Where is dad? Why doesn't he want to be here? What did I do wrong? These questions always run in the background of a child's mind. Sometimes being without a dad directly contributes to defiance, depression, panic attacks, or suicidal desires and intent.
The irrefutable fact is, kids have adversities when they are left without a dad and from my own experience working with youth for many years, fatherlessness does contribute to so much anxiety in girls and anger in boys.
There are protective factors that can help, but they all reside with the people left in the wake such as the mother, extended family, or community members all of whom have their own knowledge, perceptions, and reactions to cope with the situation.
The hole that’s left has to be understood and accommodated for which for many, is no easy task and often overlooked as a priority needing constant attention, especially during a child’s most active development years.
Warren Farrell, Ph.D and John Gray, Ph.D, wrote a new book called, “ The Boy Crisis,” which correlates societal ills back to fatherlessness. They wrote, “ We also should focus on the, “daddy issues,” no one ever paid attention to for boys, dad deprivation, and the purpose gap…” Randolph Nesse, Arizona State University states, "Being male is now the single largest demographic factor for early death," and below are some statistics written in the book:
- Males commit suicide at 2 to 6 times higher rates than females with the rate climbing with age and white males commit suicide more often than any other race demographic.
- Black males make up 43% of murder victims.
- Mass shooting violence is almost exclusively perpetrated by father-deprived males and terror recruits to ISIS were father deprived youth, both male and female.
- In neighborhoods where marriages are scarce, fathers are scarce, more than half of boys do not finish high school, leading to the "drop-out, left out cycle.
The common factor for these statistics the book discusses is, "father deprivation," which affects sons and daughters, homes and schools, the society and the world. Being aware of the adversities Fatherlessness can bring, it is important for people to prioritize efforts to help reduce negative impacts on our youth.
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