KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

Markovich: Fatherhood can’t be a part-time job

Jun 18, 2024, 11:23 AM | Updated: 3:16 pm

Being a father means being there everyday. (Getty Images)...

Being a father means being there everyday. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

We just had Father’s Day – the time to celebrate the role of fathers – whether it’s traditional fatherhood or non-traditional.

I recently became a first-time grandfather and love it. But I was alerted to the fact of some striking statistics coming from the U.S. Census.

There are approximately 18.3 million children across America who live without a father in the home. That’s about 1 in 4 children. Fatherless families are four times more likely to raise children in poverty and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 84% of homeless families are headed by women.

Data from the founder of Mind Positive Parenting says the average school-age boy only spends 30 minutes a week in a one-on-one conversation with their father when dad’s at home – compared to 30 hours a week on video games, TV, and the internet – 60 hours if they’re a teenager.

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The Department of Justice said 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes, and 85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders are from fatherless homes. With all that grim news – you may be asking yourself, “Matt, what’s the point?”

Jimmy Buffett referred to getting a tattoo as a permanent reminder of a temporary feeling. I think that holds true for some having kids.

So, fathers out there (biological, foster, adopting, non-binary, gay, or other non-traditional means), it really doesn’t matter if you are a father to a child. If you want respect, have respect for the life you are responsible for raising in this world.

We honored Father’s Day for the role dads play in a family circle and a child’s life. We don’t need more fathers believing that temporary feelings mean I can also be a temporary father when it fits me.

The stats are ugly and startling enough without more fathers shirking their responsibilities of what a father’s day is all about.

Matt Markovich often covers the state legislature and public policy for KIRO Newsradio. You can read more of Matt Markovich’s stories here. Follow Matt on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email him here.

KIRO Newsradio Opinion

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Markovich: Fatherhood can’t be a part-time job