How Valuable are Fathers?

On family vaca goofin' off. It's what we do!

As we approach this Father’s day I thought I’d jot down a few thoughts that I’ve had lately about the importance that we put on fatherhood and how we recognize or don’t recognize fathers these days.  As I was driving back to work this afternoon from a lunch with my parents, both sets of grandparents and my lovely (and prego) wife and son; I heard a local afternoon radio sports commentator say about Father’s Day, “Well, Happy Father’s day to all you dads out there.  I thought I’d say it because nobody else probably will.  Let’s admit it, Father’s Day ISN’T Mother’s Day.  Don’t expect to be catered to this weekend.” So even though I’m sure that his comment was meant to be tongue and cheek and in good humor the fact of the matter is…. that he’s right.  Our society simply doesn’t value the role of the Father in the family unit as much as it used to or as much as it should.  I won’t pretend to be an expert on why that is.  Could have been because of the absence of fathers during war time in the early 1900s, and women realizing that they could support the family and raise the kids on their own.  Could have been due to the “free love” movement or the “women’s lib” movement of the 1960s.  Who knows?  What I do know is that somewhere along the way Father’s began to be less valued and have less expected of them, and it seems in some sense that some (not all of course) have lived up to those expectations. So let’s get back to the question that is the title of this Post:  How Valuable are Fathers?  Let’s look at some numbers.

  • According to 72.2 % of the U.S. population, Absentee Fathers is the most significant family or social problem facing America.
  •  An estimated 24.7 million children (36.3%) live absent from their biological father.
  • There are almost 17 million children (25%) living with their single mothers.
  •  1.25 million or 32% of all births in 1995 were out-of-wedlock.
  • About 40% of the children who live in absentee father households haven’t seen their fathers in at least a year while 50% of children who don’t live with their fathers have never stepped foot in their father’s home.
  • Children who live absent from their biological fathers, on average, are more likely to be poor, experience educational, health, emotional and psychological problems, be victims of child abuse, and engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological mother and father.
 A white teenage girl from an advantaged background is five times more likely to become a teen mother if she grows up in a single-mother household with an absentee father than if she grows up in a household with both biological parents.A survey of over 20,000 parents found that when fathers are involved in their children’s education including attending school meetings and volunteering at school, children were more likely to get A’s, enjoy school, and participate in extracurricular activities and less likely to have repeated a grade.
  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
  • 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes (Source: Center for Disease Control)
  • 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes (Source: Criminal Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26, 1978.)
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (Source: National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)
  • 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes (Source: Rainbows for all God`s Children.)
  • 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept 1988)
  • 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home (Source: Fulton Co. Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. of Corrections 1992)
So, how important does it appear that a Father’s role in the family is?  It’s not just important that a Father be present but be active in the lives and development of his children. There’s a lot more to being a good Father then just making sure the bills get paid and that there’s a roof over your family’s head and food on the table.  Being engaged in what your kids are interested in, what they’re doing or not doing on a daily basis is important to their development. Knowing that their Dad is interested in them and cares about how they’re doing is vital to raising a healthy child.
Something that I think will help increase the effectiveness of Father’s these days is simply expecting more of them and recognizing the important role that a Father plays in the family.  He’s more than a bread winner.  He’s more than muscle around the house.  He’s more than the guy that likes to talk sports and be crude every once in awhile and act like a high school kid with his buddies.   He should be expected to be more than just “THE MAN OF THE HOUSE”.
Men may not be inherently nurturing but we can be encouraging.  The encouragement of a Father goes a long way to building up the self image and self worth of his son or daughter.  A Dad’s interest and love will show his children what to expect out of themselves and what to expect out of their future mate.

      DADS LISTEN UP!  

