If we are serious about building a less violent world, we need to take a look at fatherless families. According to everything I’ve read (see fatherhood.org for some data), children who grow up without their fathers are significantly more likely to live in poverty, have
behavioral problems, become drug addicts, commit crimes, and many other things. I’ve been told that boys learn from their fathers how to be men and how to treat women, while daughters learn from their fathers what to expect from men.
There are many single parent families that are doing great things, and there are some fathers that are not doing a good job, but it can still be true that encouraging families with both the father and mother present and engaged can build a better world.
Someone told me that her observation was that some parents see their children more as accessories than as their central life vocation. Such parents drop off their kids at school, and maybe at church, and act as the primary teachers of their children. However, many parents are taking their responsibility very seriously and see themselves as the first mentors, protectors, and advocates for their children. How can we help and encourage them?
I’ve heard some voices that suggested that parents shouldn’t have a say in (or even know) what their children are getting taught because they weren’t trained like teachers are. However, I’ve heard some teachers saying please, please, please would parents be
more involved in their children’s education. How can we help and encourage them?
For many years it was clique that in movies and TV shows the father of the family was either a doofus or a jerk, and everyone knew better than him. How might that have helped form the notion that fathers were not that important to have around. I’ve been told by a
number of sources that the way the welfare system is structured, it is actually encouraging the mother to raise children without the presence of the father. If that is true, how can that be changed? How can it be structured to encourage active presence and participation of both parents? I have been told it will never be changed because keeping people poor and dependent is big business. I figure systematic change can only happen when enough people rise up and decide not to stand for it. I don’t know where to start, but I refuse to believe it is impossible.
It has been said that “Love is love.” It is a true statement, but not all love relationships are the same. The relationship between husband and wife is different from father and son, from mother and daughter, between cousins, between brothers, between brother and sister, between two good friends, and so on. Each has a different nature, makes a different contribution to society, and is expressed differently. I would suggest that the relationship
between a man and a woman, committed to a permanent exclusive relationship of love that is ordered toward the generation and nurturing of children makes a unique contribution. If
that is true, how can society privilege this relationship, encourage it, strengthen it, and value it? Our future, and our hope for a better world, may depend on it.