Fatherless America? A third of children now live without their dad

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  • county mom Monroe, UT
    July 30, 2012 10:16 a.m.

    This is a massive tragidy for our country and our children. Children need 2 parents.

  • Hyder Pete Hyder, AK
    July 29, 2012 8:54 p.m.

    To Mr. Mike DeBoer I have to say did you really lay in bed at night as a child and wonder why your father left YOU? My parents divorced before I was old enough to remember. I never once felt sorry for myself not having a dad at home.

    There were times I wondered what my father was like, and I too met him twice in my life; once when I was 13 and again when he was 60.

    When I was growing up I ran into many examples of poor fathers. Lots of my friends had miserable fathers. I felt blessed to not have their problems.

    I grew up in SLC with the worlds greatest mother and grandmother through all my formative years. I didn't feel short changed at all. I'm 58 now and never felt bad about not knowing my father better. My mother and grandmother gave me a wonderful and very well rounded upbringing.

    Maybe Mike could focus more on his blessings instead of feeling so sad and short changed because his father wasn't in the picture. His father might have had reasons to think this best too. Justin saying.

  • just-a-fan Bountiful, UT
    July 29, 2012 6:09 p.m.

    while most mothers are wonderful and deserve great praise, many help cause this problem. Like myself, my ex-wife decided 15 years ago she just didn't want to be married. There was no abuse, cheating, etc. Things were not perfect, but nothing that would have caused me to leave her. The state and the church completely supported her decision and she was removed our kids from my life. It remains a painful experience even now. I have tried to be in their lives and we seem to have survived. I hope women will understand that we as fathers are extremely important to the lives of our children. Please understand again, most mthers are awesome.

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    July 29, 2012 2:31 p.m.

    (cont’d) Civic and religious leaders in Chicago today are unwilling to publicly acknowledge that the breakdown of the nuclear Black family is to blame for today’s murder rates; that no fathers in the homes is to blame for the off-the-chart numbers of young men joining gangs there. Or the sad truth that single mothers (whether employed full-time or at home) often cannot control the behavior of their young males. And when there are zero uncles, granddads or other responsible role-modeling men in a person’s life, there IS no hope.

    Please, let’s not pretend that mothers OR fathers are disposable. Both are necessary for the health and well-being of a child and of society. Our legislators created this mess. What do they intend to do to fix it??

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    July 29, 2012 2:30 p.m.

    Perhaps you are unaware of the reports that more people have been killed in Chicago this year than in Afghanistan; killed by gunfire, a couple dozen every single weekend. All of this is Black-on-Black crime on that city’s south and west sides.

    “What could possibly be causing this?” all wonder aloud, as all seek to ignore the elephant in the room. The illegitimate birth rate (babies born to single, unmarried women) among Blacks today is 72%. In 1960 this rate was 22%. This was before our federal government decided to anoint itself “father” and “provider” to poor Black families, and to ultimately heap destruction upon this group. Meanwhile, nobody has been willing to acknowledge what economists call “The law of unintended consequences”, “an adage or idiomatic warning that an intervention in a complex system tends to create unanticipated and often undesirable outcomes.”

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 29, 2012 1:12 p.m.

    If so called fathers are slipping out so as not to be seen living with the family so they can get welfare, it isn't the welfare systems' fault. It's the so called parents in this family making deliberate decisions to defraud the system rather than support themselves and their children. They're lazy, self entitled, under motivated, and irresponsible, and they got that way long before they got on the welfare train.

  • timpClimber Provo, UT
    July 29, 2012 11:22 a.m.

    Every divorce is different but they all have common elements such as I always wondered as a child if I was partially to blame. Fortunately I had my mother's brothers (all good strong family men) who included me in work, play and correction. There were also great LDS priesthood holders who made sure I was included in every activity. Fortunately when my mother remarried (when I was 14) it was to a man who was happy to be a dad to a teenage son. My biological father never really grew up but I'm grateful for all the part time dads who nurtured me. As a teacher for 40 years I've observed that most fatherless kids don't have this kind of support system. Their absent fathers are too busy to spend time or money on them.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 28, 2012 4:39 p.m.

    Re: non believer PARK CITY, UT
    "Sounds like traditional marriage is not such a wonderful thing afterall!"

    Those of us who have put in the effort required to make our marriages successful know otherwise. Those who have never experienced the joys associated with gtraditional marriages have now way to judge. How can those who have never enjoyed a perfectly grilled filet mignon judge whether they are good or bad?

