Deja is a 13-year old who loves to swim and write. She wants to become a Psychologist to help troubled teens.
63% Of youth suicides are from a fatherless home
90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders are from a fatherless home.
80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.
71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes
75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes
70% of Juveniles in state operated institutions came from fatherless homes.
85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in fatherless homes.
As seen above, you realize how effected teens get when they don’t grow up with their father. Growing up with fatherly figures does not substitute your true father. Take it from me. I grew up not knowing my Dad. I was raised by my grandfather and then a Step Father. It’s not the same. I still to this day do not know my dad. Moms, sometime you don’t realize how it affects your kids. You understand it’s hard, but when they do something completely out of character you can’t understand why they did this. This is going to tell you the view of everything from a kid’s perspective.
From a Girls Perspective: I wasn’t raised by my mother or father as a kid. I was raised by my grandparents, who I referred to as mom and dad until I was 9 or 10. It didn’t really affect me not having a dad because I was never told about him. I only knew my mother. Not knowing her affected me more at the time. When I moved in with my mom at 11, I then realized that my dad didn’t want to be in my life by choice. Now, that hits a kid hard. But, I didn’t let it really bother me. I just went along with life. My step dad and I became really close but I knew he was not my father. I knew my father was never going to be there for me and it was something that did get me depressed. See, girls tend to either wear their heart on their sleeve or keep it all inside them till they burst. That is what I have recently been doing. My mom can’t understand why I rebel or why I have an attitude when it comes to Family Time. It’s hard to have family time when you don’t have your parents there. Teens, this is for you. I understand that you think that your mom doesn’t know how I feel about how just because you have a fatherly figure in your life doesn’t mean that he is your dad. But a dad is someone who loves and cares for you someone who would die for you because you are their daughter. Love is something that doesn’t have to be genetic. It doesn’t take genes to be able to love someone like they are your own.
From a Boys Perspective: Now I am no boy. And I don’t have the hormones and feelings boys have when it comes to family stuff. But I know how it is to not have the support of that one person who is supposed to push you through everything. Guys, when you think of growing up, Dad was supposed to be that one who you went a played ball with, went fishing with, heard those old “When I was in high school” stories sitting around the dinner table. But when you wake up from the daydream you know that he isn’t here. Whether he left when you were too young to remember or whether he left a year ago, in your mind, he still left. Moms, boys are supposed to have that role model in their life, someone to live up to, and when they are young it usually is dad. Dad is the one who is cool, and the person they want to be able to grow up too be. But “Dad” sets such a bad example by leaving, or whatever the case is. Why would they want to be like that? Knowing that, angers them. It angers all of us. Moms, you raise your kids as best as you can; I personally see that everyday by my mom. So when you can’t understand why we rebel and get angry at you for the littlest or stupidest things remember that it’s not at you. I know my friends and people from my church (boys and men) who grew up without fathers who have turned out to be amazing people. But it wasn’t easy for them. Guys tend to take it harder than girls do. It’s your job to make them know that even though it’s not their biological dad, or maybe it’s just going to you and him, that they know love is not genetics.
Girls, a father plays a big important role in your life and it will always be heartbreaking to know that the man who should have been there for you isn’t and wasn’t…but that doesn’t mean you want to end up like the kids that were in the examples in the beginning. That isn’t the life you want for yourself. Guys, dad may not have been the correct role model for you but I know, Mom knows, and You know that you don’t want to become what your dad was, and only you decide what road your going to take.
Love is not genetic…it doesn’t come through blood. It comes from the heart.
Photo: Rachel Blum-Jose