Comments about ‘Fatherless America? A third of children now live without their dad’

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Published: Saturday, May 21 2011 11:00 p.m. MDT

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kaysville, ut

What is truly sad is that the welfare system rewards the father being out of the home. If dad is not a resident of the home, it is much easier for mom and kids to receive government programs (food stamps, help with rent, health insurance).

I have watched many a dad slip out of the house at night to sleep in an apartment so that he is not seen as living in the home with the family. We must be crazy as a society to offer this kind of incentive. I would rather keep dad in the home (if a choice was there).

Kearns, UT

These numbers have no real meaning or value because there are thousands of this group who do have fathers at home but deny it to get welfare and food stamps. A socialist designed society like we have encourages deception and lies to take advantage of the socialist welfare system. Articles like this skews facts to promote more welfare and more socialism.

Then there are real cases where children never see their dads or mothers but there is a main root cause for it, deception and lies of custodial parents. Mothers drive off the dads and force them in to absenteeism for many reasons and one of them is to punish the fathers. Many time I can't blame fathers for becoming disinterested in their own children because of the courts and child services programs.

Government interferes with parental rights and forces fathers out of the lives of their children. Child support does not make a father a father, and in many cases child support should be abolished where mothers cohabit with men who steal child support from the fathers children.

Ogden, UT

"The bottom line is, kids really need frequent contact with both parents to successfully navigate developmental stages as they grow up"

Its interesting to see how mothers and fathers both provide separate and unique nurturing that is essential for a childs upbringing. A mother or a father by themselves cannot provide the optimal conditions to raise a healthy child but together they complement each other and create a complete unit. This not always possible but as shown is optimal.

This flies in the face of gay advocates that insist all that is needed is love from two male parents or two female parents to raise a child properly. It is interesting to see how on one hand people like President Obama pleads with fathers to stay and raise their children but then on the other promote gay marriage which naturally excludes a mother or a father. So the question now stands, which part of the family is no longer needed, the mother or the father?

Ricardo Carvalho
Provo, UT

Way to go Mike! I am so impressed with those who take adversity and decide to be a trend breaker. You are setting your children on a whole new path that will have positive implications for generations to come. Well done!

silas brill
Heber, UT

It's not just moms and dads breaking up. America has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the entire world. Not the industrialized world. Not the western world. The entire world.

You can jump up and down and yell about society's values. But when kids don't grow up in a free country, they're going to suffer.

The incarceration rate is largely due to long sentences for drug-related activity. As stated in the first sentence, incarceration didn't keep this guy off drugs. Having a family did. Are the lock-them-up-and-throw-away-the-key conservatives learning yet?

Draper, UT

Good for you Debour!

There is nothing better than good morning hugs and good night kisses. I tell my children every night, "I am so happy you are in our family." What I could just as easily mean is that, I am so happy to be in our family. I always want them to know that they are a treasure, and that we love them dearly, forever.

Growing up is rough. The process of becoming needs guidance from a mom and a dad. One thing the article did not mention, is that two parent homes also tend to have more involvement and interaction with extended family. When children have support all around them, and learn the commitment to work through problems, they have a much better toolbox for solving their own problems as an adult.

Highland, UT

Mike & others,
I'm so glad you were allowed to be in your boy's life. Over twenty years ago my wife divorced me because of her emotional and mental illnesses. She was suicidal and abused drugs. So what did the judge do? He spent a minute or two reviewing the case and gave her the children. Yup, they grew up with problems. Maybe the idiots in our legal system have started to realize they have to use a little common sense. I hope you continue to grow in love and happiness in your family.

Federal Way, WA

When my wife filed for divorce, she also tried to take away all father rights from me and wanted me to have no contact with the child. That's what her support system influenced her to do. They assumed I was a dangerous person and used the system against me because of the false DV label on me, which since was dismissed. Since having it dismissed, did I get my father rights back? Nooooo...and my son begs to see me often and does his mother let him? Nooooo she does not and resents it each time he gets to see me. Has anyone ever taught the mother the importance of being civil and making sure the child gets to see the father often as possible for obvious reasons? The answer is Nooooo! That's the kind of system we have around us. I am a good father and always there for the child and give him quality time with just two days in a weekend, only twice a month. His mother is not so caring in the emotional sense and he gets that from me. Many fathers are pushed away because the system believes the mothers that lie.

Murray, UT


Man I'm sorry :(. The large majority of women these days are so overrated >:( Not all of them but most.

What happend to the days when the average woman was submissive, all-loving, sweet, kind, generous, delightful, innocent and charitable to those they loved? Esspecially their husbands?

But now we have femenists..........good by good loving family valued home.

