Father Absence

Check this article out, folks!! Take a look at this..We are dealing with this today:

Kruk (2012) Father Absence, Father Deficit, Father Hunger
By Edward Kruk, Ph.D.

According to the 2007 UNICEF report on the well-being of children in economically advanced nations, children in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. rank extremely low in regard to social and emotional well-being in particular. Many theories have been advanced to explain the poor state of our nations’ children: child poverty, race and social class. A factor that has been largely ignored, however, particularly among child and family policymakers, is the prevalence and devastating effects of father absence in children’s lives.

First, a caveat: I do not wish to either disparage single mothers or blame non-residential fathers for this state of affairs. The sad fact is that parents in our society are not supported in the fulfillment of their parental responsibilities, and divorced parents in particular are often undermined as parents, as reflected in the large number of “non-custodial” or “non-residential” parents forcefully removed from their children’s lives, as daily caregivers, by misguided family court judgments. My target of concern is those responsible for laws and policies that devalue the importance or, to use an old-fashioned word, the sanctity of parents in children’s lives, and parental involvement as critical to children’s well-being. Children need both parents, and parents need the support of social institutions in regard to being there for their kids.

Despite President Obama’s 2011 Father’s Day lament on the irresponsibility of “deadbeat fathers” footloose and fancy free from taking responsibility for their children, in fact the two major structural threats to fathers’ presence in children’s lives are divorce and non-marital childbearing. More often than not, fathers are involuntarily relegated by family courts to the role of “accessory parents,” valued for their role as financial providers rather than as active caregivers. This view persists despite the fact that fathers in two-parent families, before divorce, typically share, with mothers, responsibility for the care of their children. This is both because fathers have taken up the slack while mothers work longer hours outside the home, and because fathers are no longer content to play a secondary role as parents. Most fathers today are keen to experience both the joys and challenges of parenthood, derive satisfaction from their parental role, and consider active and involved fatherhood to be the core component of their self-identity.

Whereas parents in general are not supported as parents by our social institutions, divorced fathers in particular are devalued, disparaged, and forcefully disengaged from their children’s lives. Researchers have found that for children, the results are nothing short of disastrous, along a number of dimensions:

-children’s diminished self-concept, and compromised physical and emotional security (children consistently report feeling abandoned when their fathers are not involved in their lives, struggling with their emotions and episodic bouts of self-loathing)

-behavioral problems (fatherless children have more difficulties with social adjustment, and are more likely to report problems with friendships, and manifest behavior problems; many develop a swaggering, intimidating persona in an attempt to disguise their underlying fears, resentments, anxieties and unhappiness)

-truancy and poor academic performance (71 per cent of high school dropouts are fatherless; fatherless children have more trouble academically, scoring poorly on tests of reading, mathematics, and thinking skills; children from father absent homes are more likely to play truant from school, more likely to be excluded from school, more likely to leave school at age 16, and less likely to attain academic and professional qualifications in adulthood)

-delinquency and youth crime, including violent crime (85 per cent of youth in prison have an absent father; fatherless children are more likely to offend and go to jail as adults)

-promiscuity and teen pregnancy (fatherless children are more likely to experience problems with sexual health, including a greater likelihood of having intercourse before the age of 16, foregoing contraception during first intercourse, becoming teenage parents, and contracting sexually transmitted infection; girls manifest an object hunger for males, and in experiencing the emotional loss of their fathers egocentrically as a rejection of them, become susceptible to exploitation by adult men)

-drug and alcohol abuse (fatherless children are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol, and abuse drugs in childhood and adulthood)

-homelessness (90 per cent of runaway children have an absent father)

-exploitation and abuse (fatherless children are at greater risk of suffering physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, being five times more likely to have experienced physical abuse and emotional maltreatment, with a one hundred times higher risk of fatal abuse; a recent study reported that preschoolers not living with both of their biological parents are 40 times more likely to be sexually abused)

-physical health problems (fatherless children report significantly more psychosomatic health symptoms and illness such as acute and chronic pain, asthma, headaches, and stomach aches)

-mental health disorders (father absent children are consistently overrepresented on a wide range of mental health problems, particularly anxiety, depression and suicide)

-life chances (as adults, fatherless children are more likely to experience unemployment, have low incomes, remain on social assistance, and experience homelessness)

-future relationships (father absent children tend to enter partnerships earlier, are more likely to divorce or dissolve their cohabiting unions, and are more likely to have children outside marriage or outside any partnership)

-mortality (fatherless children are more likely to die as children, and live an average of four years less over the life span)

Given the fact that these and other social problems correlate more strongly with fatherlessness than with any other factor, surpassing race, social class and poverty, father absence may well be the most critical social issue of our time.

In Fatherless America, David Blankenhorn calls the crisis of fatherless children “the most destructive trend of our generation.” A recent British report from the University of Birmingham, Dad and Me, confirms Blankenhorn’s claims, concluding that the need for a father is on an epidemic scale, and “father deficit” should be treated as a public health issue.

