Does it matter if men communicate support to the mother of their children from the beginning of the pregnancy?
Do men actually think that support and their presence matter during the nine month pregnancy as they wait for that beautiful baby girl or boy to adorn their world? When men have seen generational unavailability or non-involvement in their lives, does that mean it should be the norm?
These questions are relevant in our society today. One man at a time, making the decision to be present during the nine month pregnancy and beyond, can help solve the fatherlessness issues we see daily.
Statistics reveal that a father’s presence is not just desired but is essential to the growth and development of his baby boy who will one day become a man, and the validation of that girl who will one day become a woman.
Statistics from the National Fatherhood Initiative tell us that:
- Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor. (U.S. Census Bureau)
- Children of single mothers show higher levels of aggressive behavior than children born to married mothers. (Journal of Marriage and Family)
- One in five prison inmates had a father in prison. (Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs)
- Teens without fathers are twice as likely to be involved in early sexual activity and seven times more likely to get pregnant as an adolescent. (Child Development Journal)
The Positive Impact of Father Involvement
In a study examining father involvement with 134 children of adolescent mothers over the first 10 years of life, researchers found that father-child contact was associated with better socio-emotional and academic functioning. The results indicated that children with more involved fathers experienced fewer behavioral problems and scored higher on reading achievement. This study showed the significance of the role of fathers in the lives of at-risk children, even in case of nonresident fathers.
Source: Howard, K. S., Burke Lefever, J. E., Borkowski, J.G., & Whitman , T. L. (2006). Fathers’ influence in the lives of children with adolescent mothers. Journal of Family Psychology, 20, 468- 476.
We see the negative impact that comes from fathers being absent or not involved, and we also understand the overwhelming need for fathers to understand their role and responsibility in raising children. From the time she takes the pregnancy test and says, “Sweetie, I’m pregnant,” until the exuberant announcement of the baby’s arrival and for many years to come, the man has a significant role—a role that must be elevated and valued, not diminished.
Questions or Concerns? Please contact Gateway Campus at (919) 833-0096 or Contact Gateway Campus Here.