There is a fatherhood crisis in America. According to the U.S. census bureau, 24 million children, 1 out of 3, live without their biological father in the home. For the children fortunate enough to have their biological father in the home it’s not much better as the demands of career, society and technology leave many fathers in a zombie-like state of presentism. As a result, the father is a factor in almost all social issues facing America today.
The resiliency of the American father is what will change the fatherhood crisis. It’s going to take fathers who have grit and are willing to set their pride and egos aside. It’s going to take an “intentional” dad who creates epic memories with their children so that they raise not just good kids, but good kids who become great adults. It takes a dad who has an investment strategy and chooses to invest their time rather than be absent or just spend time with their children. It takes a dad who views their children as a blessing -rather than a burden. It takes a dad who understands that margin matters and peak performance as a dad is possible. Today’s dads need to stop trying to be their kid’s hero and instead be their guide. It also takes a dad who realizes that far more is caught than taught and it’s not what you say, it’s what you do that matters. It’s about a dad who chooses to create epic moments with their children that will plant memory seeds and pay dividends long down the road. It takes a dad with a strong compass who has a vision for his role as a father and his children’s future.
Finally, it’s about a dad who reengages his children, sets aside the pull of society and raises good kids who become great adults – and fixes the fatherhood crisis in our country.
A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.
As Father’s Day approaches, I always think back to when I was young, and the thoughts I had about not knowing my father and promising my future children, and myself, I’d be the person I needed most growing up — for them.
I’m not perfect and I have made difficult decisions in my life over the last 12 years, some which make my heart extremely heavy. I’ll never give up on my three children and I will fight until I am six feet under or sitting on a mantle to ensure I am in their lives and that they know I am here to support and love each of them for who they are and who they’ll become.
But, why not equal shared custody? Isn’t it what makes sense?
Here’s what I know, from direct experience. The Family Law system creates an immediate adversarial approach to conflict resolution, where it becomes a winner takes all competition. Litigants are advised to dig up dirt on the other parent. The winner is the custodial parent. A custodial parent wins a substantial amount of time with the children over the other parent and also substantial financial support from the other parent. This often times obliterates the non-custodial parent mentally & emotionally, physically and financially. The non-custodial parent now becomes a second-class citizen in the eyes of all legal institutions and essentially becomes an indentured servant.
The children rarely win. A win for the children should be equal shared parenting time with both of their fit parents. But in reality, at the end of the day, it is in the best interest of each parent to find any and all problems they can find to make the other parent seem unfit so they can “win”. Winning means funding for states too. States get federal funding based on enforcement of child support obligations. To the tune of a $68 billion dollar industry annually. Who lobbies for this industry? I’ll leave that exercise to the reader (if you’re still with me hah).
I wish recording was permitted in Family Law so that those of you who have never seen this ugly, ugly side of our justice system could understand how much devastation it can cause for parents and in the long run, our children.
So with all that is going on in the world, and particularly within the US, I do believe fatherhood crisis in our children’s’ homes, or lives, is the epidemic at hand creating a major contributing deep seeded role to the divide in this country. Change for our country starts with our families and addressing the fatherhood crisis properly, all the way down to Family Law.
Change through awareness, awareness through activism.
Please support PA House Bill 1397 which creates a rebuttable presumption of equal shared parenting; meaning unless a parent is unfit, it is presumed there will be equal shared custody for the children.