|Be Fathers that care|
|Friday, 15 June 2012 10:17|
As families celebrate Father's Day, it is no secret that the day dedicated to fathers pales in comparison to the media onslaught that is placed on Mother's Day. In recent years, particularly because of intense marketing, the impact of Mother's Day has increased to rival other commemorative days like Valentine's Day and possibly even Thanksgiving.
Perhaps one reason why Father's Day receives less attention is because some or few men dail to heed the responsibilities of fatherhood – those that play little or no role in raising their children. To show the growing state of paternal absence, one recent news story reported a surge in the sales of greeting cards to single mothers on Father's Day.
It is not unfair or harsh to note that there is much to be desired in the family responsibilities of some men, young and old, in the community. Such incidences of diminishing family responsibility are increasing, not waning.
Unfortunately, persistent economic challenges have proved particularly hard on men. In May, the national unemployment rate for men was 8.4 percent, compared to 7.9 percent for women. The situation is worse for Black men, with an unemployed rate at 13.4 percent. In South Florida alone, job losses have been particular hard on men who depend on the traditionally male-dominated construction industry for even part-time jobs.
The inability to provide financial support for the family has a serious psychological impact on men – a fact repeatedly confirmed by psychologists and sociologists. Few men relish the idea of being unable to contribute to the home. It is common for men to complain of feeling "less than a man" if they cannot contribute financially to the family or their children's upkeep.
However, while the plight of the unemployed male is understood, this does not excuse paternal neglect. A child needs a father's love and care, even if the father is current struggling to provide financially. The lack of such support often makes children emotionally vulnerable. Too many young people who get involved in anti-social behavior have complained of the lack of a father's care.
There is no excuse even when the relationship between a man and his spouse has irrevocably deteriorated. Mothers are also responsible for encouraging a healthy relationship between father and child, despite whatever separate issues they may have as parents.
But, regardless of the obstacles, fathers can still find ways to reach out to their children. Love can be expressed by phone calls, tweets, texts messages, emails or traditional letters even if the child lives in a different state or country. There is absolutely no excuse for men who fathered children not to keep in contact, no matter what.
Men, you don't have to win "Best Dad of the Year" awards. Just be a father and show responsibility for your child – if not in kind, then with love and care.