Fatherlessness in America
Children growing up without fathers has become a major issue and concern throughout our country. One in every third child is being raised by a single mother with no father. Children being raised in the inner city have become more susceptible to this issue and we as a nation need to find a cure for this disease.
The biggest concern for the children that are growing up fatherless is that they are much more likely to have depression and twice as likely to commit suicide. At the root of the problem is mental health. Children with mental health issues tend to drop out of high school and are becoming substance abusers. These children are looking for a sense of protection in a father figure and that is causing them to turn towards gangs, which is getting them caught in a world of crime. Joining these gangs has caused kids to be incarcerated at a much higher rate. Our jail system is already overflowing and if there is a way to help these kids out before they get into the gangs, then we can help dwindle the jail population.
Daughters being raised without a father are more likely to become sexually active at a younger age than most other women. Nearly 70% of unwanted teen pregnancies occur from daughters that are being raised without a father in their home. 25% of those unwanted pregnancies lead to abortion. Nearly 50% of abortions come from women under the age of 25. These pregnant teens also have a 20% higher chance of having a miscarriage than women in her 20s. If we could decrease the issue of fatherlessness then hopefully, the number of abortions will drastically decrease.
There are many ways that these fatherless children can find a “father figure” throughout the community. First though, a father that abuses their child or spouse does not need to be with their child. Children should be able to find comfort in their pastor at church or within their coach. But only seeing their Pastor once a week for a few hours, or seeing their coach an hour or two a day during their sport season isn’t a great way to find a father figure. These people are great role models and should be looked up to but, there isn’t a ton of time to create a close bond. If these coaches and pastors take that extra time and give back to the child, then they can become that father figure.
Fathers that are not married to the mother of their child, still needs to find a way to be in their child’s life. This could be taking an interest in their child education and coming to school events, attending sporting events, and just being around the child as much as possible to help them see what a good father figure truly is. Of course, having the father and mother together could cause some tension if they do not get a long, but it would be for the best interest of the child if they were to cooperate. Having a grandfather or stepfather could be a great way to fill the gap of an absent father. These men could come in to help the child see a good father figure. A grandfather has already gone down the path of being a father, and a stepfather could possibly already have children and if not, they have probably spent time with the child before the marriage to help build a connection.
There are several organizations from the church and other nonprofit organizations that provide a refuge and a place where children who don’t have fathers can go, learn, and observe from men in their community. Many of these organizations provide care and shelter for children who don’t have a home, who don’t have parents, or have parents that neglect or abuse them. Places like schools need to start working on an after-school program where their teachers, especially male teachers, can work with the students in their academics, but also be a source of comfort if the child has any type of issue going on in their life.
Teachers need to give students an idea of graduating high school and attending college will be very beneficial in their lives. This needs to start at a young age in late elementary school and continue through high school. We as a community need to work with the children at school to strive for a higher education and to get a college degree to help reinforce that idea. To make all this happen though, the teachers and faculty at these schools must go all-in on these students and the students must also be engaged. There will always be a few students who will lash out and be against it, but if this program can save a handful of kids from every school then it would be a success.
Fatherlessness is an issue that will never totally go away, but if we can continue to work with the children that are affected by it, then maybe we can decrease the amount of mental issues that come with it. Most of the mental issues come from children being neglected and feeling as if they are worthless; but, having somebody tell them every day that they can be successful and that they are worth something will completely change the mindset of these children. It all starts with the community reaching out to these children and guiding them towards the right direction. They need that father figure to show them the right way.
My name is Pierce Erhardt and I grew up just a little north of Atlanta, Georgia. I went to a small private Christian school my whole life where I began my wrestle career. I was given an opportunity to continue my wrestling career at Huntingdon College another small, private Christian school located in Montgomery, Alabama. I am now a rising Senior getting ready to receive a bachelor’s degree in both Business Administration and Sports Management. I’ve always had the idea of going to law school, and to one day work at a law firm. This idea is what brought me here to The Adoption Law Firm in Montgomery, Alabama. I have been given a great opportunity to intern with adoption attorney Sam McLure, where I have gotten to see some of the ins and outs of how adoptions work.
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