Editorial identifies the key cause of our social problems.
(Skim past the opening religious stuff and you’ll get to some telling insights.)
The “Fathering Our City” report, written by Warwick Pudney and commissioned by Te Korowai Manaaki – Great Start Waitakere and Violence Free Waitakere, was released at the Waitakere City Fathering Hui on May 16.
The key finding of the report is that our major problem with parenting is absenteeism.
Among other things it concludes that: “For both boys and girls, love and dependency can become confused without a father; fatherless males are five times more likely to [commit] suicide; under-fathered girls are more likely to become pregnant; the under-fathered child is more likely to use drugs; fatherless boys are 20 times more likely to end up in prison and fatherless boys are nine times more likely to drop out of high school.”
In short, the problem isn’t how we’ve been parenting but whether or not we’ve been parenting at all.
Absenteeism is rife amongst parents – and fathers in particular – and the cure, surely, is not to penalise those who are staying in the game, even if they are doing the job badly.