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FATHERHOOD: AN UNDERESTIMATED ROLE WITHIN THE FAMILY

Father's Day is approaching, and I want to draw your attention to various growing issues that affect men that need to be addressed. The first point is how underestimated the role of fatherhood is within the family. Fathers deserve to be heard and recognized as much as Moms. Fathers are as essential as Moms and deserve the same acknowledgment. When we celebrate Mother's Day, we go all out, and you can see the excitement everywhere, but unfortunately, Father's Day is not the same. Sometimes, it goes by inadvertently, as if their role in the family weren't as important. For me, that is not right; the roles of moms and dads are equally important. If one is missing in the family equation, things get out of order, affecting the other members. Sadly, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 17.8 million children, nearly 1 in 4, live without a biological, step, or adoptive father in the home. It is no wonder why this world is like it is.

 

Many believe a woman can be both a mom and a dad, but that's not true. No woman can replace the vital role of a father. While a single woman can raise her children alone, the absence and lack of a father figure always lead to problems. The lack of a father can hinder a child's development from early infancy through childhood and into adulthood, causing psychological harm that persists throughout life. Here are some problems that the absence of a paternal figure can cause in children, according to the National Fatherhood Initiative:

 

  • Greater Risk of Poverty

  • More Likely to Have Behavioral Problems

  • Greater Risk

  • of Infant Mortality

  • More Likely to Go to Prison More Likely to Commit Crime

  • More Likely to Become Pregnant as a Teen

  • More Likely to Face Abuse and Neglect

  • More Likely to Abuse Drugs and Alcohol

  • More Likely to Suffer Obesity

  • More Likely to Drop Out of School

 

Children with fathers who are actively involved in their lives tend to have better emotional and behavioral outcomes. Studies have shown that involved fathers contribute to their children's cognitive and social development, leading to greater overall well-being. When both parents are present in the home, every member of the family benefits. When fathers are actively involved during pregnancy and play an active role in raising their children, mothers experience a range of benefits, especially in the distribution of chores at home as the child grows. This helps balance the amount of stress the mother experiences and can contribute to a more positive environment. A father's absence also hinders the relationship with God. Whether we realize it or not, our relationship or lack of relationship with our fathers can negatively impact our perception of God. It's no surprise to see how Satan fiercely attacks fathers and the father-child relationship.

 

Another issue we must address nowadays is Men mental health. Men need to be heard and feel appreciated. Mothers, your boys, husbands, and male family members need attention like your girls. Sometimes, they need more affection because society teaches them not to express their feelings and frustrations, and they keep bottling it up. They need someone to hear them and tell them how valuable they are. Just take a look at the high suicide statistics of men suicides; in 2022, men died by suicide 3.85 times more than women. We should be more empathetic and care more about the mental health of the men around us. Let's be the helping hand, the support, the companion, the friend who hears them, and the caring friend they need. Let's teach our kids that it is okay for men to cry, express their feelings, and ask for help.

 

As we celebrate Father's Day, let's reflect on the previously stated issues and show our appreciation for our dads. Let's take the time to thank them for the countless sacrifices they've made and the invaluable lessons they've imparted. Let's express our love for them by honoring and acknowledging their vital role. Fathers, you are a true blessing in your children's lives. Happy Father's Day!

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