Comments about ‘The father factor: What happens when dad is nowhere to be found?’

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Published: Sunday, Feb. 23 2014 6:00 a.m. MST

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Austin Coug
Pflugerville, TX

Well written article. The role of a father cannot be understated.

Sandy, UT

There were responsible individuals, churches, and organizations in the 60's, 70's, and 80's who told us that families are crucial, that fathers DO matter. They tell us now that children are entitled to a family with loving, dedicated parents. I believe that this entitlement is similar to the "inalienable rights" proposed by the Founding Fathers of this country. I like to think that this entitlement comes into affect at conception. The very act that brings them into being also entitles them to a healthy family life.

Surely, we can do better.

Tooele, UT

What percentage of this number includes the inner-city population where the number of father-less kids is astronomical?

According to several studies, seven out of ten black children are born to single mothers.

Salt Lake City, UT

Every child would benefit from a Mother and Father. It is the ideal. It is the plan. We do the best we can when the ideal isn't possible.

When people stop seeing Marriage as a "right" and a "couple-centric" union, and start viewing Marriage as a "responsibility" and a "children-centric" union, the debate over same-sex marriage would fizzle out.

But, I'm smart enough to know that won't happen.

Wilf 55

If one dad can do so much good, then growing up in a stable family with two dads cannot be that bad. A situation which research confirms.

Salt Lake City, UT


And until two Dads can actually "conceive" a child together, we gladly conclude that nature or God or reason didn't intend it that way.

orem, UT

Wilf 55, For walking two left feet are better than only one foot, but a left and a right foot, complimentary opposites, provide the most stability. So it is with kids and parents. An intact family with a mom and a dad, complimentary opposites, provides the most effective stability for the development of children.

salt lake city, UT

Wilf 55 a child needs both a mother and a dad. I was so fortunate to grow up in a stable family. My parents loved each other and our home was peaceful and loving. Unfortunately, I took it for granted. Now a senior citizen I see the troubles my children have had through 2 bad marriages. My oldest from my 1st marriage has had many resentments but now has a stable loving home of his own. He realizes the importance of responsible mothers and fathers married to each other. My youngest is in therapy and doing much bette although he is disabled because of heart failure. My biggest regret is that I didn't pick better husbands. Our society needs good responsible parents.

grand junction, CO

The only way this will happen is to get rid of this unwritten law whereas when a couple divorces the woman takes the house the kids the vehicle and the man leaves owing most of his paycheck for child support for the next 20 years while she moves her new boyfriend in and gets away with holding the kids hostage and not allowing the ex husband equal quality time with his kids. And this is not a radical explanation. Its been happening for years and years and continues today.

Sandy, UT

@Wilf 55
The gold standard is a mother and a father, united in matrimony, with dedication to raising good children and competent citizens. It is not always possible, but it is the best we as humans have to offer.

As far as scientific studies, in my experience, and in a general sense, there is enough pro and con literature that people can pick and choose studies that validate their position pretty easily. The only sure way to safety is to follow another way, that of revelation and prophesy when it comes to matters of such import as the make-up of the family.

The life and words of Jesus Christ are the rock upon which we must build. My recommendation is that if someone is really struggling with same-sex attraction, try the word of God. Go to the Mormons and Gays website produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. You are a child of God. He loves you and cares about you and your happiness.

Ogden, UT

“The U.S. has done a better job of integrating women into the workplace than in integrating men into the family — especially into the lives of children in the non-intact family."

And women have been trying to make the workplace a more FAMILY friendly environment for years but got nothing but criticism from big business.

I applaud any efforts to improve working conditions for all in our country. Strong families can be the result when moms and dads have more time to parent as well as provide economic support to their families.

North Augusta, SC

Wilf 55, would you share the research that you are referring to? I would like to read it. Thanks.

