Thursday, May 28, 2009

John and Kate Plus Disaster for Children

I never watched John and Kate Plus Eight and probably never will, but I find this whole situation so terrible for one reason - actually eight reasons - their children. Their parents' ugly marital situation is being exploited in the press, the Discovery Channel seems to be using the discord to drum up ratings for the upcoming season, and all of us mature adults will be able to handle all of this just fine. But what about the kids? How will they see their own value as human beings when they reflect on how their broken/breaking family is nothing more than a source of entertainment for the masses? How involved will their father continue to be if their parents get divorced?

It is all just ugly and very few seem to measure the impact of such things on the children involved, because, again, we, as mature adults, are fully capable of processing these kinds of situations ...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Povich, etc.

An opinion piece from the Rochester New York Democrat and Chronicle touches on a Detroit judge's decision to sentence delinquent fathers to watch the Maury Povich show's paternity "episodes". The essay's closing sentence sums up this disconcerting problem well:

"But the real problem is not the 'Maury' show asking 'Who's Your Daddy?' The real problem is that too many kids don't know the answer."

The even sadder reality is that 1 out of 3 kids growing up in the U.S. don't have an involved, responsible, and committed father in their life. That fact deserves attention and action from our culture. Perhaps all of us, not just the dads we term "deadbeat," should be forced to watch Maury's show for a while?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Michael Vick's Father

As news comes out today about Michael Vick's release from prison, I am reminded of some of the fatherhood angles that surfaced when Vick was first indicted in the dog fighting scandal.

Vick's father,
Michael Boddie, is "estranged" from him and his mother. It is hard coming by specifics about what exactly that means or what happened. Vick's parents were married at one point, but something happened that caused a rift in this family.

Vick's father has asked him for money over the past several years, and Vick has apparently refused, only giving him enough to pay his rent. There is something going on there ...

I can't help but think that Vick's issues with his father are connected to his issues with the law, with his cruelty to animals, etc. It may sound like a stretch, but when that central relationship in your life is torn, it can do a lot of damage to your soul and your psyche.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Thoughtful article on new daddying

This article on (from Parenting magazine) is a pretty thoughtful piece on the trials and rewards of becoming a father. It really seems to cover all the bases in terms of the emotional roller coaster that new dads go through that is different from what moms go through.

I also noticed that all of the experts quoted are guys who wrote books -- we need to write a book!

Monday, May 18, 2009

What is the deal with cohabitation, really?

The picture painted in the first ¾ of a May 25 Time article on cohabitation does not match the reality on the ground that is presented in the last ¼ of the article. I know Time is trying to write juicy news, but it seems, based on the facts presented towards the end (mainly, that after 5 years, cohabiting couples are no more, due to either marriage or breaking up), that Time is trying to make the exception look like the rule.

The rule is that couples who live together eventually break up (don’t commit) or get married (commit). The exception is a cohabiting couple staying together for the long term and who don’t see marriage as a vehicle to express commitment; there are simply very few couples like this.

Much ado about nothing? It looks like Time’s story, when you unpack it, is not really much of a story … And all of this says nothing of child well-being … Since cohabiting couples do not last very long, the children they produce eventually end up living in father-absent homes, which we know are, on average,
not great for kids.