The Definition of Fatherless
There are many different definitions of fatherless but I think we can all agree that it basically means a father is not in his children’s life.
So I have a few questions for you; can a child be fatherless if his father is right down the block? Can a child be fatherless if his father doesn’t know he exists? Can a child be fatherless if her dad has a complete sex change?
These are just questions perhaps no one is talking about. We have to look at this problem from all angles if we want to finally be able to control it from continuing.
Why are so many people it?
The answer to this question is so complexed because there are so many ways a child becomes fatherless. In my case, when I was a child I had my mom's live-in boyfriend as the man of the house but I was still fatherless. I had no connection with my biological father until I was 37 years old.
Many of you can relate to my story but can you relate to these?
-some people become fatherless because their dads were fatherless
-some people become fatherless because their father wasn’t their father (think on that one)
-some people become fatherless because their fathers were already married
-some people become fatherless because their fathers were incarcerated and angry
-some people are fatherless because their fathers left before they were born
-Or some people are fatherless because their mom chose the wrong man to be their father
There are plenty of other variations of being fatherless and you may know some yourself that is different than the one I mentioned above.
But, seriously the reason so many people are fatherless is that there is not a large enough of our society who are angry enough to change this. There are good programs out there and I mentioned some of them in earlier blogs but other than that, we just do not see any commercials or marketing billboards or anything that could give a brighter light to this problem. It’s just not anything we believe highly about.
Why does it expire at age 17?
I know this seems like a crazy question but think about it. Being fatherless is a state of being yet it is the only one that doesn’t exist after you become an adult. You don’t believe me Google it?
Look up fatherless man or woman, or asks Google the question of “how many fatherless adults are there in America?” There will be no answer to this question because we are not considered fatherless once we become 18. We only count children as being fatherless and this is so strange to me.
The stats say we have nearly 24 million children who are fatherless children in America today. I think that number is extremely low in my opinion.
Let’s say a child is being raised by her mother alone with no father in sight and she just finished high school and on her way to college at the age of 18. Because she is 18 and considered an adult she can no longer be categorized as being fatherless.
It is strange because young adults (ages 18-24) make up a large percentage of the fatherless population in some areas in the U.S., but are not counted.
How is it that a person can claim to be depressed, sad, lonely for their entire life but can only claim to be fatherless as a child?
Everyone talks about being fatherless but they always talk in the past tense. Like at 35 years old you are not fatherless even though you are displaying all of the signs of a person who grew up without a father because you did.
Once we as a society get a grip on what fatherless really means and who is considered fatherless then maybe we can get a handle on this.
When did you first realize you were fatherless?
For me, I grew up with my first 5 siblings and we were all fatherless so I definitely didn’t realize it then. It took my time in the military for me to first realize that everyone’s family structure was not like mine.
I remember just hearing Soldier friends of mine talking about the fun they had with their dads or going to a game with him and then it hit me, I am fatherless. At the age of 18, I was on my way to Korea for my first duty station and I had no father to teach or help me with anything. The Army in a way became my father.
So, tell me when was the first time you realized you were fatherless? The answer to this question can open up a lot of doors for us. For instance by making sure we try to prevent our children from feeling that same feeling you felt at your age if it’s not too late.
Most of us will claim we don’t care about it anymore because that time has passed, but we don’t understand that we have already put our children in the same situation because we just didn't care about it.
What is your main reason for being fatherless?
In the second paragraph of this week’s blog I gave of my main reason for being fatherless and gave some other example that could’ve made you fatherless. If you would I’d like you to leave me a comment on your main reason for becoming fatherless so I can really get an understanding of how we are feeling as a society.
I know most of you will not want to put your true thoughts out there for the world to see so that’s why I created another platform so you can ask your question or leave your reply to this blog in a more private and secure setting.
That place is called questionsfromthefatherless.com and I created it because the fatherless doesn’t have anywhere to go to get help for the disappointments they are going through as a result of being fatherless.
Where do we go from here?
We can do nothing, like most of us are doing, or we can finally make a decision and do just a little bit now and hopefully, all of our little things will translate into something big.
First of all, we can’t help anyone if we need to help ourselves. If you go inside The Fatherless Store you can see some of the companies we've teamed up with to assist you. Everything here is private and you can still get the assistance you need.
Tell me, do you have a problem with depression? Inside, I have a free book that may be able to help you with yours.
What about drinking too much? We also have a section that you may be able to benefit from. Check out our “Help” section.
One more thing, have you done any great things in your life in spite of being fatherless? Well, here at The Fatherless Store you can be making a statement by letting the world know “on your shirt” what you have accomplished despite being fatherless. Check out the store here!