How our culture can encourage Fatherhood

According to recent statistics,  around 24 million American children live without their biological father, while 20 million of those children live in single parent homes.  These are very alarming statistics, as this is a very large amount of children who suffer the negative effects of living in homes with single parents by circumstances.  Perhaps these statistics are a result of our culture, and perhaps if we can change the way the culture looks at fatherhood, we can reduce these statistics and give children a more involved life with their fathers. 

A while back we talked about how parenting is not as stereotyped in Sweden in things like advertising and parental leave.   These steps can lead to shifts in cultural sentiment and make men everywhere believe that, like we have learned, men and women are equally predispositioned for parenting and have equal responsibility in raising a child.  If, through the media we could convince men of the importance in the lives of their children, perhaps they would feel more obliged to spend over thirty seven seconds of personal time with their children per day.

Another possible solution to changing our culture and making it more father-friendly would be to discourage and actively fight divorces.  Although I have never seen a divorce personally in my life, I know people who have and have seen what serious effects the divorce can have in a child’s life.  Going back to the earlier stated statistics, where 24 million children live without their biological fathers, it should also be noted that divorce is the most common way of separating a biological father from the custody of their kids.  Further, 43 percent of first marriages end in a divorce in 15 years, and 60 percent of those couples have children who must suffer through the divorce.  From these statistics, it is plain to see that if our culture could actively discourage divorce, more children would see their fathers more often, benefiting both the father and child.

Finally, I believe the best way individuals can make a difference is to change their thinking and believe that being a dad or a father isn’t just a name, but a job, and not something that can be taken lightly.  If we can convince others that when dad stays home and mom leaves it isn’t “babysitting,”  and that changing diapers simply isn’t a mother’s duty.  We can also be the examples by supporting our children in all that they do, and hopefully our actions can have a ripple effect in encouraging other fathers to be more involved in their childrens’  lives.

Because the father’s role is so vitally important in the life of a child, it is crucial our society encourages fatherhood.  A couple ways this can happen is through the media, discouraging divorce, and being the examples ourself.  If this happens, maybe we can be the change we wish to see, and help more children have more intimate relations with their fathers.

Mike Angerbauer


~ by Mike Angerbauer on December 12, 2009.

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