The Need for a Mentor
Everywhere you look today there are broken families. This includes broken mothers, broken fathers and yes broken children. There are many reasons that families don’t remain together today and I don’t think that any family began with a break-up in mind. It happens and we to often take it blindly that it’s normal. It may be common place but it’s not normal.
According to an article by NPR dated June 18, 2017,“there are 24.7 million kids in the U.S. that don’t live with a biological father.” That’s not to say that all fathers are the ideal family maker, sometimes their not. With this in mind, I believe more fathers need to learn how to be better fathers. Our modern day and time often asks that the Father or even the Mother work long hours and be away from the dinner table more often than not. When one of the parents is not available, the children lose a huge portion of guidance and direction and then set the example for their own children that this is the way it should be.
This same NPR report also says that children are 4 more times likely to be poor if the Father is not around. It goes on to say that Fatherless kids are also twice as likely to drop out of school.
The facts state that 7 out of 10 high school drop outs are fatherless.
Why all this talk about the Father? It’s because most of the time when a family breaks, it is the father that leaves. The mother is looked at as the natural caretaker and while most everyone agrees with this, it is unfair to the family as a whole. Anytime the family splits apart it affects everyone. Our goal should be to keep the family together.
Is this to say that families should stay together when for instance the father is abusive or addicted or maybe the mother has her own issues and the family feels the need to part their ways. Overall, at least 50% of couples will remain together if they get counseling and as they grow older together they learn to deal with each others differences. Does this mean they should suffer together until they get over it. Not really, couples that have children have made a commitment to them morally and they should try all that they can in order to remain together. They have to remember why they connected in the first place or were married. I am a huge believer in marriage rather than living together because it is a commitment of the heart.
If we as a people don’t have morals then we will see a decline in every aspect of our humanity.
So as not to digress as to what this writing is about, we need to focus on the need for mentor ship for our children and young adults. This mentor ship is from both parents but this article will address the need for a Father Mentor or a Male Mentor.
On the website Fatherhood.org there is an article that is interestingly similar to the need for mentor ship in elephants. It was in Kruger National Park in South Africa where an entire herd of elephants was being transplanted to a different area due to the numbers of elephants in the environment. The harnesses that were being used to airlift the animals would not lift the large male elephants and only the young females and small elephants could be transported by helicopter. After they elephants were relocated, the young male elephants began to show unelephant like behavior. They began to terrorize other animals, even goring their neighboring rhinos to death. The female elephants could not control the young males and had no influence over them. Older male elephants were brought in and they immediately began to mentor the young elephants. It appeared that without that father figure in their lives they would allow a gang type mentality to rule their attitudes.
In this story about the elephants, it was a human oversight or mistake that left the father out of the program. When the mentor elephants were brought back in to the family, it created a normal atmosphere and one with discipline and leadership. The same goes for our human families that have been separated for whatever reason.
I work in a prison and the remarks that I hear concerning families is heartbreaking. There was one inmate in our kitchen that always did a great job and I often bragged on him. He told me one day how much he appreciated me letting him know that he had done well and he said, “I never got that from home.” He went on to tell me that they only words he received from his father were words of hate and anger. He said that type of role model is what landed him in prison. He thought it was normal to hit and use violence against someone for not getting your way. Who failed this young man? Was it his father or was it society as a whole? Have we neglected our moral responsibility to teach fathers how to be mentors? Was it a family issue that was handed down from generation to generation?
We as a society have to take the responsibility for some things. How do we remove hate and anger from our speech? How do we show our children that we need to express respect and honor? How do we bring back the golden rule in treating others the way that we want to be treated?
This is the Goal!! This should be our purpose!!!
Become involved in a Mentoring program in your area.