Do you want your daughter to pick the right guy that treats her like a lady should be treated and respects her and puts her on a high pedestal?   Then set the bar HIGH for what she should expect out of a man during her formative years, because she’ll look for someone (consciously or unconsciously) that reminds her of YOU!   Do you want your son to be a stand up guy that influences people and has upstanding character and ethics in everything that he does?  Set the expectation high for your sons as they are growing and watching you and they’ll rise to the expectations that are set for them.
Okay…. I guess I’m coming to the end of my rant.   The point is….. let’s value the role of the father in our families because he’s really way more important and vital to having a strong family unit than I think anyone realizes.   The numbers don’t lie.

Happy Father’s Day!

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Ok, so maybe holidays aren’t worthless……..

This father’s day weekend was a really good weekend. It was so great because Grant is talking so good and communicating so much now that he could say “Happy Father’s Day Daddy”. And what was cute was the fact that he told me that several times over the weekend on various occasions. I’m sure he was prompted a few times by his momma but this one particular time that was cute was when Trina had brought home a yummy Turkey, Bacon, an Ranch sandwich from Arby’s for us to split and she gave the bag to Grant to bring to me. He came in the living room where I was watching TV and he said, “Here ya go daddy… Happy Father’s Day”. Hahahah…. I mean, that’s the stuff that just makes getting up to go to work every morning at 5 am worth it. To make sure that that little guy (and his mom) is taken care of makes everything I do (that I sometimes don’t like) worth doing.

He doesn’t care if Daddy likes getting up and going to work every day or not. He doesn’t care if Daddy likes stressing over school work to better himself to hopefully provide a better life for his family or not. Grant doesn’t concern himself with any of that stuff and it’s great that he doesn’t have to. All I want him to know is that he’s loved, that he’s safe and secure, and that his mommy and daddy love each other very much. Those are the things that I want him to know.

I try to make a point to tell him several times a day that Daddy loves him and that Daddy is very proud of him. I don’t know if he knows what Daddy being proud of him means right now, but he will and that will be so important to him very soon. Knowing that his Dad is proud of him will give him such a boost to his confidence and in knowing who he is. My goal is to produce a secure and confident young man that knows that his dad always has his back and that he can come and talk to me at any time about anything without fear of my coming down on him. To do that I may have to correct him and stear him in the right direction from time to time but I want to do it in love so that he knows that I only have his best interests in mind.

Although I typically think that most of the holidays that we observe in this country are commerically driven and bogus…. I think I like Mother’s Day and Father’s day. Not only because I get to hear my son say, “Happy Father’s Day daddy”, but because it causes me to reflect on what it is to be a Dad and how blessed I am to hold that position in my son’s life.

I am blessed.

Mom’s Are Worth Every Penny They’re Not Paid….

So I saw this article on the FoxNews website this morning. I think I’ve seen something like this before but it really made me take a minute to think about and really appreciate the efforts that my mom and my wife put forth with raising me and my son respectively.

Moms really do pull alot of different jobs and they should be appreciated for them all.

I LOVE YOU MOM AND TRINA!!!!!!!!!!!

Article on FoxNews.com (5-9-2008)

BOSTON —

If a stay-at-home mom could be compensated in dollars rather than personal satisfaction and unconditional love, she’d rake in a nifty sum of nearly $117,000 a year.

That’s according to a pre-Mother’s Day study released Thursday by Salary.com, a Waltham, Mass.-based firm that studies workplace compensation.

The eighth annual survey calculated a mom’s market value by studying pay levels for 10 job titles with duties that a typical mom performs, ranging from housekeeper and day care center teacher to van driver, psychologist and chief executive officer.

This year, the annual salary for a stay-at-home mom would be $116,805, while a working mom who also juggles an outside job would get $68,405 for her motherly duties.

One stay-at-home mom said the six-figure salary sounds a little low.

“I think a lot of people think we sit and home and have a lot of fun and don’t do a lot of work,” said Samantha Russell, a Fremont, N.H., mother who left her job as pastry chef to raise two boys, ages 2 and 4. “But they should try cleaning their house with little kids running around and messing it up right after them.”