We ignore the problem of father absence to our peril. Of perhaps greatest concern is the lack of response from our lawmakers and policymakers, who pay lip service to the paramount importance of the “best interests of the child,” yet turn a blind eye to father absence, ignoring the vast body of research on the dire consequences to children’s well-being.

What is the solution to father absence? Many fathers’ advocates have stressed the need for fast, low-cost, effective ways for non-residential parents to have their court-ordered parenting time enforced. While access enforcement is important, legislating for shared parenting would be a more effective measure to ensure the ongoing active involvement of both parents in children’s lives. A legal presumption of shared parenting would affirm the primary role of both parents, and make clear that even in the absence of a spousal relationship, both mothers’ and fathers’ parental responsibilities to their children’s needs are “sacred,” and therefore deserving of full legal protection and recognition.
Kruk (2012)

20140714-234124-85284718.jpg

Traumatic Traits of Fatherless Men

There is a dearth of fatherlessness in the world and in the church today. The emotional and spiritual effects of this have been nothing less than catastrophic! The following are some of the symptoms of fatherlessness. (This can be applied to both natural and spiritual fathers.)

I. There is an insecurity and/or a sense of inferiority because of neglect, lack of affirmation, or abandonment

Some men continually walk around with insecurities that negatively impact the way they relate in business, ministry, and marriage. They never fully trust their abilities and hence, they don’t always trust others around them to do the right thing towards them. This sense of inferiority causes them to try to hide their low self-esteem by projecting a machismo persona full of confidence, but inside their souls they are always afraid.

II. There is a fierce independence because of a lack of trust of all authority figures

Some men who have experienced fatherlessness have a hard time inwardly submitting to any form of spiritual authority, even if they outwardly attempt to do so. They mostly make their own decisions without getting real counsel, and if they do get counsel, they will ultimately do what they want anyway because they don’t believe anyone fully looks out for their interests.

III. There is a great competitive drive due to comparisons with other men

Some men’s insecurities result in them constantly comparing themselves with other men. If they are ministers, they compare themselves with fellow ministers in their region. They are always trying to out-do other men as if ministry were a sport. For example, I know some ministers who, when talking about themselves or their ministries, constantly make statements like “our church is growing in record numbers,” or “we have the largest pastoral group in the city” or “we are the church called of God to reach the city.” They use competitive language with a super-spiritual religious tinge, but it is merely fleshly competition that is not purely motivated by a leading of the Lord.

IV. There is a selfish ambition is driven by an innate sense of trying to please their fathers

Many fatherless men are psychologically living their lives to prove themselves to their fathers (whether alive or dead) that they are valuable, that they are worthy of their father’s love. The interesting thing about this is, they may even hate their fathers emotionally but not be aware that they are emotionally geared to finally secure the approval of their fathers. (This can also apply to spiritual fathers.)

V. There is an inability to relate to their own biological and spiritual sons

I have tried to minister to men who have not had the benefit of a natural father’s input and love. Many have no clue as to how they can emotionally connect with their sons and daughters.

One man I know didn’t do anything but play video games with his son. When I asked why he couldn’t have a decent conversation with his son, he told me he tried but didn’t know how. He confessed that he had no idea how to be a father to his son because he never had a father in his life.

VI. There is a lack of comfort around spiritual fathers

Many fatherless men with anger and trust issues regarding their fathers have a hard time when they are with those in the Body of Christ called to be spiritual fathers–especially one assigned to that (fatherless) man. They clam up and stop speaking freely, or they get nervous and try hard to know how to relate and please them, or they hide their struggles from them because they are afraid the spiritual father will use it against them and hold them back from their destiny.

VII. There is confusion as to their purpose and identity in Christ

Many fatherless men have a hard time internally trying to figure out who they are and what they are called to do. They struggle with their identity. They may even be the most successful business people in the world but they are never sure of themselves and often grapple with confusion, fear and anger, and don’t understand the root cause of it all. Some of the highest suicide rates in the world are in the most affluent demographics of our nation. This shows that worldly or even ministerial success can never fill the vast void in the souls of many fatherless men.

VIII. When a man feels threatened by the success of his spiritual sons

When fatherless men become spiritual leaders, some tend to use spiritual sons to advance their own agendas but never make room for them to blossom and reach their potential in Christ. They feel threatened when their sons begin to come to maturity; they are afraid to let them preach or lead to the fullest capacity because the insecurities in their own souls causes them to compare themselves with their sons, and it torments them. Hence, they hold their sons under their thumbs. This results in many sons becoming frustrated and rebellious, starting their own churches, or even leaving the faith.

IX. When it is hard to connect to the love of God the Father

Some fatherless men have a hard time fellowshipping and enjoying their Father in heaven because they have a works mentality with God and try to approach Him with their own sense of perfection to prove their worth. This is because they didn’t have a good earthly model of fatherhood from their natural fathers and have no understanding of how to relate to God the Father and His unconditional love.