  • TheWalker Saratoga Springs, UT
    July 28, 2012 12:04 p.m.

    Half of all marriages end in divorce, and 90% of the time the children stay with the mother, and (if he's lucky) the father sees them every other weekend.

    There is no indication that fathers are any less able to be single parents for their children, and there is significant evidence that they are actually more able. Nor is there any evidence that fathers love their children any less than do their mothers.

    In my case, I eventually won custody of our children, but it took 4 years and $30,000 dollars. However, the damage that was done during those years will last for generations.

    The discrimination against men in divorce court is nothing short of horrific, and as this article notes, we are seeing the results of locking fathers out of their children's lives in rising juvenile delinquency, teen pregnancies and suicides.

    I look forward to the day when men are treated as equal citizens in the eyes of the law.

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    July 28, 2012 9:11 a.m.

    To say divorce is the problem is sort of right. But for a dad to have the most contact with his kids, logicly he should never get married. Most kids are not even born into a marriage. It seems to me that fathers that never wed the mother start out with more rights than the guy that wed and went through a divorce and then spend 10's of thousands of dollars just to get equal parenting rights.

    If a never wed guy shows up, pays child support and wants to see his kid he's a hero. A divorced Dad just gets kicked all the way down the divorce court.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    July 28, 2012 8:53 a.m.

    Excellent article. Living together is a terrible idea. It does NOT improve the chances of a good marriage. It is terrible on the children. It's great for the casual Dad and a disaster for the naive mother.

    Living together, gay "parents" are all about "me" and have no regard for the children.

    Children need a stable home with a Father (male) and a Mother (female) who are determined to overcome their differences, sacrifice themselves for their families, love each other and spend time with their children. How many more statistical studies are needed to conclude the obvious? Anything less than this produces more crime, more entropic ills, more mental health problems, and a lesser society. That's just a fact.

    Wishing it wasn't so is a fairy tale not worthy of being retold.

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    July 28, 2012 7:21 a.m.

    A lot of women treat men terribly really. It's considered funny on TV and movies to make fun of and derate men. And it happens in the home even worse - of course they leave.

    It's not about women being submissive - it's about having the same respect for men that women expect to recieve. There's really nothing worse you can do to a man than make him feel small in front of his children and others around him. Duh.

    Men that stick around are just the ones that can put up with being submissive to women.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    July 28, 2012 6:26 a.m.

    Furthermore, our society, economy, and courts and so called child advocates are the root cause of absent fathers. How do we measure and establish that children are fatherless? Child advocates (CWFS) measures parental or father influence by the dollar participation, the more dollars passing through the CWFS to take its 25% percent tithing. The tithing is justified in courts to the CWFS telling parents 75% of some is better than 100% of everything.

    How children live and cope with divorce and single parent depends on how they are indoctrinated, taught, and molded by a society that has no business interfering with their lives.

    My children were never exposed to negative parental information except at school and I found that an offensive role for schools and education. I tried to keep a neutralized attitude and home life but the schools just put hate in their lives.

    Now I know why education isolates children from their parents, controlled indoctrination. It also make sense now why schools would never make an honest attempt to keep me informed of problems in education, the schools, or social behavior. Not in 23 years of contact or Parent Teacher conference did anyone ever answer my parental rights.

  • non believer PARK CITY, UT
    July 27, 2012 9:03 a.m.

    So how is traditional marriage and the traditional family a success? A third of the Father's are absent in these relationships...... Sounds like traditional marriage is not such a wonderful thing afterall!

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    July 26, 2012 10:24 p.m.

    I read as much of this article as I could stomach; because of this I may be missing something of the argumentation but I think I got the gist. My reaction was: another article by a woman blaming men for being absent in their childs' lives. Many of the comments show this.

    Most men are not criminals.

    Most divorces are initiated by women and, in my opinon, a great many divorces are frivolous or could have been saved by parents.

    I see over and again the lack of discipline in homes without fathers, and the working mothers and their surrogate baby sitters where Dad is not in the home, usually bacause of divorce. The disastrous effect of permissive single mothers, and divorced mothers who cannot control their children or say "no" to their children.

    Did you know that many children are born to unmarried parents but the mother has refused to marry the father even when he wants to marry them?

    Even some married mothers, who see Dad's role merely being to bring home the goodies, virtually banish Dad from the house, so he can work late and buy that bigger home, new car, van, third bathroom etc.

  • basket case South Jordan, UT
    July 26, 2012 4:50 p.m.

