Should The Government Regulate Fatherhood?

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Obama is getting involved in our most fundamental of relationships.

Our relationships with our fathers is one of our first and most important relationships and is a defining metric for future success in relationship and life. According to the 2009 U.S. Census Bureau 1 in 3 children live apart from their father. Children who grow up fatherless are more likely to be poor, turn to drugs and commit crime. In response to the growing number of fatherless children in the U.S. President Obama launched a new program  that is designed to raise awareness of the value of fatherhood. The new site, Fatherhood.gov is designed to give fathers, policymakers, and researchers information and advice on fatherhood. But the big question is whether this site will have an impact on the father-child relationship? 

But first, the mere fact that the government is taking notice is an important first step. As we all know, marriage can help reduce poverty, and fatherhood can help reduce juvenile crime, childhood obesity, and a whole slew of other social problems. The lack of male role models in the lives of many young boys leads them to gangs, drugs, and bad behavior. Recognizing this problem is the first step to fixing it. Parents Project Love Lives On Kids

Fatherhood.gov is full of resources, from information on local fatherhood programs to data for researchers. President Obama himself even contributes a video message. The site has everything you'd expect from a modern government website. But Fatherhood.gov is, in the end, just a website. Promoting fatherhood isn't just about giving people information, it's about creating a whole social support network to encourage healthy behavior.

Problems with relationships can't be solved by politicians or policy. Relational problems require relational solutions. Getting young men to be better fathers will require a concerted effort by politicians, entertainers, clergy, and community leaders. 

President Obama can be part of the solution. Agree with him or not, he has tremendous influence with younger Americans—and the bully pulpit of the Presidency. He knows firsthand what it's like to grow up with an absent father. He can speak persuasively about the need for better fathers. The issue of fatherhood doesn't frequently appear as a major national issue. Perhaps it is time far that to change. Especially in times of economic turmoil like this, having strong and stable families provides a crucial safety net.

Fatherhood.gov is a start, but only a start. The issue of fatherhood needs more emphasis, but at least the President has taken notice of it. The value of fatherhood can unite social conservatives, liberal community organizers, and all Americans. Promoting fatherhood is a crucial part of restoring the traditional family, and this site is a first step towards a stronger emphasis on responsible fatherhood.

Do you think the government should be involved in relationships?

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