Dads are vital to education

Published 9:26 pm Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The role of a father has always been to care for, love and provide for their children.

But the relationship between a father and his child is more than a social construct.

If you, as I do, believe that man was made in the image of God, that relationship is a sacred one. Our relationship with our earthly fathers should mirror our relationship with our heavenly Father.

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I’m not sure what societal mishap occurred that has allowed fathers to avoid taking an active role in their children’s lives and think there should be no consequences. Despite what societal practice would imply, the absence of a father in a child’s life leaves lasting effects.

Having an absentee father, myself, I can speak firsthand to the fact that a father who leaves his child deeply affects how a child views herself. Having an absentee father can cause a child to ask, “If the one person who is supposed to be responsible for me and sacrifice for me doesn’t deem me worthy, what am I worth?”

Even if a child can understand that he is not the reason his father is absent, causing that child to question his self-worth can have a ripple effect through his life.

Low self esteem can affect a child’s ability to perform academically, form healthy friendships and romantic relationships and can stir up a lifetime of anger and resentment.

Those effects aren’t limited to the physical absence of a father.

They include fathers who are preoccupied with work or their own pleasures. A father who is mentally checked-out can be just as damaging to a child.

The Y2K Academy is a local organization that works to help facilitate the relationship between children and their fathers.

As the first days of school are quickly approaching, it’s planning an event that will help teach families the importance of father participation and provide a 10-point covenant for fathers.

The document is a “to-do” list that gives dads a starting point for how to be active in their children’s educations.

It includes recommendations like packing a special lunch for your child and taking them to school.

The point that dads should take home is that it’s not enough to only have a mom who is encouraging a child’s academic performance.

A child’s relationship with his father has a different purpose than the relationship with Mom, as a father can help enforce and encourage a child’s goals in a much more effective way than a mother can — just like a mother does a better job at nurturing and caring for a child.

If the community is worried about its dropout rate, which is tied to violence and poverty, it might be a good time to take a look at its homes.