    I blame a lot of this on Hollywood and feminism. The message is, women can have it all without a husband and a father in the home. I seen sitcoms on t.v that mock the dad and a fathers role in the home, like it's a joke. I read an article in the DesNews not too long ago about boys not doing as well in school as girls, they're falling behind. I see a trend where men and boys in general are being undermined in society as a whole, even replaced ( gay marriage) and as a married mother with a teenaged son, it infuriates me.

  • Gary Federal Way, WA
    May 26, 2011 8:54 a.m.


    The DV charge WAS dismissed. That was the agreement after passing the probation period of no further incidents that it be dismissed. After having it dismissed, I asked my lawyer about getting any rights back such as custody? She said it was difficult to do, would require experts, and cost at least $15K to pursue and no guarantees I'd win anything. Still thinking whether to pursue or not.

    In 2006, the mother filed for a PO and divorce at the same time after she ended up in jail for seriously assaulting me. She had her charges dismissed blaming me for being the cause of it. She was an angry woman in need of help. At this hearing for divorce, she also asked to take my son away from me completely with no rights at all as a father. The judge thankfully said absolutely not!

    She continues to have 100% custodial rights in religion, education, non-emergency. She even plans not allowing me to baptize him at the age of 8 a year from now.

    As you see, even with the DV charges dismissed, there is still no recourse for me to take. The system definitely needs fixing!

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 23, 2011 9:53 p.m.

    @ 22ozn44ozglass:

    Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health at the AAP. American Academy of Pediatrics. Feb. 4. 2002.

    Marriage of Same-Sex Couples 2006 Position Statement Canadian Psychological Association

    How Does the Gender of Parents Matter? Timothy J. Biblarz1,*, Judith Stacey2. Journal of Marriage and Family, Volume 72, Issue 1, pages 322, February 2010. Article first published online: 20 JAN 2010.


    The last one listed is probably the most comprehensive and it addresses many of the arguments raised against previous studies.

    I cannot provide the actual links, but there should be enough information there for you to find the studies.

    If, as you argue, there is not enough evidence because there has not been enough time to prove that there is no harm, there is likewise not enough data to prove there is harm.

    And if the difference is wealth, then the difference is wealth - not the gender of the parents.

  • 22ozn44ozglass Southern Utah, UT
    May 23, 2011 9:02 p.m.

    Kalindra & Truthseeker:

    "studies indicate that it is the presence of two parents in the home that leads to a better outcome for the kids - the gender of those parents does not matter"

    I hear this from so many gays & SSM advocates, but repeatedly they faile to list specific refrences to all these mountain of studies that "overwhelmingly" and infallibly support thier position. Futhermore, when gays and SSM advocates cite a study, 9 times out of 10 they have never actually read the study.

    Then there are a few more questions that the SSM advocates routinely refuse to address. First who paid for the study? Second, are the researchers zealous advocates for an issue such as SSM and therefore lack objectivity? Third, given the fact that most SSM/gay couples who adopt are more educated and affluent and able to afford child better child care options, does the the sample of children raised in SS couples sqew the results because the sample is not not an accurate and random sample representation of the overall parent population. Fourth, until there are many objecive honest long term studies examining long term outcomes, this matter is still very much up to question.

  • 22ozn44ozglass Southern Utah, UT
    May 23, 2011 8:18 p.m.


    A few things in your post are a bit unclear.

    .."she also tried to take away all father rights from me"

    Not unless, WA law is drastically different than UT law, the only way this could happen is by trial. Was there ever a Termination of Parental Rights trial date/hearing set up? If not, you parental rights were never in jeopardy. Custodial rights are another matter.

    "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"

    Did you have a conviction for a DV related charge? Were the charges dropped? Or did you have your record expunged?

    "did I get my father rights back? Noooo"

    Are you referring to custody and visitation or your actual parental rights? If custody and visitation, did you have a hearing to review these matters and take advantage of your right to due process?

    There are a few things that just dont add up. If you were convicted of DV charges, you are going to have an uphill battle in trying to prevail in custody and visitation matters. Either way I hope you were treated fairly in Court.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 23, 2011 7:37 p.m.

    @ Rifleman: There are proven fundamental differences in the ways SOME men think when compared to the way SOME women think - it is not an absolute.

    And yes, little Suzie will notice when other little girls have daddies that attend the school play - and some other little girls don't. And sometimes that is because daddy is at work, and sometimes that is because mommy and daddy are divorced, and sometimes it is because mommy and daddy were never married, and sometimes it is because, like little Suzie, those other little girls have 2 mommies (or maybe they have 2 daddies).

