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The world of parenting has changed dramatically since the 1960's for better and for worse. Letís look at the good news ; fathers are more engaged with their children then ever before. They are stepping up and sharing with their spouses parental leaves sharing the child rearing duties that were once reserved only for the mothers. The bad news is that more children are growing up fatherless.

The evidence is conclusive. The kids from two- parent families do better on every measure then kids from fatherless households. And like it or not, children whose parents are married do better then those whose folks cohabit. If parents are looking for stability to raise their children and not merely a partnership they should consider marriage.

Children who have fathers in the home are less likely to drop out of school or abuse drugs; are more likely to stay out of trouble with the law and less likely to have children out of wedlock.

Children in father-absent homes are four times as likely to grow up poor. That means the mothers are poor too. Fatherless children are at much greater risk for drug/alcohol abuse. Children in a single-parent families are also twice as likely to commit suicide.

The failure of the family widens the social and economic divide. The best social factor is to have a father/mother. Face the facts: Two parent families have more parenting resources to invest in their childrenís lives.

Good fathers can do things that mothers canít . They model how to be a man. For the most part elementary/secondary schools have few, sometimes, no male teachers on staff. Men show by example, how a man and women should treat each other.

Men teach their sons about male fortitude, tenderness and compassion. They teach their daughters how they should be treated by other men.

I have found in my practice that when young women choose "Mr Perfect", as their future want-to be husbands they most often paint a picture of their fatherís attributes.

Having a father in the home to-day is increasingly a class privilege. The rich get richer and the poor tend to have more children. The less affluent the household, the less likely that a father is in residence. Young women from more caring homes tend to go to university/college, graduate and have more career opportunities then those who have only a high school diploma. It takes a lot of hard work/ financial resources on the part of two parents to provide help for their children.

Educated women tend to marry later in life, make wiser choices of their husbands; are family/career orientated and have fewer children.

According to Stats Canada 2016 we have 20% of all children who live in a lone-parent home. 79% of children age 10-14 live with their mothers compared to only 20% who live with their fathers.

The larger percentages may be related to the higher instability among common law relationships with 81% of the children being raised solely by their mothers.

Culture differences in Canada indicates that our most recent immigrants are less likely to have a child out-of-wedlock or to get divorced.

Recently I counseled a young- pregnant women, "Mary" who was not married with only a high school education with little or no chance at a decent future for herself or her unborn child. She asked me what I thought of her future? When I told her the word, "POOR" she told me to write it down: "she was not going to be poor."

Mary had her baby; enrolled as mature student at Kingís University College and now has a degree in Social work. She wisely completed the triangle with a nice young hard working caring husband who now live in Dorchester.

Len Lesser is an education/career counselor in Dorchester, Ont.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com