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Sunday Discussion: Father’s Day 2013

Geek Alabama Discussion

So today is Father’s Day, and this year just like every Father’s Day I will not have to worry about giving my father a gift.  In fact, I will not be seeing my father at all.  And according to the National Fatherhood Initiative, around 24 million children will not be seeing their fathers as well.  One out of three kids live in a father-less home.  And sadly that number is going way up.  Father’s Day has been treated as second class while Mother’s Day has been the day most people celebrate when they think about their parents.  More and more families are under crisis with their fathers cheating and being dishonest which leads to divorce and even more kids suffering under a one parent home.

Anytime a child has to grow up without their father’s, it always brings bad things.  Let’s start out with poverty shall we?  Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor.  In 2011, 12 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 44 percent of children in mother-only families.  As for kid’s behavior, children born to single mothers show higher levels of aggressive behavior than children born to married mothers.  And for any kids living in father-less homes, youths in father-absent households still had significantly higher odds of incarceration than those in mother-father families.  A 2002 Department of Justice survey of 7,000 inmates revealed that 39% of jail inmates lived in mother-only households.  Also, having family structure significantly reduces delinquency rates.  So if you want your kids to earn a good income, behave, and stay out of prison, a father needs to be involved in their lives.

So, what about teen pregnancy?  Separation or frequent changes from fathers increase a woman’s risk of early menarche, sexual activity and pregnancy.  The longer a woman lived with both parents, the lower her risk of early reproductive development.  Women who experienced three or more changes in her family environment exhibited similar risks but were five times more likely to have an early pregnancy.  Also, being raised by a single mother raises the risk of teen pregnancy, marrying with less than a high school degree, and forming a marriage where both partners have less than a high school degree.

Next, what about a child’s education?  Father involvement in schools is associated with the higher likelihood of a student getting mostly A’s.  This was true for fathers in biological parent families, for stepfathers, and for fathers heading single-parent families.  Also, the less the fathers read to their infants, the worse their toddler scored on a standard measure of expressive vocabulary at age two.  And for any kids living in father-less homes, guess what?  They are more likely to be overweight and obese.  The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth found that obese children are more likely to live in father-absent homes than are non-obese children.  Children of fathers with permissive and disengaged parenting styles had higher odds of being in a higher BMI category.

Want some shocking statistics about child abuse?  A study using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study revealed that in many cases the absence of a biological father contributes to increased risk of child maltreatment.  It is believed that in families with a non-biological (social) father figure, there is a higher risk of abuse and neglect to children, despite the social father living in the household or only dating the mother.  And things don’t get better with drug and alcohol use.  In a study of 6,500 children from the ADDHEALTH database, father closeness was negatively correlated with the number of a child’s friends who smoke, drink, and smoke marijuana.  Closeness was also correlated with a child’s use of alcohol, cigarettes, and hard drugs and was connected to family structure.

As you can clearly see, kids who grow up without a father figure face some huge obstacles in life.  And sadly, we keep hearing of stories of men cheating, committing crimes, and even walking out on a relationship just because they don’t want to raise their own kids.  Men, if you are not ready to raise your kids, then why did you have some cuddling time with your women?  (you know what I mean)  More and more men are having some cuddle time with women today.  Part of the reason is the pleasure guys get after doing you know what.  Other times, they just want to brag to their friends that they did you know what to other women.  Guys needs to start stepping back and think about their actions before having some cuddle time.  We don’t want more kids ending up like Austin Powers.

As for my relationship with my father.  Well let’s just say it’s been a rocky one.  When it came to raising me and my brother.  It was pretty much all to ourselves.  Dad did not care about what we ate or what we wore to school at all; we just did what we wanted.  And after my dad married the evil stepmom with the three step-brothers; all hell broke loose.  After the divorce and then the marriage which none of us boys were invited too.  The stepmom became the head of the household while my dad followed the queen’s orders.

I was bullied by my step-brothers along with my brother; (4 against 1) and by their friends as well.  No other adults, teachers, and even the police could be convinced that I was telling the truth.  And the stepmom along with my dad told lies saying I was not being harmed.  I was forced into my room for weeks at a time with stacks of bed sheets with the urine smell. (I was a bed-wetter)  I was forced to sit at the dining room table with a camera trained on me while the rest of the family went out to do fun things.  I was forced to attend special schools because they thought I was a crazy child.  I pretty much felt like an outcast while living with my dad.

Ever since I was dropped off by my dad in Kentucky to go live with my mother at age 13; I have not seen my dad.  And I have only talked to my dad once on the phone.  And I really do not care for my dad anymore.  I do love my dad’s grandparents and talk to them regularly to keep up with any happenings.  After getting to talk with my brother about my father’s home, things have not gotten any better.  My brother’s personal belongings have been moved to the basement and some of his expensive stuff have been stolen.  One of the stepbrothers has been to jail a couple of times and has stolen stuff and gotten drugs.  This stepbrother even broke in to my dad’s grandparents house.  The other two stepbrothers have been also struggling along.  Sadly, my father has been someone I really do not want to meet ever again.  Sorry dad; you did not care about me when I was being abused and that will haunt me for the rest of my life.

My mom’s former husband also really liked to be lazy.  He never had a relationship with me and I really did not like him at all.  And the worst part; he was a huge alcoholic.  He hid behind his truck and drank several beers throughout the day.  And he also abused my mom a few times as well.  My mom finally had the guts to kick him out and even today he lives with his mother and has no outlook on life.  He even drove over 200 miles drunk and wrecked in front of the courthouse for a custody hearing of my little brother.  (he’s now 17)  As you can see; I have never had a positive father figure in my life.  It’s like Dr. Evil trying to restart his relationship with his son.  Because we all know it will never happen.  I will never have a positive relationship with any dads I’ve lived with ever.

The only good positive thing I can think about this post is this.  After going through several bad experiences with fathers in my life.  When the time comes to start a family and have kids; I know how I will raise my kids.  I will teach them to play some sports.  I will share my love of things geeky and nerdy.  I will show them how to ride a bike and drive a car.  I will share several fun experiences in our time together.  And I will be a great Geekdad!  I can’t wait for that time to come!  I will provide my future kids with a better father figure than what Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb had.

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