    And maybe little Suzie is capable of understanding that situation and is not bothered by it - maybe she is happy and content because she is loved and taken care of.

    There are a great many family situations out there - the "ideal" is debatable (and your posited ideal happens to be very rare).

    Situations have changed a lot in 20 years - including what makes a family. The evidence says little Suzie will be just fine as long as she has parents that love her and are involved.

  • MrsH Altamont, UT
    May 23, 2011 1:55 p.m.

    Good article, but kinda' hard to read with tears in your eyes!

    Keep up the good work, Mr. DeBoer. I can tell by the photos how much your little boy loves you. And he will grow up knowing how to be a good dad, too.
    You two are very blessed to have each other!

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    May 23, 2011 11:34 a.m.

    The court systems need to step up and enforce a father's involvement, be that for the absent father as well as the father who wants to be in his children's lives. Courts need to be more generous in allowing fathers to have full physicial custody when they are a good father.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 23, 2011 10:47 a.m.

    Re: Kalindra | 9:39 a.m. May 23, 2011

    Based on the proven fundamental differences in the way men and women think it is beneficial for children to be born in traditional families where they can be reared as nature intended. Little Suzie may not say anything but she notices that all the other girls have fathers that attend her school play.

    Of course in today's society the mother may never know who the father of her children is. How sad.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 23, 2011 9:41 a.m.

    @ PeppeRiviera2012: "A persons testimony about their own parents would hardly be scientific evidence, due to the inherit bias and subjectivity."

    And yet, that is exactly what the study mentioned in the article is based on.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 23, 2011 9:39 a.m.

    Not to undermine the importance of fathers, reputable studies indicate that it is the presence of two parents in the home that leads to a better outcome for the kids - the gender of those parents does not matter.

    And yes, married parents are better which is why gay marriage should be allowed. I mean, let's face it - same-sex couples are having children. If we are truly concerned about the welfare of those children, we need to allow the couple to be married.

  • PeppeRiviera2012 Layton, UT
    May 23, 2011 9:35 a.m.

    @Truthseeker - Which overwhelming research are you referring to? I have yet to find any research that concludes what you have suggested, which did not have major flaws, e.g. lack of a real control group, unbiased participation in survey, etc.

    Proof of this is in your example. A persons testimony about their own parents would hardly be scientific evidence, due to the inherit bias and subjectivity. It's obvious that this individual started with a conclusion, and then applied that conclusion to the evidence, thereby contaminating the evidence with bias. That is not science, it is activism. It is only through actual professional and responsible research that true conclusions can be made, and unfortunately, that research is mostly non-existent, and the research that has been correctly completed has shown no definitive answers one way or another.

  • jenrmc Fort Worth, TX
    May 23, 2011 9:28 a.m.

    Reserving sexual intimacy before marriage doesn't automatically guarantee a happy home nor does sexual promiscuity equal single parent homes. What guarantees this is guidance on how to be good marriage partners, regardless of what type of marriage (hetrosexual or homosexual). Our most important responsibility as a society is taking an interest in those around us and trying to be an example of how to treat others. I believe that if people looked outside of themselves more the world would have fewer problems. I believe if people could show a more Christlike love for others the fatherless rate would decrease. This would either be from fathers becoming more involved or other males taking a responsibility to be good role models in the fatherless child's life. The best prevention is a good example and support when it happens.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    May 23, 2011 9:11 a.m.

    "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."

    Sorry, overwhelmingly research reveals children raised in 2 parent, same-sex households, fare as well as those raised in traditional settings.

    Zach Wahls, a 19 yo Univ of Iowa engineering student testified before the Congress in Iowa (his testimony can be seen on YouTube):
    "In my 19 years, not once have I ever been confronted by an individual who realized independently that I was raised by a gay couple," said Wahls. "And you know why? Because the sexual orientation of my parents has had zero affect on the content of my character."

  • Roman K SLC, Utah
    May 23, 2011 8:58 a.m.

    Great article! Thank you!

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    May 23, 2011 8:49 a.m.

    I had the unpleasant experience of seeing how CPS (Child Protective Services)functions and I can say I am glad I don't have to worry about CPS getting involved in my life. It wouldn't be fair to judge the system as a whole because my experience was with just one situation but in this case CPS looks like a very corrupt organization. What I encountered were blatant lies by the social worker (and the father) in the report to the court, a CPS supervisor who ignored the lies when they were brought to his attention, a court-appointed attorney who didn't show up to mediation which led to the child being removed and an attorney who accepted money but did absolutely nothing for his client. Belatedly I discovered the social worker and stepmother/father were facebook "friends." The chaos continues in the life of this young child with the stepmother and father divorcing.

