Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Why We Need Strong Fathers

Let's face facts. Families and especially fatherhood in this society is under constant attack. In the recent gay marriage case in California the judge actually called traditional families as "artifacts of the past" and discriminatory. In other words, this judge feels a gay woman could easily replace the influence of a good father when it comes to raising a child. Besides this, there is the usual garbage on television where fathers are portrayed as juvenille dolts who are irresponsible and constantly scheming. Watch any episode of nearly any sitcom on TV today and you won't be able to deny this. Then there was this article in the Atlantic by Pamela Paul called "Are Fathers Necessary ?"

Yes you read the title correctly, this woman actually questions whether we as fathers are even needed. If you had the stomach for it and took the time to read the rest of that ridiculous article, the writer even went so far as to quote 2009 research data compiled by Judith Stacey and Timothy Biblarz of the University of Southern California. This statistical data claims lesbians are more effective parents than heterosexual father. Now, before I go any further, Stacey and Biblarz were quoted in this 2001 article admitting that most studies on gay parenting are flawed and inaccurate because the scholars behind them do not want their research used against the push for gay marriage and gay adoption.
Claiming that "few respectable scholars today oppose [same-sex] parenting," Stacey and Biblarz suggest that most scholars fear that highlighting the differences will be used by opponents of homosexual parenting and marriage to oppose gay adoption and gay marriage.

Stacey and Biblarz also admit in this article that after reviewing other data, that there are significant differences between children from straight families and those from gay parents. Now that we have established that the data used the Pamela Paul's Atlantic article has little credibility, I want to get back to the main point of this post which is not about the problems with gay marriage but about the importance of fathers.

I have been reading the book Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker, M.D. The author is a Catholic pediatrician and a leading expert in parenting. She has spent the last 20 years not only practicing medicine, but also counseling parents and children through difficult situations. I picked up the book after I heard her speak about it on a radio talk show about communicating with our children. Once I started reading it, I was truly amazed by her revelations on the relationship between a father and his children, especially his daughters. Dr. Meeker goes beyond saying that fathers are needed, she emphatically states that fathers are critical to their children's well being. Her book discusses how in the eyes of his daughters, dad is the hero, protector, and ultimately the most important man in her life. Our daughters will use us the measuring stick to which all other men in their life are compared. If that is not enough proof of a child's need for their father, then I don't know what is. Dr. Meeker is not using speculation or theory here. Her findings are based on her experience in working with children and parents. She backs up all of her statements with not only with statistical data but with stories of actual problems she has encountered in patients who have had troubled relationships with their fathers.

I strongly recommend this book to dads who have daughters. On Dr. Meeker's website above you will also find other books she has written on dealing with sons and also parenting in general. I also urge more men to finally say enough and take a stand against activist judges, Hollywood, and others who seek to demean and ridicule what it means to be a real father.

Also, below are related articles that refute what these so-called experts believe and point out a startling truth: Many of society's problems can be directly traced to a lack of strong fathers.  

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