“More than 20 million children live in a home without the physical presence of a father. Millions more have dads who are physically present, but emotionally absent. If it were classified as a disease, fatherlessness would be an epidemic worthy of attention as a national emergency.”
The above statement is an excerpt from the National Center for Fathering website. In a poll that they constructed in 1999, 72.2% of the U.S. population agreed that fatherlessness was the most significant social problem facing America. The number of children living with physically absent fathers has only grown, and will only get worse unless we encourage young men to break the cycle.
The statistics are overwhelming proof that children need a father figure in their life. Children who grow up without a father figure in their life are more likely to have a drug and alcohol addiction, get pregnant as a teenager, commit violent crimes and drop out of school. See these and other heartbreaking truths like 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes, and 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes at The Consequences of Fatherlessness page from the National Center for Fathering website.
Much of the issues crushing society today – suicide, crime, drug and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy, poverty, divorce – could be solved by the physical and emotional presence of a father in the home. It’s amazing to think one person could have that much impact on a life – yet alone society. I’d say, someone who could rescue a child from all that pain may qualify for superhero status. But here we are, living in a superhero world, having no idea it means to be one.
Marvel and D.C. Comics are all the rage right now. Superheroes are in the movies, books, television shows; they are everywhere you look. Some with superhuman abilities, like Captain America and the Flash. Some are just your average people who have honed an above average skill set like The Black Widow and Green Arrow. Although, I would argue that super powers are what makes you a superhero, and without them, you are simply a “hero.” Regardless of what your definition of a superhero is, it’s obvious that kids today are craving a hero in their lives.
There’s a saying; “To a girl, a father is her first love. To a boy, a father is his first hero.” Young girls need a father in their life to teach them about love. They need to be taught how to distinguish between a boy underserving of their affections, and the man that will become their hero. Boys need a father in their life to teach them how to become that hero. Boys don’t become men by simply aging; they need proper guidance to grow and mature. You see, fathers aren’t simply heroes, their super abilities to love, teach and provide for their children lifts them out of a world of danger and pain and sets them onto the path of happiness and success.
Fathers are real life superheroes. With 20 million kids living without a father, do you still think we live in a superhero world?
Don’t leave your child looking for Superman in a superhero world.