I’ve just got to get this off my chest.
I just got off the phone with a friend of mine who dropped a bomb on me about her (now ex-) man and the fact that he allegedly has up to 9 children that he doesn’t take care of (with up to seven different women) or interact with at all.
The madness of her situation made me think about how many other women may be in a similar situation, and the impact this has on the kids.
I watch Maury (I’m ashamed to say, but it’s social commentary), and I’m amazed at all these dudes with 3, 4, 5 (or greater) children, with 2, 3, 4 (or greater) women.
Despite their claims to ‘be in all their kids lives’ I question the veracity of such statements, and the impact these absentee fathers have on their children.
What must it be like to only see your father once in a blue moon (if at all)?
How do you feel when every other kid comes to soccer practice with their dad, and you’ve always only got your mom?
Where do you turn when you hit puberty and have questions about wet dreams or erections?
How do you learn to be a man (or deal appropriately with men), if you have no man to model that behavior for you?
As a father of four, I see how important my interaction with my children is to their development.
I’ve got lots of friends with children, both married and single, and I’ve had the benefit of seeing the great variation in personality, growth and development, which results from parental involvement (and/or the lack thereof).
At the end of the day, children need their parents.
And by ‘both parents’ I mean a positive male and positive female influence in their lives.
But right now, I’m speaking to the men, because women have traditionally been on the front lines rearing children (and should be commended for such hard work).
Men are vital to the development of a child’s self esteem and sense of self.
They are critical to model appropriate behavior with respect to interpersonal relationships with women.
Even if the role is not provided by their biological units, there has to be a man standing ‘in loco parentis.’
It could be a step-father, granddad, legal guardian, uncle, older male cousin, but someone has to be there to provide that balance.
If you’re going to be ‘man’ enough to lay down and make them, man up and raise them when they get here!