony to me of the importance of fathers.
Here are some of their thoughts:
Lastly, I wanted to share with you one last video that was really touching to me…a true account of a garbage man and father who has given all he can to his family, and more. To me, he is the epitome of success.
This Father’s Day weekend, I encourage YOU to think of how your father has positively influenced your life, and if you can, give him a big, fat hug!