Daytona Beach, FL

Having a good job with a contract makes all the difference. For 30 years I have listened to underpaid workers (FATHERS AND MOTHERS) speaking the evils surrounding orginized labor. My children always had health care, a stay at home mom, AND a Dad who could go to summercamp. Now as a semi retired Grandpa and Grandma with a pension we can visit those in Utah, or we can drop everything for our other children living here in our state (FL). Doctors sell labor by contract, We want the protection of a contract when repairs are done on our homes. When my union leaders messed up. I ran for office (and won) then I filed state charges on a few bad apples. Most the union leaders I know are overworked and underpaid. It's ironic, in the church I hear non-members repeat false statements about my religion; In my church I often hear members repeat false statements about my union.
My religion helped me the most to be a better dad. Driving the truck- JUST a job.

Ogden, UT

I grew up in the mid-west and had both my parents my whole life. Even though my dad was a workaholic, he was there. I didn't have an active father figure, in my dad out playing ball with me, or taking me hunting. It was actually my mom who taught me to fish. My twin sister and I were adopted when we were 5 days old, and to be honest, we never fully fit in with the family. I have been married for 40 years, I was there for my children, at their games and school activities. I was active in their lives, and I'm active in my grandchildren's lives as well. I'm on the Young Men's Presidency at church and work with the younger boys. It's interesting teaching them as I'm visually impaired, but I'm showing them a good example and that if they need to come to me for advice or guidance, I will be there for them.

Osawatomie, KS

One of the keys is not just a FATHER--but a STABLE father.

I have a relative who came from a very unstable family. This person has made some CRUCIAL decisions to avoid many pitfalls discussed in this article. But because of the instability of this person's background, one of the greatest difficulties for him (and his family) has been dealing with his lack of understanding of how families work--stable families. Things like NOT making numerous moves throughout children's lives, being careful of extended family members (even protecting children from those whom are not nice or safe), and understanding those "unwritten" rules for immediate and extended family members. This person never had the example of a father to teach things like putting one's self after one's children. BUT--even families whom have fathers do not mean "stability" is actually happening. A father does not teach impulse control who does not display it. A father does not teach a child confidence, when he constantly screams or puts down a child. There is FAR more to it than just having a "father" around.

Paris, 00

Whoes fault is it i wonder ?

And please don t blame it all on women ? that is so lame

West Valley City, UT

I have heard many "experts" or public social workers swear that "anyone can love a kid like a bio-parent." This article seems to say different. The simple matter is that "magic" occurs when a father knows a little bundle of joy came from him. Stats show that it is much easier for a father to sacrifice for his own children. The children know they came from him and from their mother as well. We need to call out these social workers, common in our grammar schools and in state agencies that work against bio fathers, break our constitutional rights by "interviewing our child" without our knowledge to dredge up something against the father. Slow them down, task them and hold them accountable in support roles for Dads. No one knows the harm they often do until they experience it for themselves. These agencies need to be transparent to the public. They do much of their work in secret citing a need to "protect" the minor. That is an open ended invitation to do whatever they want. Withhold names, but not actions.

west jordan , UT


I will blame men also in this area. I can speak from a childs point of view having grown up in a single parent home. I am glad my parents did not stay together, my father was very controling and still thinks he is smartest person to walk the plant. One example is he did not believe I should go on an LDS mission because he said I was not smart enough, yet I am one of only two of his eight kids to finish college. With a father like that I am glad he was not around, but at the same time I did see the positive of good fathers from my friends. I would watch these fathers and how they were with them, I longed to have that sort of relationship. I am a father now and I make mistakes, but my children know I love them and am doing the best. As a results my kids are not dealing with near as drama as I did and are just being normal good kids and doing well in school. I would like to think my and my wifes efforts have something to do with that.

Cedar City, UT

Real Dads stay with their children, Sperm Donors leave them.

Pleasant Grove, UT

If we're as concerned about the well-being of children as we claim to be, perhaps it's time to stop fussing about same-sex marriages -- where the most recent studies indicate that the kids do just fine -- and put our focus on solving the problem of single-parent homes. Like teenage pregnancy, growing up in a single-parent home would appear to be a quick path to permanent poverty and delinquent behavior for the children involved.

I have no idea what the solution is, or even if there is a solution, but it certainly warrants some careful study and effort to change the direction in which many of us are going.

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