It seems like mothers get to have more attention but fathers and their active involvement is equally important and crucial for children and their physical and emotional growth. National Institute for Fathering goes as far as terming this equivalent to an epidemic worthy of attention as a national emergency.
What counts as Father-absence?
Children who don’t have a father living are technically fatherless but those who have their fathers living with them but emotionally absent also count as being father-absent children. Also, if the father is alive but not living with the children as in the case of divorce or separation among the parents, also fall into this category.
Is it really a crisis?
Fatherlessness or father-absence is posing a huge threat, particularly in America where approximately about:
- 33% of children have their biological fathers absent.
- According to a survey conducted by National Fatherhood Initiative, 9 out of 10 parents in the US believe that there is a father-absence crisis in America.
- National Center for Fathering suggests that 72% of the American population deems the fatherlessness to be the most significant family or social problem in America.
- Population Reference Bureau claims that 24% of 75 million children under age 18 live in single-mother families in the US.
How does Fatherlessness affect children?
This infographic clearly outlines the adverse effects on children without dads or their active involvement. These children are at a greater risk of teen pregnancy, behavioral problems, poverty, juvenile crimes, drug abuse and other social ills than children who have their fathers’ involvement in their lives.
Fathers need to step-up the game
If you are living with your children, you definitely need to get involved in what they do and where they go. An increased involvement in their lives would translate into confidence boost and a better approach towards life. If you think that you do not have enough time or your main responsibility is to cater to the finances, you definitely have to rethink it.
Connect with your kids
You can start with, spending more time with your kids. A good start could be to walk your dog and take your kids along. Talk to them and you’ll find your children idealize you and they want to be with you as much as they want to be with their moms.
Meet their friends
This can greatly help you in gauging their friends circle and keeping your kids in check. You should know who they hang out with and who are they dating? Is their social circle appropriate for their age? Is it safe to let your kids to go to slumber parties at their house? You can know it all if you meet their friends and interact with them often.
Know their likes and dislikes
Your children might be developing strange traits or likings. Usually, mothers are so engrossed with the household and all, they often overlook things. But if you spend an hour or two with them and keep an eye on them closely, you can easily pinpoint strange obsessions, unhealthy sexual orientations or behavioral deviations.
Raising kids is a team work and you must contribute your share equally, too! Appointments with the dentist school meetings and pick and drops from football rehearsals can all be great opportunities to gel well with your kids and know them up close.
Not living with your children?
Even if you’re not living with your kids doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t get your time and attention. Remember that every child deserves equal care and affection from both the parents. When kids are growing up and going through puberty, there can be many issues that boys would only prefer discussing with their dads. And if you are not physically or emotionally there for them, they would rather turn to their peers or the Internet for answers and that could be confusing and unreliable.
How about Co-parenting?
Co-parenting could be the solution if you’re not living with your children. This parenting style is in rage these days and is proved to be handy and practical. So, if you are not living with your spouse or partner but still want to contribute your part to raising your kids, opt for co-parenting.
There is an app for that!
There are a great many apps that can help you sort out child custody. You can communicate, plan and collaborate with the co-parent through the app so there are no awkward calls and stuff between you two. You can even divide responsibilities and can also communicate with your children. And to make your presence always be felt, keep tabs on their whereabouts and their phone activities, all thanks to these parental control apps! So step-up and make the father factor count!