Absent dads may justify their absence, but a dad’s absence also has consequences for his kids. This is not meant to judge or criticize men who have found themselves separated from their families. It’s meant as an encouragement to educate and to motivate men to hear the call to battle on behalf of their children. There are obstacles set up against you and therefore, also against your kids. Without staying present in their lives, our kids have higher chances of struggling throughout life. They’ll also have higher dropout rates. But only their dad can change the odds in their favor.
Both boys and girls are equally susceptible. The natural order of the family is for the man to have authority (not power) to lead. When we abdicate that authority, we create a vacuum that will certainly be filled elsewhere. That’s when life can go awry. There aren’t many gang members or women in the sex industry who had very present dads growing up. This is a plea for men to find a way to lead, to reconcile, to sacrifice, to be strong, to be humble, and to give their children the love and direction they so desperately need. When we don’t, the impact can last for generations. Here are 4 of the most common consequences.
1. Bad BehaviorChildren need a dad to be the anchor that stabilizes their youth as they are pulled in every direction.
The CDC says “85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes.” That is a significant statistic and shouldn’t go unnoticed. Children need a dad to be the anchor that stabilizes their youth as they are pulled in every direction. The U.S. Census Bureau says 43 percent of US children live without their father. That is a tremendous amount of kids left wide open to the troubles that beckon them.
2. Education Woes
Seventy-one percent of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes, according to the National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools. There is no guarantee that children with involved dads won’t struggle in school. However, when Dad is not in the picture to lead and guide his children, the likelihood of scholastic trouble skyrockets. The reason for that is more psychological than intellectual. The feeling of abandonment leaves a child unable to trust. Lack of trust leads to recklessness, which can put a person on any of many possible paths. People successful in crime are some of the most intelligent people in the world. Most of them never finished high school.
3. Sex, Sex, Sex
This society is completely saturated in sexual innuendo that reaches all the way down to the elementary level. We all have opinions about sex, including when and where it’s appropriate. However, at the very least, I think most parents would agree they don’t want their children sexually active before they are emotionally mature. The Department of Health and Human Services reports that 71 percent of pregnant teens have no dad present in their lives. Most teenage girls who are sexually active are looking for something far deeper than what their hormones are telling them to settle for. They will find no shortage of young men eager to let them settle for it.
4. Substance Abuse
The statistics are questionable on this subject. However, there is ample documentation and psychological study that both show that the factor of an absent dad plays a major role in substance abuse. Again, plenty of kids with involved dads are out there smoking, drinking, and using a variety of drugs. The increased odds due to an absent dad stem mostly from the feeling of abandonment. It’s like a wrecking ball. When Dad leaves, abandonment issues spread throughout the family like a deadly plague. The use of drugs is an attempt to escape. We have a responsibility to provide kids with a place to run to and take sanctuary.
Sound off: How do you stay intimately involved in your kids’ lives?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is your biggest struggle lately?”