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Fathers disappear from households across America
Big increase in single mothers
Question of the Day
Mr. McManus is quick to blame the absence of fathers to deaths or incarcerations, though women point out that many absent fathers live around the corner. Mr. McManus attributes that to the young age of many parents who are not ready to be “tied down.” He said women who need help with their children will seek the companionship of other men who they think can be father figures.
Ms. Hawkins, the mother of three, lives with her youngest child’s father but considers herself a single parent.
“When he’s home, he’s watching TV; it’s his time. I get no help. Financially, he’s been a good provider,” she said, even for the children who aren’t his. But “as far as being involved in activities, not so much.”
Her relationship with her eldest child’s father ended over his refusal to support their offspring, and her second child’s father is in prison.
“My oldest was raised by both parents, so it’s just selfish,” she said, but “my middle one, he wasn’t raised by either parent, so he doesn’t know how.”
“We need more fatherhood initiatives,” she said, pointing to government- and nonprofit-funded programs at churches, prisons and community centers, such as those offered by Mr. DiCaro’s group, “so they can see what they’re missing.”
Just then, her daughter Nadya picked up a tree branch and strummed it like a guitar, jumping up and down, all smiles. Ms. Hawkins reconsidered her thoughts on government programs.
“Though to me, that’s the initiative right there,” she said. “You can talk till you’re blue in the face about how to do it, but ultimately, you just have to do it.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Luke Rosiak is a projects reporter on The Washington Times’ investigative team. He formerly covered lobbying and campaign finance for two watchdog groups as well as transportation for The Washington Post. Luke can be reached at email@example.com.
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