Still, there are those who believe that because of the high divorce rate, many single parent families today’s families are having a rough time and that father absence is a crises with 24 million children, 1 out of 3, live without their biological father in the home. Consequently, there is an absent father factor in nearly all social ills facing us today.
I don’t want to paint with too broad a brush, we all know there are some families who are much worse off when the father is present. However, the syndrome known as Father Hunger is blamed for a whole slew of social ills and for children, the results are nothing short of disastrous. Recent research shows father absence produces diminished self-concept, and compromised physical and emotional security. Children report feeling abandoned, they struggle with bouts of self-loathing, behavioral problems, social adjustment, and are more likely to have problems with friendships. In addition, they report a number of underlying fears, resentments, anxieties, unhappiness and suicide. They are more likely to be truant, have poor academic performance, and become high school dropouts. Father hunger is also blamed on delinquency and youth crime. Eighty Five 85% per cent of youth in prison have absent fathers. Promiscuity and teen pregnancy are also in the mix. 90 per cent of runaway children have absent fathers and they are at greater risk of homelessness, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. There children are overrepresented on a wide range of mental health problems with employment, relationship stability, and are more likely to have children out of wedlock.
It is believed that Father hunger drives daughters to look for love prematurely and often in the wrong places and in the arms of men who prey upon them for their own advantage.
What is the solution to father absence?
Many things have been tried in many parts of the country. Shared parenting, a legal presumption would affirm the primary role of both parents, whether married or not, have responsibilities to meet the mental, emotional and financial needs of their children. However, no one can force fathers to step up to the plate and do his duty toward his children.
What’s A Person To Do?
1. Look around and celebrate fathers who can and should be celebrated not for being perfect, but for maintaining their place in the family.
2. Remember, a woman can raise her children but she can never be a father. No one can do a better job of teaching a son, how to become the kind of man he can become. And no one can better teach a daughter how to effectively be in relationships with men.
3. Encourage all who will listen to recognize the value of the community in providing emotional support for children and their families.
3. And for the fathers who are disconnected, urge them to find a way to rebuild a connection to their children. To do that, they may have to take stock become and better men. It may be a challenge but their children’s outcomes and the community will benefit.
Dr. Rachell Anderson is a native of Tunica, a licensed Clinical Psychologist, a Professor Emeritus and author. She taught at the University of Illinois and ran a Private Clinical Practice in Springfield, Illinois for many years. She now lives in Tunica and writes with the Tunica Chapter of the Mississippi Writers Guild in Tunica, Mississippi. Check out her website at WWW.drrachellanderson.com for more articles and books she has written.