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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 17, 2005 / 10 Sivan, 5765

Giving dear old Dad his due

By Rich Lowry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Dad is countercultural. If he is responsible, loving and married, he might seem boring and a constant provocation to his eye-rolling teenage children, but he stands at the ramparts of a movement to save the country from the most destructive trend of the past 30 years: father absence.

The proportion of out-of-wedlock births rose 600 percent from 1960 to 2000, and the divorce rate more than doubled between 1965 and 1980. Roughly 24 million children now live in homes where the biological father is absent — about one out of every three children. This is a social disaster. Children need their fathers, and they need them in the home, which, as a practical matter, means their fathers have to be married to their mothers.

This is a thoroughly common-sensical notion, but so retrograde that almost no one dared utter it for a couple of decades. Not anymore. Even left-leaning intellectuals like Isabel Sawhill of The Brookings Institution and Bill Galston of the University of Maryland are forthright supporters of intact married families. But much of the left still can't muster enthusiasm for fathers as anything other than the men who should, if circumstances warrant, be forced to make child-support payments.

The evidence for the importance of traditional fatherhood is overwhelming. "Children who grow up in father-absent homes are more likely to suffer from child abuse, poverty, low academic achievement, drug use, emotional and behavioral problems, and suicide," according to a report from the influential National Fatherhood Initiative (from which most of the data in this column is drawn).

As anyone who has ever had a father — i.e., all of us — should know, a father's love is irreplaceable. Research shows that withdrawal of love by either the father or mother is equally important in predicting a child's well-being. So much for only mothers being the "nurturing ones." And nothing so endangers a child's reliably receiving the love of a father than family breakup.

Twenty years after a divorce, one-quarter of girls and less than a third of boys say they are close with their fathers. In contrast, 70 percent of children of intact families say they have close relationships with their fathers. Half of children living without their fathers have never been in their fathers' homes. In one study, only 27 percent of children older than 4 saw their nonresident father at least once a week in the past year, and 31 percent had no contact whatsoever.

The rates of out-of-wedlock births and divorce have leveled off recently. But cohabitation — no substitute for marriage — has continued to climb. Children of cohabiting parents are closer in their indicators of well-being to the children of single parents than they are to children of two-parent families. Three-quarters of cohabiting parents split up before their children reach age 16.

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So, promoting involved fatherhood means promoting marriage. That will require a broad-based effort of government and the private sector. Roughly half of unmarried mothers are living together with the father at the time of the child's birth, and another one-third are still romantically involved with him. The trick is to convert these relationships into marriage, which the Bush administration wants to attempt by including marriage-promotion measures in a new round of welfare reform. As welfare guru Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation argues, two-thirds of black children are born out of wedlock — but it can't be that two-thirds of black men are, as critics of the Bush proposal sometimes suggest, "un-marriageable."

Middle-income couples are obviously part of the equation too.

The culture should be attempting to reach them with the message that all marriages have problems and usually they are soluble. An activist named Mike McManus has been promoting pre-marriage counseling through churches for young couples. A public-interested philanthropist could do worse than pouring resources into an expanded version of his "Marriage Savers" program.

In the meantime, give dear old traditional dad his due. He might not be cool, but he's important. We need more of him.

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© 2005 King Features Syndicate

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