Where Are Our Daddies?
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Politics and Activism

Where Are Our Daddies?

Accept the Problem. Address the Problem. Move On.

Where Are Our Daddies?
Growing Up Without A Father Organization

The growing rates of children who grow up without fathers in the home are no secrets in society today. However, the topic is often avoided or disregarded as the phenomenon it truly is as it moves into a socio-cultural norm. As a child who was raised without my biological father and inconsistent father figures, there have always been unsaid feelings and unaddressed problems that have existed within my life. Questions surface that are formalized about my existence, abandonment, and the list can go on and on.

Society often depicts fathers that are not in the home as men who have simply walked out on their families or kids. However, there are multiple factors that contribute to the cause. Fathers are absent for 3 reasons: 1. He was never there to begin with, 2. He was there but he ended up leaving, and 3. He was around but he wasn't around emotionally and mentally. My father happens to be in category 2. Bad habits and decisions from a young age led him to a life of imprisonment that still continues until this day, while I was barely the age of 1 years old. The only memories I had were reflected in photos that displayed him holding me, while I continued on with my baby life not knowing the difference between any human being I actually came in contact with.

The Spelman College Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) hosted an event on October 13, 2016 that invited guests to have an engaging conversation about the absent of fathers which also led to further examination of the absence of mothers or even both parents. Students shared chilling stories about their family dynamic. Students mentioned parental absence due to death, adoption, divorce, mental abuse, and more. Of course, tears flourished, but healing was definitely in the process.

We all learned a few things about the pros and cons of being fatherless. Some of the stereotypical consequences include being more prone to poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, unknown knowledge of physical and emotional health, a strain in educational achievement, crime, and early sexual activity. It also runs deeper into the relationships that we attempt to form with others that arrive in our life. It may be hard for some women to be in nonsexual, intimate relationships, since your father is suppose to teach you the process. We often end up setting our own standards for men based on the things we have seen on television or in our surroundings, which may either be completely unrealistic or extremely too demanding. A US study found that girls who grow up without fathers were “53 percent more likely to marry as teenagers, 111 percent more likely to have children as teenagers, 164 percent more likely to have a premarital birth, and 92 percent more likely to dissolve their own marriages.” This is also shown with men who have been raised father-less. They often have problems with their significant others or even raising their own children.

On the plus side, those who are fatherless often value inner strength & perseverance, are more independent, are heavily influenced by the parent who raised us, may be afraid of commitment (which insures we choose the right person before settling), and we are strong enough to handle it, so you can lean on us. During our growing up process from youth to adults we experience these few things:

  1. We learn what resilience is from a young age.
  2. We never shy away from hard work.
  3. We have an incredible sense of loyalty to our family.
  4. Man or woman, our home making skills are A+. ( Laundry, cleaning, etc.)
  5. We know what’s important in our lives.
  6. We’ve learned to thrive on tough love
  7. We grew up knowing that things might not look perfect on the outside, but what’s important is that they work for you.
  8. In many ways, we’re an older soul than a lot of our friends.

Overall, being father-less, mother-less, or without both parents truly affects a person's life in ways that we may never be able to deal with all at once, but we must come to terms with the process. Therefore, if you are a fatherless, motherless, or parent-less child that has not found a way to deal with the way things have panned out, please find someone to talk to about it. Accepting is the number 1 step to forgiveness and healing. After-all, who said you can't be great without both parents? We determine our own fate at the end of the day. Make it all count and use your fatherless journey as a testimony to help the next. Let's heal together.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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