Colorado Editorials

The Colorado Springs Gazette: We need more kind, attentive, loving fathers

Author: The Colorado Springs Gazette Editorial Board - June 18, 2018 - Updated: June 18, 2018

As absentee dads become more common, we often forget what a tremendous blessing we have in fathers who love their children and participate in their lives.

“Almost every social ill faced by America’s children is related to fatherlessness,” states the National Center for Fathering. Countless points of data and studies support the claim.

  • Poverty. Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor, based on data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Substance abuse. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services determines “Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse.”
  • Physical and emotional health. Fatherless children are three times more susceptible to suicide and exhibit higher rates of externalized and internalized behavioral problems. The Centers for Disease Control reports 85 percent of children with behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average.
  • Education. A study finds children living with their married biological fathers test at a significantly higher levels than those living in absence of a biological father. The National Principals Association reports 71 percent of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
  • Crime. A study correlates higher teen crime rates in regions with high percentages of fatherless homes.
  • Teen pregnancy. A study of 1,409 rural Southern adolescents ages 11 through 18 years finds more sexual activity among adolescents in father-absent homes. The Department of Health and Human Services reports 71 percent of pregnant teens are from fatherless homes.

National Public Radio’s nprEd publication reports 24.7 million kids live in the United States without fathers in their lives. The Census Bureau finds 43 percent of children in the United States grow up without fathers in their homes.

“The growing number of fatherless children in this country poses one of the most serious problems in education today,” explains NPR, which also connects an absence of fathers to rising school dropout rates, poverty, suicide and crime.

We don’t need data and studies to prove the obvious: Kind, loving, responsible dads are an asset we cannot take for granted.

So on this Father’s Day, let us say thanks to dads, stepdads, adoptive dads, and men who help mentor other people’s kids.

Let us thank Dads for quiet, behind-the-scenes contributions never seen by daughters, sons or moms.

Thank the dads who fight for home and family against ever-increasing costs of living.

Good fathers lift our heads when we hang them low. They work and live selflessly, smiling through weariness and never forgetting to take time for what is important.

Good dads love with thankless sacrifice, enduring our anger and resentment and loving us more. They communicate by example, showing the importance of work and commitment.

We should thank our dads for little things, big things, and fond memories that keep them with us after they have passed.

Attentive dads let us rest securely in their love and strength. Thank you, fathers, for all you do to help society survive and succeed.

The Colorado Springs Gazette Editorial Board