The importance of fatherly influence was on full display over the past week or so publicly. Consider the following two videos:
It’s not about race, or socioeconomic status.
It’s about fatherhood. I am making an assumption here, namely that a substantial percentage of the kids in the second video do not have fathers who are consistently in their lives.
If they did, they wouldn’t need a judge to tell break down the facts of life to them. The fact that they are hearing this message from a county judge suggests that there was no influence in their lives to stop them from descending to that point. In the absence of fathers, children, especially boys, will seek out other influences to fill the void. In poorer, urban areas, this tends to be ‘the wrong crowd.’ This is how they end up in the streets, under the wings of criminals who know nothing but trouble. Unfortunately, the draw is great given that these older males do offer mentorship on some level.
Contrast that to the Trump video, in which he recounts telling his children every day – no alcohol, no drugs, no cigarettes, to the point of irritation. Of course any teen would be irritated and annoyed, but the undeniable truth is that adhering to that simple dictum is going to set one up to be most productive individual possible. In Trump’s case, his children turned out to be well rounded, well spoken individuals, who did not fall into the trap of wealth that ensnares many rich kids.
In today’s world, however, people are going to have problems with both videos. I’ve seen many comments to the effect that the judge was too hard on those kids, and I know for a fact that there are many (mostly single mothers) who would lash out if someone spoke to their kids like that.
On the other hand, I’ve seen a few state that Trump’s parenting style was too harsh and restrictive as well.
In many ways that is the problem. In 2016, we’ve become a bit too blasé and indifferent with respect to social mores and proper behavior. We very much live in an ‘anything goes’ culture. You can explain any level of deviance merely by stating what year it currently is.
Most of that starts in the family, or rather the lack thereof. Our ‘modern families,’ which increasingly consist of combinations other than biological parents and their children, have brought with them increasing amounts of dysfunction.
If I could only change one thing about society, it would be to restore the social stigma surrounding raising children outside the confines of committed monogomous relationship. The bottom line is that children are going to seek out guidance from some source. The further it is away from the father, the more likely there is to be damage.