Monday, June 15, 2015

Father’s Day Reflection: America’s Broken Families

Understanding broken families and its impact on youth, schools, workplaces, communities, and the criminal justice system is critical to America.

Due to the prevalence of divorce, America has essentially become a nation of one-parent families, usually the mother. There are too many children who tragically do not have any relationship whatsoever with their father. This heartbreaking reality is a national crisis.

Changes to the inner mechanism of the family has serious consequences on society.

In no way do I wish to judge any individual who has experienced divorce but only to shed light on the extraordinary volume of divorces. This has been learned from my own experiences with divorce and my presentations nationwide on issues critical to America.

Fatherless Homes: Alarming Concerns

Divorced or not, youth need the love and presence of both parents. According to various sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, Center for Disease Control, and the U.S. Department of Justice, fatherless homes account for 63% of youth suicides, 90% of homeless/runaway children, 85% of children with behavior problems, 71% of high school dropouts, 85% of youths in prison, and well over 50% of teen mothers. Over 24 million children, 34%, live apart from their fathers.

In too many cases, children are discouraged from developing a strong relationship with the non-custodial parent, usually the father. If the custodial parent suffers from a lack of emotional character, the child can be used as a weapon against the other parent, and it is the child who is torn apart by poisonous vindictiveness, deceit, and manipulation.

When unqualified family, friends, and acquaintances enable this dysfunctional parent rather than urging honesty, accountability, and character, the opportunity for healing is exacerbated.

This lack of a father’s influence in the family contributes to the deterioration of values in society and can lead to violence in the family, school, and community. This escalation must be understood not only in the context of major school violence tragedies, but in daily incidents of anger, harassment, aggression, crime, and bullying.

Children Need Both Parents

The best interest of the child must be the highest priority throughout any separation and divorce process. While the courts may pay lip service to this statement, in my personal experience, the reality is that the current legal system sets up a contentious environment between the litigants where the only winners are the lawyers.

Even more tragically, America has a crisis of character and too often, dishonesty is rewarded by the courts and incompetent therapists who rush to the next case without the wisdom to unravel the truth.

Each of us can make a profound contribution to our community by making sure that our children’s emotional well-being is first. America’s parents must always be respectful, honest, and dignified. When they fall from grace, they must seek forgiveness from all, especially the child.

Children need both parents. A good mother provides emotional strength, insight, encouragement, intercession, and guidance.

A good father provides discipline, understanding, counsel, fortitude, and direction. A child needs the qualities of each parent and the absence of either has an effect on the emotional life of the child.

These reflections assume that each parent is responsible and emotionally well grounded. Destructive influences, abuse, or inappropriate behavior by any parent is not acceptable, and every human effort must be made to remedy these harmful negative influences.

For some individuals, a transition to another family, especially when one escapes an environment of hostility, despair, or abuse can be an opportunity for a new life. Yet, for too many of our nation’s youth, shattered families can lead to discouragement, disillusionment, and even violent rage.

Family: Critical to Community

The family is first and foremost the primary source of education for all of society and is critical to a community’s health. Each and every human being enters the world through a family and every human being is communal by nature.

If a family setting is destructive, dishonest, abusive, manipulative, or shattered, a child can be prone to tension, anguish, hostility, substance abuse, and mental health issues.

Although there are different types of families deserving respect, the family, understood as a loving community of a father, mother, and children must never be trivialized.

Note Well
Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

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As authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.

1. Father and daughter (Courtesy U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
2. Father and child (Courtesy U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
3. Marines with II Marine Expeditionary Force returned to Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, from a deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Dec. 6, 2014. HMLA-467 was part of the last Marines to be deployed to the Helmand province of Afghanistan in support of OEF with the purpose of providing close-air support to the Marines operating on the ground. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Olivia McDonald/ Released)

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