And yes, we do have some cowardly dads out there that just leave the family becuase he watches out for himself instead of the family.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT


I know your story is frustrating. Do the best you can and in time I think your child will come around. In reality, our children will be our children more as adults than as actual children. Those experiences you missed can't be given back (and that is sad and frustrating) but your child will someday be 18 and an adult. Look towards the future because when that time comes it will provide an opportunity you don't have now. As for the mother I would tell her to get over herself because again the same holds true. She will spend more time as a mother of an adult child than as a child child. In time her own child will see what she did was wrong and all this could boomerang against her.

That is the sad thing about divorce. Sometimes it is necessary because of abuse and other horrible things but most of the time it should be avoided. It is very tough on the children. I think I saw an article that said it was tougher on the children than if one of the parents were to die--that study says a lot.

SLC Grandma
Salt Lake City, UT

Phildog - where does it say that success comes from the woman being "submissive". I think equal partnering in a marriage is the important thing, with each being able to contribute an opinion, solution, or whatever and the other being able to listen, think, and either agree or counter with the reasons why or why not. I'm not a feminist but neither am I one to condone submissiveness as a valued asset to a marriage, on the part of the wife or the husband.

Draper, UT


One can argue that the threat of separation by incarceration is a significant deterrent in many cases, and while not directly credited in this story, it is inferred.

Mike states that, "There's nothing in the world that's gonna keep me from being there for my little man." He can honor that promise by keeping his commitment to stay clean, not by society giving him a pass if he falls into behavior that is destructive to himself and the community. Personal responsibility is the lesson that Mike is both learning, and teaching. That lesson is rarely learned without accountability. One can certainly argue that our system is deficient in how well that accountability is metered out in some cases. The only way to correct such injustice is to get personally involved in the community and work to create value in the lives of others and our own. That starts in the home, as this inspiring story has illustrated.

Moss, Norway

The effects of good fathering are immeasurable. By worldly standards, I have been fatherless since I was 12 years old, yet the quality of man my father was, and the things he taught us children in our short time together, have set me on a lifelong course. To be sure, my mother was strong in keeping to our family's values, and even 22 years after his death, I experience his positive influence.

It's not enough for a father just to be there. There has to be love, solid values, respect, and a good example for the children. There also has to be a loving relationship with the mother. If those things are present, even a temporal fatherhood cut short by tragedy will not fail. If I were to wind up in prison or in rehab or some other place away from my children, it would be nobody's fault but my own.

Never underestimate the power of positive parenting!

Powell, OH

Just how much time did Brigham Young spend at home with any one woman or any of his kids?
The worth of a father in the home is overrated.

Willy tPS
West Valley, UT

Silas Brill and Toartistic

A parents incarceration - The child themselves hasnt done anything wrong basically they are also victims of their parents bad acts and/or bad choices. We want to break that cycle, with a way out of prison visiting rooms, with an incentive and that additional financial help needed to get a higher educating
I'm sure its no picnic for most incarcerated parents; not a good feeling not being able to help their children physically or financially with things like school work and helping paying for a higher education.

See you at a yearly [Willy the Plumber Scholarship] run or nice walk

Lafayette, IN

We went delusional in the 60s. When enough people make bad decisions, everyone suffers. That is just how the planet works.

Bountiful, UT

These numbers are skewed. I am a divorced dad, not because I wanted to be divorced and not because I cheated or was abusive so my sons were raised without me in their home. Also, many women choose to have children without a father. In addition, a follow-up story about the many men who live away from their children and bust their butts to be in their lives is in order by the Desnews.

Mcallen, TX

"the number of babies born to unwed mothers jumped from 5 percent to 40 percent."

This means sixty percent of babies born are to wed parents. Of those wed parents, at least half get divorced. Many of these marriages occurred because of an early pregnancy. This may sound old fashion, but sex should come after marriage. Thinking is clearer and more objective when deciding on wedding bells. Think of the many problems we would save ourselves.

Gainesville, VA

Dektol - your comment makes me so sad. I guess you had a very unhappy childhood. I came from a single parent family because my father died and my mother never remarried. She raised us kids (4) on a teachers salary and did this all without government support. Us kids did OK but there are definite holes from not having a father. The older I got as a child the more I realized what I was missing. The worth of a father in the home is NOT overrated.

terra nova
Park City, UT

To understand the real effects of divorce on children (and, especially if you are an adult who had parents to divorced), consider reading "The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce" by Judith Wallerstein. It is the culmination of a 20-year study following the effects of divorce on kids. Some of the divorces were brutal, ugly and marked by unimaginable venom. Some were almost amicable. Some had regular but long-distance relationships, others visited with both parents regularly locally, some rarely if ever saw both parents after divorce. Some kids were young when the parents split, others nearly adults. The author takes the data collected over twenty years and weaves the similarities into stories based on the experiences of girls and the experiences of boys. It is a remarkably well contoured and textured work that will have you saying "Oh my goodness! That's exactly what I felt." The book is out of print. But I find copies on eBay for a less than five bucks all the time. Everyone I've recommended the book to comes back thanking me. They feel relieved to know their feelings are universal. It helps them compensate for the rough things divorce does to kids.

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