Fathers play important role in family’s life

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, June 19, 2011

As the nation takes time to observe Father’s Day today, a PewResearch Center report offers some interesting observations on thestate of paternal parent-children relations.

The study, released Wednesday and highlighted in an AssociatedPress report, found that the number of fathers living away fromtheir children has more than doubled in the last 50 years. However,those parents who are with their children are spending far moretime with them today as compared to back then.

Also revealed in the study was that how a father supportsmonetarily his family influences the connection between parent andchild. Married, college-educated men tend to be more involved withtheir children than fathers who are less skilled and struggling tomake ends meet.

While the study found that more than one in four fathers withchildren under age 18 lives away from them, those who live withtheir children are spending more than six hours a week on childcare-related activities. That amount of time remains only half theamount that mothers devote to children, the study added.

In the wake of the survey, President Barack Obama urged fathers tobecome more involved with their children.

“Father’s Day reminds us parents that we have no more solemnobligation than to care for our children,” Obama said. “But far toomany young people in America grow up without their dads, and ourfamilies and communities are challenged as a result.”

Indeed, parental involvement in all areas – including school, playand other aspects of home life – is vital in helping develop astrong foundation for the child’s future success.

Unfortunately, as other study data alluded to, far too manychildren still grow up without the influence of a father.

This can lead to children looking elsewhere – athletes, celebritiesor other high-profile personalities – for guidance. Many of thoseother influences are not suitable to be role models, and quitefrankly they should not be expected to serve the role that fathersshould play.

Researchers were ultimately undecided on whether kids were betteroff today in the area of father-child relations.

The traditional roles associated with fathers and mothers may bechanging as society evolves. However, a fact that cannot be escapedis that having both parents involved in their children’s activitiesrepresents the best chance for better lives for all.

Happy Father’s Day.