Knoxville, TN -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/05/2006 --Knoxville, TN (SBWIRE) June 2, 2006 – Tray is a hero among his peers. Tray has fathered nine children from nine different women at his high school. Instead of his behavior repelling other young ladies, Tray finds himself a babe magnet. Tray sees himself as a “real man” and a great father. While students see Tray as an American icon, adults see Tray’s attitude as both arrogant and embarrassing. Therefore, a culture war exists between two generations, one generation armed with its traditional values and another generation with an “anything goes” mentality. Some would advocate that men are now irrelevant because today’s women are self-significant.
On the contrary, all men are not simply sperm donators. Many are determining their significance in today’s family structure. According to the 2006 Census Report, there are 66.3 million fathers in the United States. There are 26.4 million fathers in a traditional family environment (married couples with children under the age of 18). There are 2.3 million single fathers living with children under 18 years old, up from 400,000 in 1970. There are also approximately 147,000 stay-at-home dads in America. Unfortunately, everything is not a pleasant story. There are 4.6 million fathers who pay child support, representing 84 percent of child support providers.
Fathers in traditional families are more involved than several decades ago. According to some studies, members of Generation X and Y are more likely to be family-focused. For example, Generation X fathers spent more time with children compared to Baby Boomer fathers. The impacts of the male influence in families may not be obvious. Does it really matter if a male is not a part of a child’s life? Many people grew up with fathers whose primary role was as provider. The presence of a male figure in the home does impact children. Nationally syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr. wrote a book, Becoming Dad, where he surveys his tortured relationship with his abusive father. Pitts discusses how it affected his relationship with his own sons and daughters. He writes, “My father made our lives hell. And yet, for all of that, he was one thing many other fathers were not: He was there. Obviously, fathers are imperfect and this has been amplified in our society.
Daryl Green, author of Awakening the Talents Within, finds postmodern culture fueling this negativism. Green explains, “Clearly, we are being bombarded with negative concepts of fathers. We do not live in an era of ‘Leave It to Beaver’ where dad knows best, and we have a caricature of Superman. My experience is that many fathers of our era are trying to do the right things; however, this gets lost in the day-to-day drama of life.” Fathers are necessary to achieve a healthy family balance even though they are not celebrated as such. Obviously, there are ample examples of deadbeat dads, abusers, and downright losers. But, if society buys into the notion that fathers are useless, how do we give our children a sense of hope for the future? We must showcase the positive things fathers are doing in the community while counseling the misguided ones. America cannot survive without real fathers and real men.
About Daryl & Estraletta Green:
Daryl and Estraletta Green have presented workshops across the country and provide advice on making good decisions in life. More tips are listed on the Greens' web site, www.darylandestraletta.com. The site also contains free articles, free self-assessments, and their top book picks for changing lives.