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By Sharon Hughes
June 26, 2005

Our nation recently celebrated Father's Day. For many the day serves as a time for getting together with dad and granddad to honor them in some special way. For others the day serves as a painful reminder of the absence of a loving father in their lives.

Being a father can be one of the most rewarding and one of the toughest jobs on earth...and not everyone gets it right. Juggling work and family responsibilities takes some deliberate effort.

President George W. Bush has determined to make committed, responsible fatherhood a national priority. Is this necessary? Consider ...

43% of U.S. children live without their father
90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father in their lives
85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes
71% of high school dropouts come from homes without a father present
63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes
80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.
90% of adolescent repeat arsonists live without a father
75% of adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes
70% of juveniles in state operated institutions have no father

According to ...

50% of mother-only families live below the poverty line Teen girls from mother-only families are more likely to become depressed Children from mother-only families do less well on standardized school tests Teens from mother-only homes are more sexually active, and girls are more likely to become single-parent mothers Teens in mother-only homes are more susceptible to peer pressure Young adults who grew up in mother-only homes had a higher high school drop out rate.

The bottom line is clear. Kids suffer without a dad in the house, or from dad not being around enough to make a difference. If we were talking about any other issue, with these percentages we would call it a national crisis.

The Bush Administration has said about the importance of dads, "The presence of two committed, involved parents contributes directly to better school performance, reduced substance abuse, less crime and delinquency, fewer emotional and other behavioral problems, less risk of abuse or neglect, and lower risk of teen suicide. The research is clear: fathers factor significantly in the lives of their children. There is simply no substitute for the love, involvement, and commitment of a responsible father."

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You may be a wonderful father, or had one, but there are thousands of kids today who don't. I want to encourage the men to be a father to the fatherless, which will not only have an impact on a child's life for the rest of his life which is good cause enough, but will as well impact our nation for good as the next generation steps into the role of leading in our country.

Related articles:

The Importance of Fathers in Children's Lives
Benefits of Being Involved
Bush Administration Calls Strong Families Key

� 2005 Sharon Hughes - All Rights Reserved

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Sharon is the President of The Center for Changing Worldviews, and hosts Changing Worldviews TALK Radio which is heard on KDIA AM1640 San Francisco; WITA AM1490 Knoxville,TN, nationally on and internationally on Her column appears on several online news sites including American,,,,,,, and others. For further information on her lineup of guests and topics visit: Website Blogsite Contact: [email protected]









The bottom line is clear. Kids suffer without a dad in the house, or from dad not being around enough to make a difference.