Marvin's Window: Father's Day gives food for thought for parental responsibilities

I look out my window and watch the father quail sitting on a post as lookout for his family or leading the little ones and the mother across the desert looking for food.

That father quail reminds me that fathers protect, feed and care for the family.

It reminds me of an earlier time in this country when public opinion helped convince men that fathers had responsibilities for a wife and children.

Now, I am beginning to wonder if there will be any need at all for fathers in another generation.

The thought shocks me.

I am old-fashioned enough to belief there is a purpose for a mother, a father and children in a family.

Some people still believe that is the ideal way to assure that a generation to follow will be able to continue our society.

In the just concluded city election, one successful candidate said the most important thing she could contribute to Kingman was good citizens for the next generation.

That included the help of a father with old-fashioned family values.

After raising five children and watching them raise 11 grandchildren, experience tells me there really is an important role for both mothers and fathers in this world.

Raising two families, one as biological father and one as stepfather, I know both are important and a lot of stereotypes are pure "bunk."

A recent news article caused me to rethink the role of fatherhood and the way our society has moved away from the role of the father in the home.

Did you know half of all the babies born in America in 1998 were born to unwed mothers?

In 1998 about 1.29 million babies were born to single, unmarried women, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Even the liberal Donna Shalala, secretary of health and human services, called the trend "troubling."

I call it shocking, untenable, outrageous and tragic.

I guess sex education is one thing well taught in our schools.

A lot of them seem to know how to make babies!

Yet, teen births are down.

It is the twenty- and thirty-something women who are moving the trend into this tragic situation.

I could complete this column with statistics about the school dropout rate, crime rate, poverty problems - the list goes on - that is topped by children raised in single-parent families.

But, let me share the concerns of a father with two daughters who have raised families as single mothers.

In both cases, it was poor selection of a husband rather than unwed motherhood that put them in the single-mother situation.

The struggles were the same and those extra burdens concern me.

Let someone else argue about the morality.

I just want to share the human cost that I have seen in my family and in other families.

The stress begins with a one-income family in a time when two wage earners barely make ends meet.

It means no one to share household and child-raising duties.

A single mom never has time for all that needs to be done.

Teachers think the single mom is not interested in her children because she can not take time from work for school conferences.

She is not home to see that homework is done.

She may miss work with a sick child and her employer is angry.

There is one role model in the home.

No male means the boys have no father to play ball, fish or go to the park.

Girls have no male to love and learn about men in safety and often get into trouble when they find some male attention.

I have watched the struggles and stress of two daughters and developed some mean attitudes about the men who shirked responsibility in their lives.

I have thanked God often for the stable marriage of the other daughter and for her husband, a man who met his responsibility as a father.

I thank my two sons for being responsible fathers who have taken the time and made the sacrifices to be good role models for their children.

This Father¹s Day, I thank all the responsible men who have made the sacrifices to wives and children to do their part in raising good citizens for the next generation that will carry on the American traditions.

You irresponsible males who contribute to the single-parent problem, making babies and running away either before or after marriage, really would not like to hear my solution for your part in the problem.

Every child deserves a loving mother and father.

Happy Father¹s Day.