There’s nothing a man can do, that I can’t do better and in heels. — Ginger Rogers
I will not argue the merits of the quote, because the message is that of a lighthearted joke. However, there is one thing I know women cannot do, in which only a man can…being a father to their sons.
In 1960, the percentage of homes without fathers affected only 11 percent of the American population. In 2012, that number increased severely, to 1 in 3 or fifteen million of children in the United States. However, some estimates are much higher.
Why do I consider fatherless homes an important topic? Why does a son need the guidance of his father, when his mother is more than capable? A mother cannot be a father, just as a father cannot be a mother. How does one expect to take on the lifestyle of a gentleman, when he views no positive interactions between his mother and a male equivalent?
The lessons a boy retains on being a man, comes through the teachings of his father. He learns how to speak, treat and act in the presence of a woman, through what he observes by his father. There are people currently, advocating against this message and it is such a sad tale.
Fathers are relevant in the lives of their children, and to think otherwise is a tragedy. All fathers are not great, and there are males who walk away from their children. However, it seems we only focus on them. There are countless men who remain active in the lives of their children, yet we shine the spotlight on absentee fathers.
If a young boy views the negative treatment of his mother, through the actions of his father or other male, he systematically acquires what he perceives as standard behavior. The negative treatment becomes a conditioning of sorts.
It comes as no surprise; the path he begins is one unlikely to encounter the destination of a gentleman.
As far as this normal behavior is concerned, that becomes part of his DNA. The lack of respect for his female counterpart connects to the absence of a positive female, and male relationship at home.
He may revere his mother, but that is due to a different set of allegiance. However, for any girl he pursues, he has no understanding on what a successful romantic relationship entails.
Fatherless sons tend to rebel against male authority figures. This individual has a higher probability of facing incarceration. Therefore, there is a clear connection between children of fatherless homes, and one’s susceptibility for criminal activity.
Within homes absent of a father, there is a higher chance of the son, not being able to establish the different roles and identity between genders. Despite popular belief today, there are biological differences between males and females. Studies prove this and simple observation proves this as well.
If you want to enhance the expansion of gentlemen and ladies alike, become actively involved in the lives of your children. Fathers, your sons are unlikely to understand the etiquette that comes with courting girls, if they have no knowledge on what it means to be a man of honor.
Your sons are unlikely to grasp the importance of self-identity, when they have no knowledge of self. Do not merely create and disappear—be active, be present and most importantly, teach them the ways of a gentleman’s lifestyle. The world will thank you for it.
Young boys are lost today and on their path of discovery, they search for the closest examples of a father figure. Sadly, the examples they encounter are usually the worst role models. We have to do better.
However, for the countless number of active fathers, popular culture may undermine your role, but individuals like myself do not. The connection between a son and his father play a significant role, on his journey towards adulthood.
Many of his relationship failures can trace back to the absence of a father, or a father lacking the ability to teach, what he is also missing within himself.