Lifestyle / Opinion & Editorial / U.S. News

Fathers, stop being afraid of being fathers

An editorial by Sade Moore

“A third of children now live without their dad,” says

Obama, who was raised by a single mother, wrote “In many ways, I came to understand the importance of fatherhood through its absence — both in my life and in the lives of others…I came to understand that the hole a man leaves when he abandons his responsibility to his children is one that no government can fill. We can do everything possible to provide good jobs and good schools and safe streets for our kids, but it will never be enough to fully make up the difference.” (Parade Magazine, 2009)

“Families headed by women are in poverty,” said Dr. Rowena Wilson, Dean of the School of Social Work at Norfolk State University. “23% of women who are heads of the household are jobless or unable to work.”

Dr. Wilson encourages children and single parents to seek out counseling groups and reach out to their communities for support.

“When a father hasn’t been there, it’s hard for him to make that step,” said Dr. Wilson. “The School of Social Work focuses on embracing the whole family and teaching students to build strong families without being judgmental.”

Jasmine West is an example of how broken relationships lead to a father-less family.

“Even with him acting very immature [as I tried to] rekindle a relationship, he still doesn’t think he’s wrong in certain areas so it just gave me the opportunity to just give up,” said Jasmine West, a 24-year-old alumni of NSU.

It’s time for fathers to stop being scared of being fathers. It doesn’t matter if you, as a father, didn’t have a father growing up or if you have run into some tough obstacles in your life, you are taking away the option of having a father from your child. It’s your job to be an active parent, and no excuse is a good excuse.

For more information on this issue, please contact Dr. Wilson at 757-823-8648.