Lyndsay - posted on 08/17/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )
I'm going to copy and paste because the original webpage has some other articles on it as well, just to reduce confusion. Here's the link anyway, for those who are curious: http://www.cyc-net.org/newsrelease/nrl-a...
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
In today’s society, and to its detriment, more and more fathers are being viewed as an optional part of the family unit. But in reality, as the father goes, so goes the family.
Seldom, if ever, do I give much credence to what celebrities think or say. Most of them don’t live anywhere near the real world you and I live in, and, most of the time, they pontificate on things for which they have absolutely zero experience. Actress Jennifer Aniston is currently promoting her new movie, “The Switch,” which is about a woman wanting to have a baby via artificial insemination. Her character chooses not to have a father be a part of the process other than donation of sperm.
In a People magazine interview, Aniston said that “times have changed” in regard to the idea of the traditional family. So if that means having a family without the man in the picture, that’s OK. “They (women) are realizing if it’s that time in their life and they want this part, they can do it with or without that,” she said.
The “that” she referred to is a father. Aniston says that family life has “evolved” from strictly “the traditional stereotype of family. The point of the movie is,” she said, “what is that which defines family?” Her answer: “It isn’t necessarily the traditional mother, father, two children and a dog named Spot. Love is love and family is what is around you.”
Naïve, childless, Ms. Aniston could not be more wrong about the importance of a father in the life of the family. Her nonsensical blathering is nothing more than Hollywood fantasy. And the facts confirm that the absence of a father in the family has a dramatic, lasting, negative impact on children. Make no mistake, single mothers perform heroically when forced to raise children alone. But ask any single mother and she will tell you how important a kind, loving father is to her and her children – and they long for that.
I am not talking about abusive fathers. No woman should have to endure that kind of relationship. I believe the good Lord counts a mother’s tears and fathers will be held accountable for their actions and omissions regarding their responsibilities to their families. I believe there is nothing more noble than motherhood. But the notion of a father as optional family equipment, as Ms. Aniston alludes, is absurd.
Her comment that the traditional family of mother and father has evolved into a higher and more complex something else is false. Consider these facts. Children from fatherless homes account for:
•63 percent of youth suicides (source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Bureau of the Census).
•71 percent of pregnant teenagers (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services).
•90 percent of all homeless and runaway children (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services).
•70 percent of juveniles in state-operated institutions (U.S. Department of Justice special report).
• 85 percent of all children who exhibit behavioral disorders (Centers for Disease Control).
•80 percent of rapists motivated with displaced anger (Criminal Justice & Behavior, Vol. 14, p. 403-26).
•71 percent of all high school dropouts (National Principals Association “Report on the State of High Schools”).
•75 percent of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers (Rainbows for All God’s Children).
•85 percent of all youths sitting in prisons (Fulton County, Ga., jail populations, Texas Department of Corrections).
Karl Zinsmeister, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said: “Fathers play critical roles for their children as teachers. Clinical work shows that fathers are more likely than mothers to encourage children to explore the outer levels of their competence and withstand frustration. As children get older, one area where fathers frequently concentrate is in helping their offspring navigate through specific life crises.
“Research also shows that fathers are critical in the establishment of gender in children. Interestingly, fatherly involvement produces stronger sexual identity and character in both boys and girls. It’s well established that the masculinity of sons and the femininity of daughters are each greatest when fathers are active in family life.
“It would be idiotic to suggest that among the different traits and capacities that fathers and mothers bring to the family any one set of qualities is superior to another. The point is these varied skills and outlooks combine in lovely ways to give children everything that they need.”
A father is vital to the success and well-being of the family. No father is perfect, but the fact is, when we start to marginalize his importance or buy into the notion that he is just an optional part of the family unit, future generations will suffer – because, as the father goes so goes the family.