The number of American families without fathers in the household has grown 10.3 percent between 1970 and 2013 (U.S. Census Bureau). About 17.5 million children live in fatherless homes. For homes with a father in the household, dads are taking on a larger role in parenting. Modern parenting has more emphasis on the need to co-parenting than ever before.
Children raised without the involvement of a father are at higher risk of suicide, incarceration, gang affiliation, and mental health issue. When fathers spend time with their children the child has better outcomes in school, are healthier, and more stable.
There is a new fatherhood on the horizon. These father are not only there to provide the basic necessities of food and shelter but are there for their children on a more intimate and emotional level as well. The role of a father is to be present both physically and mentally.
Families have a new reality that include more mothers working and becoming a primary contributor to the family finances and fathers being vital in the daily parenting of the children. This new balance isn’t only in place for intact families that live in a single household but for those families that are not in the same household and learning out how to successfully co-parent.
Fatherhood is only dependent on a biological relationship to the child but it can also come by choice. Fathers by choice are men that are willing to care about the children in their lives who aren’t their own. This type of fatherhood can be messy. Although messy, it is important that men that chose fatherhood are there for the long-term for the well-being of the child. It is not enough to be a temporary father whether you are a father by biology or by choice. Your children deserve better. Fathers are critical to their children’s lives.
As we enter the month of June and start thinking about Father’s Day, let’s take a moment to celebrate all the men that are making a difference in the lives of children. Thank you to all fathers.
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