The biggest driver of a mom’s theoretical salary is the amount of overtime pay she’d receive for working more than 40 hours a week. The 18,000 moms surveyed about their typical week reported working 94.4 hours — meaning they’d be spending more than half their working hours on overtime.

Working moms reported an average 54.6 hour “mom work week” besides the hours they spent at paying jobs.

Russell agreed her job as a stay-at-home mom is more than full-time. But she said her “job” brings intangible benefits she wouldn’t enjoy in the workplace.

“The rewards aren’t monetary, but it’s a reward knowing that they’re safe and happy,” Russell said of her sons. “It’s worth it all.”

Grant….. My Pride

Maybe it’s the fact that Grant has been at his MeMe’s (Trina’s mom)house for the past couple of days, or maybe it’s that I’m listening to Coldplay (which makes you feel sappy), but I was just thinking about my son Grant. If anyone knows me very well, they know that Grant is the pride of my life. He is, with the help of his mother, my greatest accomplishment.

Anyone who is close to me knows (and my wife reminds me on a regular basis) that I am not a cryer or a very emotional person, but if there is one thing that gives me a lump in my throat and that weird feeling in my stomach it is my son Grant. He has such a sweet demeanor about him. He laughs a lot and he’s just a generally happy kid. He’s so smart too.

I fear for him and pray for him daily that God will protect him and grow him up to be a strong and God fearing man. Trina and I are reminded all the time what a dangerous and scary world this is to raise a child in. The only thing we know to do is pray that God protects him and allows us to be the best parents we can be for him.

Every night before bed I ask him, “Grant, who’s your best buddy,” and he says,”Daddy is best buddy.”

That’s all I need to hear.

Trina’s Valentine’s Day present 2008….

I’ve been asked several times recently about what I did for Trina’s Valentine’s day gift this year. The video/slideshow below is what I put together for Trina. I figured she’d probably cry…. and she did. SWEET SUCCESS!!

It was funny though, because later on that night as we were driving around she said, “Did you notice how there weren’t very many pictures of my family in that video but your parents were in it quite a bit?” Hahahahah….. I was like, “Yea, but those photos were of Grants delivery and at 3 am those were the only people there.” Trina’s family lives out of town and weren’t there ’til the next morning.

So… there will be a Directors cut coming out with additional footage in the near future.

Enjoy…..

Oh and by the way… I’m not this cheap to only give her this video I put together… I did make a stop at a popular women’s “under garments” store. 😉

V-Day Success!

So yesterday was Valentine’s day and it was a smashing success.  What I did was create a video for Trina.  I put together a bunch of photos from the day she delivered our son Grant.   The video was nothing fancy (I haven’t taken the time to learn “fancy” yet) but it was something that I put to music and added some transitions and “what not”.   <I like using the term “what not” when I can >

Anyway, I figured Trina would really like it and I was right.  I got a few tears out of her as well, so I know it was a success.  We had dinner at the house together with Grant and then we all loaded up and went to San Francisco Bread Co. for some dessert.  The girl behind the counter hooked Grant up with a free cookie (looks get him everything….) and then when we decided on some plain cheesecake with caramel and chocolate, the girl hooked us up with two for the price of one!  Man, what a deal!

Anyway, then we went home and chilled and just hung out together.  Although fairly uneventful, it was a good night had by all.  We may try to go out to dinner tonight and there is an artist by the name of Monty Montgomery that is playing at Juanita’s tonight.  We may try to go to that as well.   We’ll see……..

Stoked about Trina’s V-day gift!


I’m super excited about giving Trina her Valentine’s day gift this year. It’s something that I spent a little time and thought on this year. Typically Valentine’s day comes and goes and I usually give my “Valentine’s is just another holiday drummed up by commercial interests” speech to at least one person in hopes of starting a revolution against the day that guilts me into going and spending more money right after Christmas.

This year is different howevever. I actually came up with a good idea. A creative idea, and put it into action. I’d say I have a few brownie points coming my direction within the next week.

Stay tuned….