X. Having an autocratic style of leadership in one’s churches, businesses and families

Because fatherless men never emotionally connected with their earthly fathers, many do not know how to relate or trust others who work for them or are under their care in their families. The result is a top-down autocratic style of leadership that doesn’t leave room for meaningful input, counsel, or shared leadership decisions. They may even preach teamwork but ultimately the decision-making process is limited to what they want.

XI. There are often feelings of loneliness and emptiness because nothing satisfies the hole in their hearts

No matter how many people are around them, many fatherless men often feel like outsiders–never able to fully enjoy the company of others because they are not comfortable in their own skin. They don’t know where they fit in and are constantly gripped with a sense of emptiness that no amount of activity, crowds, money, accolades, or success could fill.

XII. There is an inability to enjoy the present and a desire to always focus on an unreachable future

Many fatherless men are always striving, never satisfied, and never happy. Thus they are always looking to a better future and never enjoy the present.

XIII. There is continual friction with other leaders and men

When some fatherless men become leaders, the combination of competitiveness, insecurity, and lack of trust proves to be a deadly combustion that leads to much friction with other marketplace or church leaders. They are always thinking that someone is plotting against them, or speaking badly about them, or is trying to undermine their ministry or work. This leads to frosty relationships and even outright quarrels and divisions.

At best, many fatherless leaders have superficial relationships with those they deem threats to their leadership and keep them at arms length unless they need them for something that advances their agendas. Titus 1:13-14 teaches that to the pure all things are pure, but to those defiled is nothing pure. This teaches that we often put our own spin on events in our lives and project wrong motives onto other people because we ourselves have impure motives towards others.
Mattera (2013)

Bias

Bias is something you better recognize and control before it controls you.

Dr. Samuel Cartwright was a well respected doctor in Louisiana, who had internal conflict and bias of his own, which fueled his opinions in the antebellum climate of the Confederate States of America.

He was someone that I included in my research and journal article to explain and bring to light how powerful AND biased individuals can affect opinions, attitudes, and the way we treat others who clearly are different from us. Cartwright explained how enslaved individuals could be cured of “Drapetomania”, and the cure was inhumane. Cutting off the big toes to stop runaways and severe whippings.

Cartwright’s observation and diagnosis was completely off. He used pseudoscience to justify his bias. (Scientific racism).
Doctors are to take a Hippocratic Oath, which includes segments of beneficence and nonmaleficence…In other words, “for the good of all involved, and above all else, do no harm.

Cartwright contends that the slaves who wanted to escape suffered from a mental illness called “drapetomania”. The term drapetomania derived from the Greek words “drapetes” or “runaway” and “mania” or “madness”. Drapetomania was described as a mental disorder derived from slave masters who made themselves too comfortable with their property, treating them as equals.

Dr. Cartwright stated that with “proper medical advice, the practice of absconding could be prevented if warning signs such as sulkiness and dissatisfaction for no reason can be noticed early enough.”

The remedy was to “whip the devil out of the runaway” or cut off their big toes to discourage running away.
McNeil © (2013)

Empower!!

Musing:
I had an eye opening experience today. People are afraid to share their power. They won’t empower others. The air is too rarefied. To empower means to share, equip, enable, or supply to someone else what made you successful. If you don’t share your power, or what made you a success, you cannot empower!!! We must teach, share, enable, equip, supply our knowledge to empower. We need to do better. What are you afraid of? Losing your power, or someone doing better than you? If you have a friend who only depends on you to feed them, they will never be able to feed themselves unless they are taught to do for themselves. They will always need fed.
Teach a man to fish, he will always have something to eat, and share with others, then, teach him to own the pond from whence he fished from…empowering individuals only duplicates success…
#letsGo #empower
CMM ©2014

Control

Recently, I facilitated a session with a family and it centered around control issues.
One of the questions that was presented was, Why do individuals feel a need to control their environment? To stay safe!!!! Staying on the high horse of control allows you to exist in a sphere of false security. Some cannot feel normal without having some sort of control. Many have severe boundary issues and when tested, you will see the true colors. Controlling individuals can show you better than telling you.
Moodiness is another sign of a controlling individual. When happiness is abounding, but yet, in the middle of the joy, the hurt comes back in their mind. There may be some cognitive deficits preventing them from experiencing normal thoughts and relationships.
Their perceived hurts and victimization exposes them like a pink coat in a snowstorm. You never know what direction they are coming from, and it’s not your fault.
Controlling individuals aren’t well versed in giving compliments, and controlling individuals don’t want you to feel good about yourself due to the attention being off of them. When it is time to offer a compliment, it’s very curt and is negative in nature.

If you are good looking and the individual in control isn’t so good looking, your life may become unbearable. It will be very difficult to accept compliments, social media will be an issue, and a lot of “green” behavior will abound. Healthy relationships are in jeopardy.
Many controlling individuals want to control their environment simply because they want to minimize their risk of being hurt or victimized. It’s time to stop covering up the scabs of past hurts and allow someone in your life to disciple you and real discipleship scrapes away the dead skin and exposes new skin. STOP COVERING UP YOUR HURT!! It’s killing you!!! God is in the healing business, not the hurting business.
CMM