Dear Readers: Happy Father’s Day to all the men in our reading audience who have had the pleasures and responsibilities of raising children. This includes fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers and those who have stepped in as father figures for those who needed them. Bless you all. Having a caring father is not only one of life’s great joys, but fathers also are tremendously important to a child’s emotional, academic and moral development. Please take the time today to let yours know you are thinking of them.
Dear Annie: Fathers love their children as much as mothers do. After a divorce, fathers want to be a part of their children’s lives but can find it incredibly difficult when they are viewed as deadbeats and potential abusers. But it’s the children who lose when they are cut off from their fathers.
So to family court judges, law guardians, social workers: Please help the children. Don’t automatically believe everything you hear. You owe it to the children to investigate and let the father tell his side of the story.
And to all those mothers who think it’s a good idea to remove a father from a child’s life or spread false stories about how bad he is: Think of your children. Please love them more than you hate their father. They need him as much as they need you. Allow them to love him. They take their cues from you, and if they see that you are upset when they show affection for Daddy, they will believe it is wrong and will stop in order to please you. You think you are punishing your ex, but you are actually punishing your children.
I’ve seen two boys cut off from their fathers and hurt by their mothers’ hatred of the fathers, two boys who are growing up fatherless and wondering why Dad isn’t there for them, two boys whose Dads don’t take them places, don’t help with school work, aren’t there for games, concerts and graduations, two boys with loving, responsible fathers who are missing so much.
— Sad Grandma
Dear Grandma: We have often said in this column that fathers are incredibly important for their children’s development. Studies have shown that children who maintain close relationships with loving fathers do better in school and are more likely to stay off drugs. Fathers need to remain in their children’s lives, and it is sometimes up to the mother to bolster that relationship. Both parents are essential for a child’s well-being. Please, folks, put your children first.
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