    The problem we should be addressing isn't abortion, but unplanned pregnancies and fractured families. The damage done can and does transfer from generation to generation.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    May 23, 2011 8:09 a.m.

    Much can be said of the damage that is done to fatherless families. May I suggest that this trend may have begun long before the father abandoned the suffering child. We must logically conclude that the moment there is a rift in the Godly Father and earthly child relationship, all maternal and paternal relationships are immediately placed in jeopardy for the lack of appreciation of duty and love. Selfish patterns are certainly difficult to mend.

  • jenrmc Fort Worth, TX
    May 23, 2011 7:36 a.m.

    I don't see many comments that deal with the possibility that the father could be a toxic influence on the children or that he could be using the court system against the mother. The fact of the matter is that a father is only an asset if he chooses to be one. If not then the children do better without him. I am not saying this is the case in even 20% of the time (even though I think it is personally) but it should be mentioned.

  • Gary Federal Way, WA
    May 22, 2011 11:48 p.m.

    To those comments regarding my comments, I say thanks. I do count my blessings and take it with a good patient heart knowing I'm at least lucky to getting a chance to get the time I can spend with my son. The judge wisely denied their request at first to taking 100% rights from me as a father. And yes I am being very patient, keeping civil about it and never speaking negatively of the mother in front of the child. It isn't the child's fault and if I tried that, it would just be confusing. No parent has the right to demean the other parent through a child.

    Today was his 7th birthday and he spent it with the people he loves very much. That makes it all the worthwhile. It is something he keeps talking about and will remember a long time. I would gladly see the child more if his mother would let him come and see how good it benefits the child.

    The system can be fixed if the right people with wisdom are allowed to do so. It seems this article is helping people see the light.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    May 22, 2011 10:58 p.m.

    How many problems could be greatly alleviated by strict chastity before marriage and absolute fidelity after marriage? Throw in a refusal to abuse drugs and there would be tremendous improvements in so many aspects of society.

    You can brush it all off and say it isn't realistic to suggest such but it is within the capability of each human being to so control themselves.

    If everyone would, society would be able to keep up with the situations where help was needed and truly deserved for the widow, the disabled, etc.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2011 6:57 p.m.

    So let me get this straight... some of you oppose the current system of welfare because a few cheat the system so you want to get rid of it. And what may I ask happens to those single mothers in situations where the system isn't being cheated by them?

    And then there's this...

    "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?"

    I'd rather not go to a day where husbands controlled the lives of their "submissive" wives.

    "But now we have femenists"

    As if there's something wrong with that..

  • phildog Murray, UT
    May 22, 2011 6:42 p.m.

    @SLC Grandma

    Of course an equal partnership is key. Being on the same loving grounds.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    May 22, 2011 5:27 p.m.

    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.

  • luv2organize Gainesville, VA
    May 22, 2011 5:20 p.m.

    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.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    May 22, 2011 5:01 p.m.

    "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.

  • just-a-fan Bountiful, UT
    May 22, 2011 3:41 p.m.

    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.

  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    May 22, 2011 2:11 p.m.

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

  • Willy tPS West Valley, UT
    May 22, 2011 1:30 p.m.

    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

  • Dektol Powell, OH
    May 22, 2011 12:56 p.m.

    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.

  • rj Moss, Norway
    May 22, 2011 12:52 p.m.

    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!

  • twoartistic Draper, UT
    May 22, 2011 12:48 p.m.


    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.

  • SLC Grandma Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2011 12:26 p.m.

    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.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    May 22, 2011 11:10 a.m.


    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.

  • phildog Murray, UT
    May 22, 2011 11:03 a.m.


    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.

  • Gary Federal Way, WA
    May 22, 2011 10:37 a.m.

    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.

  • Woodworker Highland, UT
    May 22, 2011 9:27 a.m.

    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.

  • twoartistic Draper, UT
    May 22, 2011 8:21 a.m.

    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.

  • silas brill Heber, UT
    May 22, 2011 7:36 a.m.

    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?

  • Ricardo Carvalho Provo, UT
    May 22, 2011 6:24 a.m.

    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!

  • JP71 Ogden, UT
    May 22, 2011 6:12 a.m.

    "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?

  • MyChildrensKeeper Kearns, UT
    May 22, 2011 4:38 a.m.

    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.

  • seer kaysville, ut
    May 22, 2011 12:55 a.m.

    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).