Google+ Badge

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Father's Day News

A young child questioned his mother about the character of his father: “Hey Momma! Is it true what they say that Papa never worked a day, in his life? And Momma, some bad talk goin' round town sayin' that Papa had three outside children….” This narrative from “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” was made famous by the Temptations. Eventually, the song would garner the Temptations a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and three Grammy Awards. Unfortunately, according to Dr. Daryl D. Green, the song represents an underpinning theme for millions of children who exist with a dysfunctional father in their lives. So, Father’s Day isn’t a pleasant experience for many folks in society. Some individuals are fortunate to have a caring, supportive father. Unfortunately, numerous people live without one. Across the social spectrum, lots of individuals are living with deep wounds left by their fathers. Yet, a substantial body of research indicates that high levels of involvement by fathers contribute to children’s well being. Yet, some political pundits, educators, and other experts believe that if a child doesn’t have a daddy in his or her home, that child cannot be successful. Missing fathers have become a national crisis with unintended consequences. Due to the increase in out-of-wedlock births and the high number of divorces, children living away from their biological fathers have become commonplace. Numerous stories paint a terrible picture for these fatherless children. Here are some facts that bear out this reality: (a) 85% of children with behavioral problems come from fatherless homes according to the Center for Disease Control, (b) 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes according to the National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools, (c) 85% of all youth in prison come from fatherless homes according to the Texas Department of Corrections, (d) 75% of all youth in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes according to Rainbows for All God`s Children. Related research found that children from fatherless homes are:

  • 5 times more likely to commit suicide
  • 32 times more likely to run away
  • 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
  • 14 times more likely to commit rape
  • 9 times more likely to drop out of high school
  • 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances
  • 9 times more likely to end up in a state-operated institution
  • 20 times more likely to end up in prison.
  • 11 times more likely to exhibit violent behavior.
A good father can lay the foundation for his child’s success. However, a fatherless child should not lose hope. Fortunately, society is filled with a cloud of witnesses that in spite of obstacles and an imperfect father model, prove it is possible to be successful. Obviously, there are numerous examples of deadbeat dads. Yet, there are many fathers doing the right things. These statistics put the worth of a father in a different perspective as fatherhood relates to the celebration of Father's Day. Yet, ironically, the history of the holiday seems to reflect society's view that a father may take a backseat to a mother. It took many years to make the holiday official. First observed in Fairmont, West Virginia, 1908, in spite of support from the YWCA, the YMCA and churches, it ran the risk of disappearing from the calendar. Where Mother's Day was met with enthusiasm, Father's Day was met with laughter. (Leigh, 1997). The holiday was gathering attention slowly, but for the wrong reasons. It was the target of much satire, parody and derision, including jokes from local newspapers. (Spokesman-Review) Many people saw it as just the first step in filling the calendar with mindless promotions like Grandparents' Day, Professional Secretaries' Day, etc., all the way down to "National Clean Your Desk Day." (Leigh, 1997) Merchants recognized the tendency to parody and satirize the holiday, and used it to their benefit by mocking the holiday on the same advertisements where they promoted the gifts for fathers. People felt compelled to buy gifts even though they saw through the commercial facade, and the custom of giving gifts on that day became progressively more accepted. By 1937, the Father's Day Council calculated that only one father in six had received a present on that day. However, by the 1980s, the Council proclaimed that they had achieved their goal: the one-day event had become a three-week commercial event, a "second Christmas." Its executive director explained back in 1949 that, without the coordinated efforts of the Council and of the groups supporting it, the holiday would have disappeared. (Leigh, 1997) Finally, President Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation in 1966 to make Father's Day a Federal holiday. Then in 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the third Sunday of June. Dadisms are Dad's favorite lines said in typical style and tone to teach children the basics of life. Most are remembered as rather harsh lines of advice meant to help define goals and principles. Certainly, most are indicative of the stern male character. Again, notice the content of the message as compared to motherly advice. The two seem very contradictory. Here are some of the more memorable common dadisms: 1. This is your last warning. 2. Stop crying or I'll give you a reason to cry. 3. You're gonna like it, whether you like it or not! 4. How many times do I have to pound that into your head? 5. Don't use that tone with me! 6. What did I just get finished telling you? 7. Act your age. 8. Hey, did you hear me talking to you? 9. Don't make me stop the car! 10. I don't care what other people are doing! I'm not everybody else's father! To end this fatherly writing, one statistic seemed to pop out. "Only 11% of mothers value their husband's input when it comes to handling problems with their kids. Teachers & doctors rated 45%, and close friends & relatives rated 16%." (Source: EDK Associates survey of 500 women for Redbook Magazine. Redbook, November 1994, p. 36)
Post a Comment