If an alien race were to do a study of certain households they would think that men are optional or even non-existent (beyond sperm donation or the occasional “boyfriend”). With the increase in single motherhood (which is also father absenteeism), divorce, and other cultural factors, men are becoming rare in the family life of many kids.
But it’s not just the men who shirk their family leadership duties that are the problem. A good number of men are also abandoning any sense of leadership in the community. They prefer living with their parents, playing video games all day, and prefer online p0rn to being independent, pursuing their own career path, and getting real dates.
I don’t want this post to sound too critical of men who aren’t living up to their potential. This isn’t meant as a “men need to step it up” type rant. As a libertarian I’m not going to tell others how to live their lives. Not only that, but society is in many ways creating underachieving men (feminized educational system, gutting of the US manufacturing base, mocking manliness in popular culture, etc.).
However, as we focus on Father’s Day, it’s clear that fathers are very important to the raising of children. Studies have shown over and over again that children without fathers in their lives are more prone to a host of negative behaviors and outcomes. And, it’s not just a single mother issue. It’s also two parent families where the fathers are absent for one reason or another.
I’m also hear to argue that children need real men in their lives. I’m not talking about brash, macho jerks. I mean boys and girls need fathers who are the alpha male providers and protectors. They need dads who are confident, attractive (in the broad sense), and assertive.
Children need fathers who can teach them about life, show them how to be successful, and stand up for them. They need fathers who can tell them the truth and keep them in line while still loving them. Girls need men who can show them the model of manhood to avoid the dangerous jerks out there. Boys need to see a confident, strong leader who attract others to his side (and do it later in life).
Sadly, lots of children see none of this. While mothers are essential and teach their children valuable skills, they can’t replace a man. As studies have shown, the father matters. Not a mother acting as a father, but an actual father. And, given the results of the studies, it’s clear to me it means a present, active father.
So, if children need real men, then be a man. I’m not going to get into some big macho discussion. A real man is an alpha provider and protector. He takes the lead in his family and the rest of the community. He’s strong and confident, but also kind and generous. Be this and let these values show in raising your kids and you’ll be a good father.