Children of Single Mothers Suffer from Poverty When Dad is Absent; Part 3 of 5

David Perdew
 


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It's no picnic for moms raising children in a home without a father, without the emotional or financial support. Seems like a big ol’ ‘Doh'!

But sometimes, our little minds just can't grasp the reality of a tragic situation — and believe me, this is tragic. Even in America, the richest nation on earth, mothers without fathers in the home suffer the most — far more than you ever thought.

Father's historical role in the family has been breadwinner. When he goes, so does the financial stability of the family in most cases. Immediately, the children of solo mothers (or children whose fathers are absent from the home where the mother is responsible for raising them) are plunged into poverty.

Research conducted in 1990 throughout all industrialized nations proved that children in solo-mother families are at greater risk of poverty. In places like Australia, Canada and the United States — the “more advanced nations" — more than 50% of children in solo-mother families are living below the ‘Luxembourg Income Study poverty line’.

Other countries implement government policies that do not diminish the effects but alleviate them to a certain extent. Denmark, Finland, and Sweden also have a high percentage of children in solo-mother families, yet fewer than 10% live below the poverty line.

The following table represents the percentage of children who are living below the poverty line, according to research conducted in 1990-1992.

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Percent of Children In Poverty

two parent family solo mother family

Sweden 2.2 5.2 Denmark 2.5 7.3 Finland 1.9 7.5 Belgium 3.2 10.0 Italy 9.5 13.9 Norway 1.9 18.4 Netherlands 3.1 39.5 Canada 7.4 50.2 Australia 7.7 56.2 United States 11.1 59.5

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On June 16, 1995 President Clinton requested every agency of the Federal government to review its programs and policies with the purpose of strengthening the role of fathers in families.

His heart was in the right place, but unfortunately, like most government initiatives, it lost momentum.

Fathering: The Man and The Family is the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) response to this directive.

Their guiding principles are:

* All fathers can be important contributors to the well-being of their children.

* Parents are partners in raising their children, even when they do not live in the same household.

* The roles fathers play in families are diverse and related to cultural and community norms.

* Men should receive the education and support necessary to prepare them for the responsibility of parenthood.

* Government can encourage and promote father involvement through its programs and through its own workforce policies.

These guidelines are great. Recognition, education, responsibility, encouragement and enforcement — great concepts. But. . .

It lacked genuine teeth. If the government focused on the protection of the rights of fathers in addition to those of the mother, more children would be able to benefit from the special relationship of ‘two’ parents who care for them and are actively involved in their lives, even when the two parents don't live together any longer.

And worse yet, radical father's rights groups have used the directive to ensure less paternal responsibility instead of ensuring greater child benefits.

As always, the voiceless children lost. What are we to do?

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David Perdew, author of “Bad Dad: 10 Keys to Regaining Trust, " is a father and former Bad Dad. Claim your free Special Report - Absentee Dads: A Child's Worst Nightmare! at => http://www.Bad-Dad.com/srad.htm

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Read personal stories of the search for inner peace in a not-so-peaceful world at => http://www.WorldWantingPeace.com/ar.htm

Everyone wants Peace. Today's a good day to start.

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